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"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.
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
- AMC Backstory: Peyton Place
- Movietone News: Premiere and Photoplay Magazine awards
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The story is was shocking for it's time, though tame by today's standards. It's is like taking a cultural step back into time to see how the morality of a time shapes the people of that time.
There are many American films one must see this is one of the "essentials". The digital restoration and transfer to DVD is excellent, worthy of a film of this caliber. The commentary by Terry Moore and Russ Tamblyn, along with the AMC Backstory featurette about the making of the film, and the short feature comparing the digital restoration against earlier versions are all worth watching. I recommend it for your collection.
It is a shame that Grace Metalious would become so rejected by the people of her town for having written this "shocking" novel.
I was a little disappointed in the commentary with Russ Tamblyn and Terry Moore. Both rambled on about personal items not relevant to the movie and a lot of silent gaps. While part of the commentary was enjoyable, I think maybe since so many years have passed they might have forgotten more than they remembered.
I always like the extras with the DVD versions, but this one was lacking in extras. Overall it is worth having this movie on DVD because it is a classic. The picture and audio quality is superb and worth the price. It's too bad Lana Turner died before the production of this DVD. Her commentary would have been priceless.
Unfortunately they don't make great movies like this anymore!
The digital restoration and transfer to DVD is absolutely excellent, worthy of a film of this caliber. I recommend it for your collection.
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