A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
An actress, a director, and a writer are asked to help revive the career of ruthless Hollywood studio bigwig Jonathan Shields. However, all three are reluctant because they have all been used and betrayed by him in the past.
It's the pre-WWII era. Peyton Place is a small town in New England, whose leading adult citizens rule the town with their high moral standards, which they try to pass on to their offspring. The adults, especially those that wield power largely through their positions and/or through their wealth, will not tolerate anything they believe morally improper, even if there is a hint of impropriety without comprehensive evidence to back up the hints. As their offspring grow from teenagers to adults, the offspring learn that there is much hypocrisy by the adults lying underneath that façade of proper Christian morals. The offspring begin to rebel in different ways, which is brought to public scrutiny with the arrival into town of an "outsider", the new young high school principal Michael Rossi, and through a murder trial. Written by
For people who dismissd Lana as a plastic creation out of the MGM dramatic school,check out this fine film.The settings are beautiful,the acting first rate.Although Lee Phillips as Michael Rossi seems a bit bland.Jeff Chandler (who appears in the sequel) might have been a better choice).Possibly the flop teaming he did with Turner in The Lady Takes a Flier might have caused him to be passed by.The fine cast of character actors really makes this picture work,especially Lloyd Nolan as the town doctor and Arthur Kennedy as the town drunk.Passed over in comments was Mildred Dunnock as the devoted teacher who is passed over to be principal.Her words to Allison about it are very touching.Miss Dunnock usually played nagging mothers,so it's a treat to see her playing a nice,vulnerable person.Susan Hayward was supposedly set to play Constance but Lana was definitely the best choice.The pity is Diane Varsi never followed up her career and quit the business.Her Allyson was very good.
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