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.
A woman married to a wealthy socialite, is compromised by the accidental death of a man who had been romantically pursuing her, and is forced by her mother-in-law to assume a new identity ... See full summary »
David Lowell Rich
This movie based on the 60's television series, brings back some of the major characters. It begins when a young girl Megan comes to town and she bears a resemblance to Allison Mackenzie, ... See full summary »
This daytime soap was a sequel of sorts to the primetime series Peyton Place, revolving around the lives of the citizens of that community. It did not carry over the stories, however, and ... See full summary »
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
Susan Strasberg was initially set to play Allison. However, when she upped her salary, she was fired. For a short period, Debbie Reynolds was set to replace her. Eventually, 20 famous actresses were tested before the unknown Diane Varsi got the role. See more »
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 »
[to the other girls, while she's trying on a revealing red dress in Mrs. MacKenzie's shop]
Just remember: men can see much better than they can think. Believe me, a low-cut neckline does more for a girl's future than the entire Britannica encyclopedia.
See more »
Exceptional, affecting melodrama about small-town life in America. The story is at times a bit tawdry, but it is always intelligent, complex and it is populated with many memorable and realistic characters. They're people to care about. Better yet, the actors portraying them are mostly brilliant. I had some problems with Arthur Kennedy's performance; it's too over-the-top, and not up to the same level of maturity as many of the others. I also thought Lee Philips was weak in a key role. But Lana Turner, Diane Varsi, Russ Tamblyn, Terry Moore, Barry Coe, Mildred Dunnock, Lloyd Nolan, Leon Ames, and Hope Lange give enormously sensitive performances that will live with me for a long time. Especially Ms. Lange, who is just heartbreaking as a young woman who is sexually abused by her alcoholic stepfather (Arthur Kennedy). The story is frank (1950s frank) and intelligent about sex and the way that small towns treat it. I would surely credit director Robson with keeping this film, which could easily have been a disaster, flowing like a gentle stream. It's a rarity that a Hollywood film like this could be so insightful about small-town life. It does have one big narrative problem, and that is that its climax is a trial. It's not often that a climactic trial works well, and there is no exception for Peyton Place. It seems fake, and the lawyers and defendants don't present evidence in an at all believable fashion. And then there's this cringe-inducing third-act speech. It belongs in a lesser film. 9/10.
16 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?