7.2/10
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83 user 26 critic

Peyton Place (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 3 March 1958 (Sweden)
A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nellie Cross
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Miss Elsie Thornton
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Mr. Harrington
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Prosecutor
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Seth Bushwell
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every Hunger...Every Emotion...Every Shame...Every Fear! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 1958 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La caldera del diablo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$25,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title was later immortalized in the lyrics to Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit "Harper Valley P.T.A". See more »

Goofs

At Selena's trial, the prosecutor recalls her to the stand. There are several errors in this. Under the Constitution a person cannot be compelled to testify against himself, so the prosecution could not force Selena, the defendant, to take the stand as a witness against herself; she could only take the stand if first called by her own side, the defense. This means that Selena could only have been "recalled" to the stand had the defense already called her. However, the order of trial is for the prosecution to present its case first, followed by the defense. Therefore, since Selena could not be called to the stand in the first place other than by the defense, and since the defense had not yet begun its case, it was not possible for the prosecutor to have "recalled" Selena. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Harrington: This job starts at 3,000 a year.
Michael Rossi: Then we're all wasting our time. That's only $5 a week more than I was making as a teacher, Mr. Harrington
Mr. Harrington: But this offers you security -- a long term contract.
Michael Rossi: Guaranteed poverty is not security.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Get Smart: Satan Place (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade in Blue
(1942) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as dance music at Allison's birthday party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful accomplishment
26 October 2003 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

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.


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