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.
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
The scenes of the church bulletin boards shows that the rector of St Thomas' Episcopal Church is the Rev. Haig Nargesian. The movie is set in the early 1940s, Rev. Nargesian did not begin his time at St Thomas' until 1950. See more »
Picturesque Character Study of the Emotional Life of Small Town USA
Peyton Place is a great and realistic observation of human behavior taken in the context of when and where it was written, no matter how shocking truth may appear. After years of medical practice, I have lived many experiences not unlike that of Dr. Swain in this novel/movie. I saw "Peyton Place" for the first time in my late forties as part of a CineClub presentation. I grew up naively in a small North East farm town in the late 50's. My grand uncle was our local Country Doctor. I was frightened if not scandalized by the big city lifestyle when I moved to the city to attend medical school. He assured me that "we" had the same "scandals" in our community, it was just "hidden or kept secret". In all honesty, I had already witnessed some of these issues as they shook my own family of origin. Later, I returned to practice in a rural town. As I got closer to the native citizens, I discovered many secrets, secrets not unlike some of the tragic events that took Peyton Place by storm. As I grew older (and hopefully wiser), I realized that each town has their own "Peyton Place". It's all around us, it's is part of our human nature, part of it is in each one of us. Mrs. Metalious, the author of this great novel, paid the price of her own honesty with her life. This novel and the movie that it is based on, have to be taken in the time context it was created. Unfortunately, many of these events are still taking place around us today. I have witnessed them through my interaction with many patients and friends. Love, lust, passion, ambition, greed, envy... are all basic instincts that drive us through the meanders of life, some leading us to good outcomes others to tragedy. I recently returned from our occupation in Iraq where I was severely injured in combat, ending my career as a physician. I saw the best and also the worst of what man can do to mankind. I witnessed many issues that I saw in Peyton Place, only on a larger scale. Peyton Place bears witness to a part of the world we live in, it is in all of us. The events taking place in her youth were the source of Grace Metalious' novel and shaped the course of her story. I highly recommend this movie, it is part of history, our American history, good or bad. Finally, I greatly appreciate all the viewers that take time to share their opinion about movies with the readers through IMDb's Comments Place. May God or your "Higher Power" bless you all, GLN.
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