A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Grace Metalious (from the novel by)
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Nominated for 9 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lana Turner ... Constance MacKenzie
Lee Philips ... Michael Rossi
Lloyd Nolan ... Dr. Swain
Arthur Kennedy ... Lucas Cross
Russ Tamblyn ... Norman Page
Terry Moore ... Betty Anderson
Hope Lange ... Selena Cross
Diane Varsi ... Allison MacKenzie
David Nelson ... Ted Carter
Barry Coe ... Rodney Harrington
Betty Field ... Nellie Cross
Mildred Dunnock ... Miss Elsie Thornton
Leon Ames ... Mr. Harrington
Lorne Greene ... Prosecutor
Robert H. Harris ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lana Turner, Hope Lange, Diane Varsi and Russ Tamblyn all give their only Oscar nominated performances in this film. As of 2018, this film's four one-time nominees in the acting categories is a record. See more »

Goofs

Allison plays classical music on an LP (33 1/3) record changer. The LP was not developed until 1949. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Thornton: A person doesn't always get what she deserves. Remember it. If there's anything in life you want, go and get it. Don't wait for anybody to give it to you.
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Alternate Versions

(Spoiler) Originally premiered at 162 minutes. Cut by 5 minutes, shortly after premiere, reputedly in the scene involving the murder of Arthur Kennedy's character. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Steele in the News (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
(uncredited)
Composed by Robert Schumann
Heard playing on Allison MacKenzie's record player
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User Reviews

 
A soap opera--but a great one!
5 November 2003 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

The book "Peyton Place" came out in the early 1950s. It blew off the lid of a small New England town full of rape, murder, sex, abortion, infidelity, suicide etc etc. Even though the town (and residents) were fictitious, this book created an uproar. It was a huge best seller but condemned as utter trash by all book critics and "moral" people everywhere (of course they were buying the book themselves). Now, almost 50 years later, it's considered a great literary novel and taught in colleges!

Hollywood took the book, toned it down considerably, went all the way to Maine to film it and basically gave it Grade A treatment. It has a great cast, a stunning score by Franz Waxman, gorgeous New England photography and moves along at a fast clip. The once racy stuff is very tame by today's standards but it's kind of amusing to watch--the dialogue scene between Diane Varsi and Russ Tamblyn (about sex) is giggle-inducing. An abortion is never called that--it's called "inducing a miscarriage". A rape becomes "forcing himself on her". Still, the main stories in the book come across...and it works very well. The cast really helps.

Lana Turner is just great as Constance MacKenzie--a woman with a deep secret. Lloyd Nolan is perfect as Doc Swain--he even gets the New England accent down right! Arthur Kennedy is downright terrifying as Lucas Cross and Hope Lange is fantastic as his step-daughter. Everybody else (with one exception) is good but the ones mentioned above were the best. The one debit is Diane Varsi--she's TERRIBLE as Alison MacKenzie. Unfortunately, she's the main character. Her face is always blank and her readings are in a monotone. Especially bad are her narrations over the scenery. You see just jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery---and her drab, toneless voice droning on. Still, everything else is so good she's easy to overlook.

OK--it's a soap opera but a VERY good one. The 2 1/2+ hours just flew by. Highly recommended.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1958 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Jerry Wald's Production of Peyton Place See more »

Filming Locations:

Belfast, Maine, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$25,600,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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