Made for television movie that features some of the characters from the long running television series. In it Allison Mackenzie and Rodney Harrington go back to Peyton Place, and before they make contact with anyone, they are killed in a car accident. Now their relatives are told that Rodney was drunk but his brother Norman doesn't believe that, so he tries to find out what happened. And unknown to anyone, Stella Churnak has returned and is out to wreak havoc on Peyton Place.Written by
However unrealistic, the premise of this murder melodrama provides an interesting twist on the motive of revenge. The film is not a whodunit. We know early on who the villain is. Instead, the plot follows multiple, and I do mean multiple, characters and subplots in a small American town.
The viewer almost needs some kind of cheat sheet to keep track of all the people, and how they are connected to each other. Forget deep characterization. They're all just stick figures in service to the story's premise.
The script is talky and highly melodramatic. Most scenes take place indoors, on sets. As a result, many of the scenes mimic then-current television soap operas. Of course, that's basically what the original "Peyton Place" was, at least that is my understanding. Dialogue in "Murder in Payton Place" is generally dry and hackneyed, again reminiscent of daytime soap operas.
Casting is okay. But acting seems stilted and over-rehearsed. Photography is about what one would expect for a typical made-for-TV movie. Background music is highly manipulative.
Despite the poor script, the cheesy sets, and melodramatic acting, the premise and mystery element held my attention, barely, given my added patience and my failure to find any other film available for watching at the time.
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