Coming-of-age story set in a small New England town whose peaceful facade hides love and passion, scandal and hypocrisy. [imdb]
Nominated for 9 Oscars:
Best Director: Mark Robson
Best Actress: Lana Turner
Best Supporting Actor: Arthur Kennedy
Best Supporting Actor: Russ Tamblyn
Best Supporting Actress: Hope Lange
Best Supporting Actress: Diane Varsi
Best Adapted Screenplay
This is one of the few films that have received 5 Oscar nomination for acting. Don't be fooled by the poster on the right; Peyton Place is an ensemble piece, with lots of stories going on and Lana Turner is the lead just by title and not by screentime. It's a very soapish film, focused on the characters' actions and not so much on deep stuff. Yeah, it's mostly superficial, but pleasant to watch.
I don't think the Oscar nominations for Picture and Director are worthy. From the acting ones, I would say only 2 or 3 were correctly chosen, with Hope Lange (as a rape victim) and Arthur Kennedy (as the rapist stepfather) being the highlights and also offering the best storyline; Lange deserved to win the Oscar. Lana Turner is ok playing a frigid woman (yes, the poster is deceiving, I've told you), but it's a very one-note performance so it didn't wow me. Her love interest, played by whatever-his-name-is, is the most annoying thing about this film; his voice drives me mad and brings down the credibility of the romance.
My rating for the film: 6.5/10. But it can also work as a 7; it depends on the mood while watching. But don't expect greatness, just over 2 and a half hours of soap opera.