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Daniel G. Madigan
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Peyton Place was filmed in beautiful Camden, Maine and I remember the time when it was filmed there..I was a kid growing up in Portland , Maine. It is a great piece of melodrama, and the music of course makes it such. The score alone merits attention, and you can get it on CDs and Lp if you search. Well worth it.
The film has many pluses: Lana Turner is in a new kind of role here, not so camp, but fun to witness her distress and those hands of hers moving in all directions. Also, check out her Maine accent. Where can she be from???
Diane Varsi is wonderful as Allison, and Hope Lange never better..this is one out of three or four good Hope Lange performances. All of Varsi should be seen, including Johnny Got His Gun and even Bloody Mama.When Varsi made Peyton Place she was 23 and had been married three times and had some children. Her Reveries on marriage and chastity have strange resonaces to them!
Betty Field is in this, and she oozes madness; her husband is Arthur Kennedy, who has rape written all over that face and body. And then there is David Nelson from the dreadful Ozzie and Harriet series of the 50's, acting his way out of a film career of any kind, very funny, and Barry Coe(whatever happened to him?) and the great Terry Moore, who gices a superb performance, and who has the best Maine accent ever heard in any film about Maine.
You get vetrans Leon Ames(Doris Day musicals) and the evr great and eerie Mildred Dunnock, with those cryptic lines to the class she teaches and to the alcoholic janitor, not to be forgotten. And LLoyd Nolan as Doc Swain, pontificating and gossiping about affairs and abortions.His laugh and sneer are classic here.
Then there is Lee Philips, who is the image of a small town principal; tweedy and sententious and civic-minded. Lana must be wooed by him and it is very funny to see. Lee never went anywhere at Fox or at any other studio, but he's servicable and could have done more, I think, with direction. Here, he is scary he's so authentic. Lana's interest in him is hard to belive, beciuse she always liked mobsters and he-men in real life.Good for her!
The score and the color and the CinemaScope are better served on the large screen, and DVD will help this film a great deal. Wait for its manifestation on DVD and relive the passions and power of Peyton Place.
Do not forget Return To Peyton Place: this is the bad sequel, but the real good part of this film are the performances of Mary Astor and Eleanor Parker, especially Mary Astor who steals the film and shows everyone how to act on screen. Carol Lynley's career at Fox eneded with this film. She plays Allison, and she is beyond comment, but, hilarious in every way, and she means to be serious. Jose Ferrer directs so badly I expect always to see him lynched at the end of the film, but, again, there are bonuses: you get Rosemary Clooney(then Jose's wife) signing the Peyton Place theme with lovely lyrics, and she is in splendid voice.
These two films are rare things, and they come out of the 50's and early 60's when naivete and experience were just touching bases with each other. These films are still trying to bypass James Dean, Brando, and Newman's talents and insights..a last gasp of Romanticism with those glittering musical themes sweeping across landscapes meant for lovers.
Get the DVD when they come out..Where are they???