Peyton Place | Chicago Reader

Peyton Place

Critics turned up their noses at this tear-jerking 'Scope blockbuster of 1957, based on Grace Metalious's lurid best-selling novel. But people came out in droves for it, and it's not at all hard to see why—it's corn in the grand style, much of it delivered with sweep and conviction, and the intrigues come thick and fast. At the center is Diane Varsi as a girl coming of age in a picturesque New England town; sizzling around the edges are Lana Turner, Hope Lange, Arthur Kennedy, Lloyd Nolan, Lee Philips, Terry Moore, Russ Tamblyn, Betty Field, Mildred Dunnock, David Nelson, Barry Coe, Leon Ames, and Lorne Greene. Onetime Hitchcock employee John Michael Hayes wrote the script, Mark Robson directed, and Franz Waxman composed the effective if syrupy score.

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