Peyton Place

1957

Peyton Place

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,099
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Movie Info

Grace Metalious' once-notorious bestseller Peyton Place is given a lavish -- and necessarily toned-down -- film treatment in this deluxe 20th Century-Fox production. Set during WWII, the film concentrates on several denizens of the outwardly respectable New England community of Peyton Place. Top-billed Lana Turner plays shopkeeper Constance McKenzie, who tries to make up for a past indiscretion -- which resulted in her illegitimate daughter Allison (Diane Varsi) -- by adopting a chaste, prudish attitude towards all things sexual. In spite of herself, Constance can't help but be attracted to handsome new teacher Michael Rossi (Lee Philips). Meanwhile, the restless Allison, who'd like to be as footloose and fancy-free as the town's "fast girl" Betty Anderson (Terry Moore), falls sincerely in love with mixed-up mama's boy Norman Page (Russ Tamblyn). And while all this is going on, "white trash" Selena Cross (Hope Lange) is raped by her stepfather, drunken school caretaker Lucas Cross (Arthur Kennedy). Other characters essential to the action are wealthy Rodney Harrington (Barry Coe), who must pay the price for his dalliance with Betty Anderson; Nellie Cross (Betty Field), Selena's long-suffering mother; and the town's Voice of Reason, Dr. Swain (Lloyd Nolan). This 166-minute soap opera (whittled down to 157 minutes before release) culminates in a spectacular murder trial which lays bare the deep, dark secrets of Peyton Place. Filmed on location in Camden, Maine, Peyton Place was a huge moneymaker (even those who felt that the film was but a heavily laundered shadow of the Metalious original were pleased with the professionalism of it all); it not only spawned a 1961 theatrical sequel, but also a long-running prime time TV serial. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Lana Turner
as Constance MacKenzie
Hope Lange
as Selena Cross
Lee Philips
as Michael Rossi
Diane Varsi
as Allison MacKenzie
Lloyd Nolan
as Dr. Matthew Swain
Arthur Kennedy
as Lucas Cross
Russ Tamblyn
as Norman Page
Terry Moore
as Betty Anderson
Barry Coe
as Rodney Harrington
David Nelson
as Ted Carter
Betty Field
as Nellie Cross
Mildred Dunnock
as Mrs. Thornton
Leon Ames
as Harrington
Lorne Greene
as Prosecutor
Robert H. Harris
as Seth Bushwell
Staats Cotsworth
as Charles Partridge
Peg Hillias
as Marion Partridge
Scotty Morrow
as Joey Cross
William Lundmark
as Paul Cross
Kip King
as Pee Wee
Ray Montgomery
as Naval Officer
Jim Brandt
as Messenger
Edith Claire
as Miss Colton
John Doucette
as Army Sergeant
Edwin Jerome
as Cory Hyde
Robert Adler
as Jury Foreman
Harry Carter
as Court Clerk
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Critic Reviews for Peyton Place

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (6)

  • Under Mark Robson's direction, every one of the performers delivers a topnotch portrayal.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It comes with its full quota of sex, conspiracy and violence, but the story is told in such circumspect fashion that next to nobody was offended.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's corn in the grand style, much of it delivered with sweep and conviction, and the intrigues come thick and fast.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Once you fall in love with Peyton Place, you may never want to leave.

    Jun 4, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Peyton Place, with its myriad plot threads and cast of characters is a rollicking good yarn with obvious melodramatic tensions borne from some very juicy themes.

    Jan 30, 2012 | Full Review…
  • This is the kind of hypertensive trash that gives melodrama a bad name, cynically tempering its naughty bits with smug moralizing.

    Jan 30, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Peyton Place

  • Feb 04, 2014
    The full naughtiness of Peyton Place could not appear in the fifties but this film pushes as far as it can.Giggly moments for grandma.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2012
    The screenplay has a great handle on intertwining the characters and their actions. A little bit into the film I had no idea what rating I was going to give it. It's a good thing I watched the whole thing. It literally picks up greatly by time. The last court room scenes where the best scenes in the film. the writing itself is really good. Great plot and story. Great plot build up as well. If brings all the characters together and masses their stories and struggles. The dialogue in this is so good you think you're reading a book while watching it. It's based off a book so I guess that's why. The acting was okay. Nothing really good and nothing really horrible. Topnotch directing. Good choice of scenery. It's so beautifully shot, everything looks almost perfect. Why can't communities like this exist in real life(except for the struggles the characters faced). The production values where ravishing. Was the houses real or stages? Great costume design too. If you like nice looking films but with heavy plot struggles then this is for you.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2011
    Filme baseado em um romance escrito por Grace Metalious que se tornou best seller por abordar temas como sexo na adolescência, incesto, aborto e rebeldia juvenil - é uma longa lista! O desafio aqui é levar tudo isso para as telas em uma época em que o código de censura (the Hayes Code) ainda dominava Hollywood, algo que o filme consegue com moderado sucesso. Indicado para 9 Oscar (sem levar nenhum), A Caldeira do Diabo possui um parentesco próximo com os melodramas produzidos pelo diretor Douglas Sirk no mesmo período, mas sem a classe e a sofisticação dos filmes do mesmo. O roteiro não deixa esconder as origens pulp do livro, com muitas passagens parecendo terem sido extraídas diretamente de romances populares vendidos para jovens adolescentes. A narrativa se assemelha à À Sombra de uma Dúvida de Alfred Hitchcock e Veludo Azul de David Lynch, na medida que mostra a camada podre por trás de uma cidadezinha interiorana dos Estados Unidos. Lana Turner é Constance MacKenzie, mulher viúva com uma filha adolescente (a inexpressiva Diane Varsi) e um passado misterioso. Logo ela se vê confrontada com a explosão sexual da jovem e também da trágica história da amiga adolescente que é abusada pelo padrasto. Muitos tapas, lágrimas, corridas escada acima e soluços em travesseiros se seguem nas duas horas e meia de filme. O maior predicado de A Caldeira do Diabo é fazer com que a história se mantenha interessante e não seja arrastada pela longa duração. Também se torna curioso ver assuntos tão polêmicos abordados no cinema dos anos cinqüenta, ainda que a execução deixe a desejar. Já uso do formato de tela larga CinemaScope não ajuda muito, pois os cenários têm aparência barata e parecem terem sido feitos para um programa de televisão.
    Matheus C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2011
    What invented the modern melodrama? What spawned generations of soap operas from "Dallas" up to and including "Desperate Housewives?" What made enough impact on popular culture that it was included in Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire",between "Princess Grace",and "Trouble in the Suez?" Why,that would be "Peyton Place",the 1957 film that was based on the scandalous novel by Grace Metalious,that was so successful that it spawned a even more scandalous 1961 sequel "Return To Peyton Place",and later on an even less scandalous toned down version of successful television series that premiered on ABC-TV in the fall of 1964 and lasted five seasons on the network ending in the summer of 1969 after an astounding 514 episodes that launched the careers of Ryan O'Neal, Mia Farrow and Barbara Parkins. The original 1957 motion picture PEYTON PLACE got a bit of a boost when its star Lana Turner was involved in the real-life scandal of her daughter's murdering Turner's gangster lover---dealt with ideas were downright unthinkable or even unheard of during the mid-1950's when this film was released:Adultery! Incest! Picturesque small town America having dark,seamy underbellies and even darker undertones that shocked audiences who went to see it! Still the film was toned down a mite from the source material,to the point that the Catholic Legion of Decency gave this film an "A". Despite of was critics and those haters and audiences who have spilt decisions against it,PEYTON PLACE went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the year...a huge runaway hit upon its release for 20th Century-Fox,given the full "Cinemascope" treatment and color and was nominated for an impressive nine Academy Awards including Best Picture(winning none but lost to David Lean's Bridge On The River Kwai which won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1957). The name remains synonymous with its sordid small-town drama. PEYTON PLACE was the only movie based on Grace Metalious that not it spawned a sequel,but also a long-running mid-1960's television series,two movie for TV movies and not to even mention a short-lived daytime serial "Return To Peyton Place". NOTE: Only two of it stars from the original movie went on to star in both the sequel and the television series: Actors Lloyd Nolan, Hope Lange and Arthur Kennedy.
    Mister C Super Reviewer

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