5 comments on “Peyton Place

  1. “Peyton Place” was (and still is) my choice for Best Picture of 1957. This film has been so under-rated through the years but it is, truly, the “Mother of all Soap Operas”. Why the Best? First and foremost, there is the script which became one of the most outstanding novel-to-screen adaptations ever: it changed from being a rather smarmy “dirty” little story (with the novel being carried by countless teenagers, ear-marked to gain easy access to the sex episodes) to a really excellent screenplay which concentrated on the experiences and occurances of 1950s small-town Americana. Then there is the legacy of the film: “Peyton Place” did more to end the tyranny of the Hays Censorship board than almost any other film of its time–the rape of a schoolgirl by an alcoholic stepfather, the subsequent miscarriage (which we all knew was an abortion), the whole issue of single parenthood at a time in our history where pregnant girls were “sent-away” for a while, the vague hint at an incestuous relationship between mother and son, and the premarital sex all over the place–all this made it past the Censors Board and changed films forever. Thridly, the outstanding performances by the cast: Lana Turner was never better (and might well have won had she not been up against Joanne Woodward in “3 Faces of Eve”), the outstanding supporting performances were led by Arthur Kennedy and Hope Lange along with Mildred Dunnock and Russ Tamblyn. (I still think Hope Lange deserved the Oscar!) Finally, the technical achievements such as great editing to combine all those stories into one coherent story; beautiful cinematography, and a music score which remains as stirring as when I purchased the 33-LP soundtrack some 50 years ago. It is said that “Peyton Place” had the distinction of being the most-nominated film never to win an Oscar…I can think of 5 it should have won hands-down. And I must disagree about its “merit”…this is one oldie I never get tired of seeing.

  2. As I’m reading the review for “Peyton Place” movie, I’m taping “Peyton Place. I’ve always enjoyed this movie: well written, directed, produced and displayed/

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