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Peyton Place

4.5 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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(Mar 02, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Nominated for 9 Academy Awards, this drama centers on the characters and the dark secrets of a small town in New England. Allison McKenzie escapes the dark secrets of her small-town New England upbringing only to return with the hopes of saving her best friend and exposing the town's dark secrets.

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Nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1957, Peyton Place has become synonymous with torrid soap opera. Though the novel by Grace Metalious is even more sensational, the movie provides plenty of tantalizing story turns--secrets, adultery, rape, bitter parents, frustrated teenagers, suicide, and murder. Multiple storylines deftly interweave: Allison MacKenzie (Diane Varsi), an ambitious young girl struggling with the neurotic fears of her mother (Lana Turner, in a career-reviving performance) and the neurotic fears of the boy she loves (Russ Tamblyn), while her best friend Selena Cross (Hope Lange) fights off the brutal advances of her drunken stepfather. The movie had to sanitize the novel's New England town in order to get some of the more unsavory plot turns past the censors; ironically, the glossy "normal" surface makes these events all the more shocking, paving the way for David Lynch's Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • AMC Backstory: Peyton Place
  • Movietone News: Premiere and Photoplay Magazine awards

Product Details

  • Actors: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Writers: Grace Metalious, John Michael Hayes
  • Producers: Jerry Wald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 157 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DJZ8Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,424 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Peyton Place" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Peyton Place is one of my favorite books and one of my favorite movies. The filming and score are beautiful. The scenery of coastal Maine is fantastic. This is one of the most popular soap operas...the term "Peyton Place" has come to mean a gossipy community.
Most of the acting is great... the only actor that does not seem right for the role is Lee Philips. He is does not see the type of guy Lana Turner would go for.
Lana Turner and Diane Varsi have some great mother daughter conflicts. Lloyd Nolan is great as the doctor caught in the moral dilemma of covering up a miscarriage (which was an abortion in the book)
The DVD adds an interesting commentary by Russ Tamblyn and Terry Moore. You feel as if you are sitting with them as the watch the film. They give share stories of what it was like to be a young actor in the 1950s.
This is a great film and even better DVD. My wife and I liked the book and movie so much we named our daughter Allison after Peyton Place's main character.
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Format: VHS Tape
Based the bestselling novel by Grace Metalious, Peyton Place is a hallmark of mid-20th century American culture and remains powerful melodrama to this day. Modern audiences in particular might notice similarities with the currently popular Dawson's Creek.
The story centers around shopowner Constance MacKenzie (Lana Turner), hiding a secret from her past; her daughter Allison (Diane Varsi), who dreams of escaping from Peyton Place and becoming a writer; Allison's best friend Selena Cross (Hope Lange), who lives literally on the other side of the tracks and suffers abuse at the hands of her drunken stepfather (Arthur Kennedy); Norman Page (Russ Tamblyn), a shy, quiet student yearning to break away from his domineering mother; Rodney Harrington (Barry Coe), the playboy son of millowner Leslie Harrington (Leon Ames), who disapproves of his son's relationship with the flashy Betty Anderson (Terry Moore); and Mike Rossi (Lee Phillips), the new high school principal smitten with Constance.
Screenwriter John Michael Hayes did a magnificent job of distilling Metalious's occasionally crude story, making it acceptable to film audiences, though it can be argued that Metalious's feminist slant was lost in the process. The film was beautifully directed by Mark Robson, who's never gotten enough respect, perhaps due to his reputation as a craftsman; well, Peyton Place is a finely crafted work, solid entertainment, with majestic location work in Camden, ME, much of which will be lost in the transfer to the small screen. The cinematography is by William C. Mellor and the wonderful score is by Franz Waxman.
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Verified Purchase
Peyton Place was filmed in beautiful Camden, Maine and I remember the time when it was filmed there..I was a kid growing up in Portland , Maine. It is a great piece of melodrama, and the music of course makes it such. The score alone merits attention, and you can get it on CDs and Lp if you search. Well worth it.
The film has many pluses: Lana Turner is in a new kind of role here, not so camp, but fun to witness her distress and those hands of hers moving in all directions. Also, check out her Maine accent. Where can she be from???
Diane Varsi is wonderful as Allison, and Hope Lange never better..this is one out of three or four good Hope Lange performances. All of Varsi should be seen, including Johnny Got His Gun and even Bloody Mama.When Varsi made Peyton Place she was 23 and had been married three times and had some children. Her Reveries on marriage and chastity have strange resonaces to them!
Betty Field is in this, and she oozes madness; her husband is Arthur Kennedy, who has rape written all over that face and body. And then there is David Nelson from the dreadful Ozzie and Harriet series of the 50's, acting his way out of a film career of any kind, very funny, and Barry Coe(whatever happened to him?) and the great Terry Moore, who gices a superb performance, and who has the best Maine accent ever heard in any film about Maine.
You get vetrans Leon Ames(Doris Day musicals) and the evr great and eerie Mildred Dunnock, with those cryptic lines to the class she teaches and to the alcoholic janitor, not to be forgotten. And LLoyd Nolan as Doc Swain, pontificating and gossiping about affairs and abortions.His laugh and sneer are classic here.
Then there is Lee Philips, who is the image of a small town principal; tweedy and sententious and civic-minded.
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Format: DVD
I already had a beautiful copy of this movie--the outrageously priced ($49.95) laserdisc set put out by Fox Home Video sometime in the 90s--but the selling point for me this time around was the promised audio commentaries by Russ Tamblyn and Terry Moore. I wasn't disappointed! I've always considered Tamblyn one of the unsung heroes of moviedom (his credits read like a list of the best films ever made--"Gun Crazy," "Father of the Bride," "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "West Side Story," and this gem among others) and I'm certain that those viewers only familiar with his remarkable dancing and acrobatics in musicals would be surprised by his sure handling of a complex character in this film. The performance earned him a well-deserved Oscar nomination--a feat not shared by the majority of his musical colleagues. Tamblyn comes off as a very likable, unassuming guy in his audio commentary, and his memory of the long-ago events is pretty sharp--even to the point of remembering that a double for Lana Turner did a couple of the shots in the last scene rather than the actress herself. Along the way he has plenty of interesting stories about the other actors, the location shoot, and what was going on in his life at the time. Terry Moore is also very engaging in her commentary, although she's clearly less familiar with the movie itself--e.g., she registers surprise at the fate of Betty Field's character the same way a first-time viewer would. But Ms. Moore also has some intersting recollections, such as roasting in her winter coat while surrounded by fake snow in the blazing California sunshine. And her obvious respect for the story's themes and its characters (as significantly altered and arguably improved for the film adaptation) is very endearing, particularly if you're as enamored of the film as this viewer.
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