Peyton Place (1957)

Mark Robson directs Lana Turner, Hope Lang and Diane Varsi in this blockbuster adaptation of Grace Metalious’ scandalous bestseller about the secrets and gossip of a wartime American small town.

Natalie has just finished reading this doorstop sex and shock potboiler from the 1950s. The film version is smoothed off, censoring or only carefully alluding to a lot of the more transgressive elements. It still make for solid afternoon of soap and sadness. Even in this neutered version you can tell just how risky the material (Bastards! Incest Rapes! Abortions! Heavy Petting!) was on release. Our CinemaScope, Technicolor DVD even now has a 15 certification, unheard of for a Hollywood film that is 60 years old. Well acted by Turner (who was riding her own wave notoriety while the film was in cinemas), Varsi, Lee Philips and Russ Tamblyn. There’s a lot of plot condescended here and they prove excellent landmarks for us to find our way around all the glossy pathos. Everyone looks straight-edge immaculate too.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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