The original primetime soap took place in the title town, which was founded by the Peyton family, whose members included the Harringtons. Some of the plots involved Rodney Harrington, the ...
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Dr. Michael Rossi arrives by train in the small New England town of Peyton Place. He is greeted at the station by teenager Rodney Harrington and his girlfriend, Betty Anderson, who drive him to the ...
Rodney and Betty get into a serious fight, when Rod is interrupted by the information of Catherine's illness. Michael tells Leslie his wife will die if he won't operate now, but doctor Morton won't ...
Catherine is in a lot of pain and when Laura said she has called doctor Rossi, she demands to be treated by only doctor Morton. Michael comes over anyway and he knows the disease Catherine is having....
The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Colonel MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »
Lovely young widow Carolyn Muir, her two young children, and the maid discover that the New England seaside house they've moved into is haunted by the former owner -- an old salt named ... See full summary »
In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. ... See full summary »
The original primetime soap took place in the title town, which was founded by the Peyton family, whose members included the Harringtons. Some of the plots involved Rodney Harrington, the oldest son, choosing between bad girl Betty Anderson or fragile Allison MacKenzie. His brother Norman took up with working class Rita Jacks. Allison's mother Connie was keeping a secret about her daughter's birth. People married and divorced, loved and lost. Murder, illicit passion, insanity, and secrets were the staples of Peyton Place. Written by
In the opening credits, the last name of the characters played by Dorothy Malone and Mia Farrow is spelled Mackenzie. In the original novel by Grace Metalious and the 1957 movie, the last name is spelled with a capital K (MacKenzie). There are no reports from the creators on if the name was spelled in the TV series on purpose or by accident. See more »
PEYTON PLACE is the first and has remained to this day (arguably) the best-written prime time soap opera with consistent quality across its 5-year run and 514 episodes.
Many people have utter contempt for prime time soaps and rightly so - it is a very difficult genre to get right and TV history is littered with a long list of instant flops or serials that got their magic formula right for a while, only to quickly succumb to contrived plot-driven storytelling, that many erroneously believe is the expected standard for prime time soap opera.
But PEYTON PLACE sets the bar much higher, which is remarkable given its pioneer status. It is a beautifully filmed unusually cinematic gem of a TV series that combines the slick glamour of the original movies with edgy B-movie grittiness, especially in its somewhat more compelling first black-and-white half (the first 267 episodes).
The original book and the movies are used as a starting point the 1960s series wonderfully expands on with certain changes, depicting a fictional New England small-town world with deliciously knotty almost incestuous relationships among its many characters, where a chance meeting among any two people is invariably fascinating.
The stories begin with leisurely-paced character-driven approach, but they are all ultimately built to riveting and therefore satisfying twists and conclusions. The characterizations are rounded and non-judgmental.
As it is always the case with shows that succeed, the casting is the key - Mia Farrow is perfectly cast as a shy and dreamy Alison Mackenzie as are Ryan O'Neal as a cool yet sensitive Rodney Harrington or Barbara Perkins as an ambitious and semi-trashy Betty Anderson. Movie star Dorothy Malone with her fluttery eyelashes and breathy delivery is a great choice as the town's glamorous, but humble bookstore owner Constance Mackanzie.
PEYTON PLACE also demonstrates the ability to successfully expand its fictional world and include previously unseen characters and places, folding them seamlessly into its rich back story as well as the ongoing present day narrative.
There is a cast shake-up every 30 or so episodes and many fascinating new arrivals such as the town's bitter young man Stephen Cord, the 19th century-style tyrant Martin Peyton (who literally owns the town) or his glamorous sharp-tongued housekeeper Hannah Cord. A number of actors who went on to achieve great success later on - for instance, Leslie Nielsen or Richard Dreyfuss - can be seen in early stages of their careers.
Unlike many TV series, PEYTON PLACE and its coastal setting have a strong awareness of seasons - it begins during a sultry Indian summer, moves forward in time to an eventful winter (during which it snows for a solid three months), before we suddenly jump forward to spring, to an unexpected wedding. The switch to color midway through the series alters the tone somewhat as we enter the groovy late 60s.
Only the first 64 episodes have been released on DVD, so those who wish to watch this brilliant series in its entirety will not find all of its 514 episodes in legitimate places. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it.
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