HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Peyton Place Behind Closed Doors
Year: 1957
Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn, Terry Moore, Hope Lange, Diane Varsi, David Nelson, Barry Coe, Betty Field, Mildred Dunnock, Leon Ames, Lorne Greene, Robert H. Harris, Tami Conner, Staats Cotsworth, Peg Hillias
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: This is the small New England town of Peyton Place shortly before the Second World War; it looks like many another small town, but it has its secrets. As Michael Rossi (Lee Philips) drives into the locality on his way to his job interview for high school principal, Selena Cross (Hope Lange) is living with her mother, brother and abusive stepfather Lucas (Arthur Kennedy) in the poorest area of the town and soon things will get worse for her. Her mother, Nellie (Betty Field) works as housekeeper to Constance Mackenzie (Lana Turner), a widow who stays with her teenage daughter Allison (Diane Varsi), a schoolfriend of Selena's. But there are things you don't even tell your friends...

It was said that one in six Americans read the novel Peyton Place when it was published in 1956 - or at least read parts of it, the bits with the sex anyway. A scandalous book at the time, it was written by flash-in-the-pan Grace Metalious, an alcoholic who discovered that America wasn't quite as forgiving as the townsfolk are by the end of the movie adaptation of her blockbuster. Which begs the question of how faithful the filmmakers could be in the censorship-heavy climate of the fifties to a book that everyone knew of because of how racy it was.

Scripted by John Michael Hayes, who had tackled a light hearted version of small town scandal with Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, the final result was surprisingly near the knuckle for its era, with its sex talk and family controversies. It's still not anything that would bat anyone's eyelids even on twentieth century television soap operas, but soap opera is what it was and it naturally went onto spawn a successful TV series in the sixties, a more tasteful version of the shocks of the book. Publicity was helped by star Turner's real life scandal when her daughter supposedly murdered her boyfriend.

And so Turner settled into a revitalised career of playing stressed out mothers of unruly teens, although in this film nice Allison seems like the reasonable one after Constance objects to her overenthusiasm about boys which culminates in a birthday party that sees the teens necking in the dark for Constance to be horrified by when she comes home from the pictures and turns on the lights. She has a secret in her past, you see, and Allison won't like it when she finds out the truth about her father. However, it's poor Selena who has the worst of it when Lucas takes an unhealthy interest in her.

The whole Selena plot might remind David Lynch fans of Twin Peaks with its incest terrors and the elemental, mysterious aspect of the surrounding forest which brings out all sorts of desires and fears. When she is raped by Lucas Selena falls pregnant and implores the long-suffering Dr Swain (Lloyd Nolan) not to tell anyone. A chase through the woods later and the furious Lucas has caused her to miscarriage, but that won't be the end of it, as there's a grand court case to finish off the melodrama with the troubled teen at the centre of it. Peyton Place is more glossy than gritty, too much like an upscale "woman's picture" for its grim subject matter, but it is compelling for the whole of its two and a half hours and it must have provided some encouragement for those viewers suffering family abuse at a time when such things tended to be swept under the carpet. Music by Franz Waxman. Watch for: Varsi adopting the pose of the book's famous author photo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4412 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mark Robson  (1913 - 1978)

Workmanlike Canadian director who occasionally rose above the mainstream. A former editor, he got his break directing some good quality Val Lewton horrors for RKO: The Seventh Victim, The Ghost Ship, Isle of the Dead and Bedlam. Excellent boxing drama Champion led to more high profile work: Home of the Brave, Phffft!, The Harder They Fall, Peyton Place, enjoyable Hitchcock-style thriller The Prize, Von Ryan's Express, campy Valley of the Dolls and Earthquake.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: