Pack a picnic lunch. We're headed for the seemingly-sleepy town of Peyton Place tonight on Movies! No need to bring a bathing suit; we'll just skinny dip and cause quite the shocker in the town filled with hypocrites and harlots.
Based on the smash hit novel by Grace Metalious, Peyton Place is the story of a conservative, small town in New England, where the unbridled passions of a group of youngsters, coupled with the sinister desires of one drunken adult, changed social mores forever.
Directed by Mark Robson (who later did Valley of the Dolls), with a script from John Michael Hayes (To Catch a Thief), the film version of Peyton Place starred Lana Turner as icy shopkeep Constance MacKenzie and Diane Varsi as her coming of age daughter Alison. Lee Phillips appeared as the town high school's new principal—and willing suitor for Constance—Michael Rossi; while Hope Lange stole the film as the tragic Selena Cross.
The film version of Peyton Place was so popular when it made its debut in 1957, it led to numerous spinoffs. The big screen sequel, Return to Peyton Place (based on Metalious' book sequel), came in 1961. From 1964-69, ABC aired a primetime soap version of Peyton Place, with radio and daytime soap opera pioneer Irna Phillips being brought on to initially shape the project.
The 70's saw a short-lived version of Return to Peyton Place hit daytime and there were countless TV movies well into the early 80's, proving just how enduring this turgid tale of small town secrets is. Check out the original film version of Peyton Place tonight at 8 pm EST on Movies! Find out where to watch by clicking here.