Return to Peyton Place (1961) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
29 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
Worth watching for one reason - Mary Astor
matt-964 June 1999
Compared with the original and it's brilliant cast, this sequel is a bit of a mess. Too much of Miss Lynley goes to New York and falls for very bland Jeff Chandler. Who cares. Also, the lack of a kindly Dr. (Lloyd Nolan in the first) strips the town of it's heart.

But, on the positive side, Mary Astor is terrific as the ultimate soaper opera version of the evil, possessive, rich, self appointed queen-of-the town. Some great verbal sparing with her new daughter-in-law. And even in defeat, her final, dignified speech is frighteningly prophetic 35 years later. I watch a lot of movies, and this performance took my breath away. Wow!!!!! She is to Soap Operas villains what Alan Rickman is to Action villains.
19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
No where near as good as the original
jkt121912 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This review contains spoilers from the original movie Peyton Place.

As a stand alone movie, RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE was okay. What really ticks me off about this movie is how so few of the characters in the original are in this movie. The whole point of a sequel is to find out what happens to the original characters. I want to know what happened with Allison's boyfriend Norman Page after he came home from the war. What happened to Betty Anderson after she and her father-in-law found out that Rodney Harrington had died in the war? But my biggest pet peeve is the way they handled the Selena and Ted affair. In this movie they acted as if they had never been anything more than friends. Well that's a big load of crap! And I don't remember Ted being rich in the first movie. Where did all this fabulous wealth suddenly appear from? The best part of the whole movie was Mary Astor as Mrs. Carter. You just wanted to smack her, she is such a bitch!
12 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not as sensational
willrams6 May 2003
Not as sensational as the great Metalious' novel based upon a small New England town with all it's small talk, and nasty inuendos, but it holds it's own with fine performances of Mary Astor, who really steals the show as the embittered mean old lady who spoils things for others. Cast includes Carol Lynley as Allison Mackenzie who writes her book; Jaff Chandler, as the publicist; Eleanor Parker as Connie; and Tuesday Weld as Selena Cross. I give it 6/10
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Not much of a homecoming!
gregcouture6 May 2003
On the big, wide CinemaScope screen of the Fox Village Theater in Westwood, in West Los Angeles, California, where I saw this one first-run, I settled in with some rather high expectations as the lovely theme song was beautifully sung by Rosemary Clooney, while stunning vistas of New England beauty followed one another over the opening credits.

Alas, my hopes were quickly dashed and, as other IMDb comments attest, this followup to the very successful "Peyton Place" was a severe disappointment in most respects. The handsome cast was strangely set adrift amidst some rather drab production values and only Mary Astor was given enough to do and was allowed to do it well as the town's tyrannical matriarch. Her final scene is an example of an actress still in full command of her powers convincing an unwilling cinema audience (though not her fellow townspeople on screen) that being a prude and a social snob is a desirable way to live one's life!

Jose Ferrer as a director was never much of a visual stylist so the VHS tape of this CinemaScope production, most probably not letterboxed, might satisfy the curious who want to see an example of studio product that was mired in a soon to be abandoned estimation of what audiences of that day really wanted to see.
14 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
You Can't Go Home Again...
phillindholm30 January 2007
As has already been stated, all of the actors in the original "Peyton Place" were replaced by new performers. That was the first mistake. The next was the script. Allison MacKenzie (Carol Lynley) has just completed a semi-autobiographical novel about her home town. Off she goes to New York for a meeting with her publisher Lewis Jackman (Jeff Chandler) and what looks like (at least at first) an antagonistic relationship between the two. Meanwhile, back in Peyton Place, Ted Carter (Brett Halsey) has just returned with his new(pregnant)Italian Bride, Raffaela (Luciana Paluzzi) and is greeted by his wealthy, influential mother, Roberta (Mary Astor) who is displeased, to say the least,by her son's choice of a wife, and immediately begins a campaign to destroy Ted's marriage and drive Raffaela away. Roberta even goes so far as to involve town outcast (and Ted's onetime girlfriend) Selina Cross (Tuesday Weld) in an attempt to make his wife jealous. In New York, Allison has discovered she likes her publisher and considers becoming involved with him. When the newly published book reaches Peyton Place, all Hell supposedly breaks loose. Allison's mother Constance (Eleanor Parker) who has a skeleton in her own closet, is disgusted by the book. Her high school principal husband Mike Rossi (Robert Sterling) however, promptly puts it in the school library. Whereupon Roberta Carter (naturally, the head of the school board) demands his resignation. And so it goes...

Most of the performances are problem number three. Lynley plays Allison so stiffly and unpleasantly that she quickly becomes a bore. Chandler is OK though he has little to work with. Parker overacts to a fault, which she often did in the past, and Sterling does about as well as Chandler. Weld is a bit shrill herself (especially when she begins an impromptu affair with new ski instructor Gunnar Hellstrom) but at least she's lively. The best scenes in the film are those between Astor (superb, as always), Halsey and Paluzzi (both of them are good and prove adequate sparring partners for Astor, though of course, they aren't in the same league) Had the film concentrated on the tension between these three, and a clearer exploration of it, then it would have been that much better. Instead, Director Jose Ferrer insists on switching back to the other ''Plot Threads'', none of them even as remotely interesting as this one. Especially Lynley's almost-affair with Chandler, which, like the rest of the film, goes nowhere. As for Ferrer, he appears to have left the performers to their own devices, and done little else. At least the obligatory town meeting, attended by all the principal characters, wraps up most of the loose ends neatly, which is certainly a novel ending for a soap opera., and the CinemaScope production is handsomely photographed. It really isn't necessary (or wise) to see the original "Peyton Place" before viewing this film, because "Return To Peyton Place" inevitably suffers in comparison. In all fairness, it must be mentioned that this film underwent extensive editing before it's release, excising scenes still glimpsed in the theatrical trailer. Astor's part suffered from the editing most (and her scenes are probably the only regrettable deletions), but the rest would only have made a mediocre melodrama that much longer.
18 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Return to Mary Astor
Poseidon-320 December 2001
Warning: Spoilers
This is an interesting companion piece to the original, superior film "Peyton Place". This sequel has precious little of the gloss, prestige and just downright aura of the original. Still, it holds a certain fascination on it's own terms. Things start well with the theme song as sung by the director's wife Rosemary Clooney over glimpses of some attractive rural scenery. Then there are some amusing and old-fashioned scenes which include a perfectly voice-acted busybody telephone operator. However, before too long, the plot strays outside the town of Peyton Place and it stays out far too long. The film has two halves. One focuses on Lynley's exploits in NYC as she strives to have her novel (based on the events of the original film) published. The other half focuses on the hometown dramatics that occur because of Lynley's actions. Certain aspects of Lynley and book editor Chandler's story are charming and intriguing, but their tale would be better suited to an altogether different film. Audiences want to see the small-minded and set-in-their-ways New Englanders picking at each other and suffering through each other. When that occurs, it's like a shot in the arm. Parker has far less to work with than Lana Turner got in the first film, but she acquits herself with a few strong scenes...especially when she's had enough of Lynley. Sterling (as Parker's school principal husband) presents a very likable and modern character, but he is given even more of a backseat than Parker. Weld plays Selena Cross with far more hysteria than Hope Lange did, but since most of the rest of the cast is decorative (including delicious Halsey and curvy Paluzzi) rather than effective, it's a welcome change. The REAL reason to watch and the savior of the film is Astor. She effortlessly slithers in and steals every single moment that she is on screen. That is NOT to say that she overacts. She robs the screen of every other image besides herself simply by immersing herself into the bitter, narrow-minded and manipulative character of Mrs. Carter. There is not one false note in her portrayal. Her lines are delivered with such deep-toned authority and disgust and with such a steely face that it's impossible not to respond to her. She gets to toss off some truly surprising and amusing comments in this movie. The film surely must set some record for the most deliberately drab color schemes in the clothing and art direction. Puce drapes seem to hang everywhere and olive green, grey, black and mustard dominate the fabrics of the gowns. Interestingly, there is mention in the film of Paluzzi's habit of leaving cigarettes burning (and nearly setting the bedroom carpet on fire) and the trailer for the film shows the Carter house engulfed in flames as part of what had to be a different climax than what ends up in the finished movie. Apparently, one or more of the characters of Astor, Halsey and Paluzzi were meant to be killed at the end of this film (a murder plot was also cut out), but the decision was made to end with the town hall meeting. The thought of ANY scene with Astor being cut is devastating. With so many juicy aspects removed from the story, the film has to settle for being an intriguing, but old-fashioned and rather toothless affair. Still, it's worth sitting through for Astor.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Return to Peyton Place
mhrabovsky1-121 February 2006
Holy cow! Gotta wonder why every single member of the original "Peyton Place" declined to appear in the sequel...where is Hope Lange, Dianne Varsi, David Nelson, and especially Lana Turner? Word was they all got fat heads from the success of this film and producer Jerry Wald would not offer enough money to entice most of the cast back...especially Lana Turner..word was Turner was "available" for the sequel at a very high price and Wald said "no go"..... Anyhow what kind of time frame was the sequel? The original Peyton Place was set during world war II, Ted Carter was inducted remember? Return to Peyton Place it is suddenly 1961....what? Watch closely when Allison is running down the street at the beginning of the film and you will see a 1959 chevy impala parked......twenty years later!!! Looks like Allison didn't age too much! Movie seems to be divided into two parts: Allison McKenzie and her story of Peyton Place and the selling of her book and part two, hell hath no fury like a disenchanted mother played to the hilt by Mary Astor who tries to ruin the lives of anyone who gets in her way, especially Selena Cross (Tuesday Weld) and her daughter in law, played by Luciana Paluzzi (a few years before being a Bond girl). Talk about the mother from hell....if you saw "A Summer Place" remember the mother from hell in that one with Constance Ford? Mary Astor is her equal in this film. Seems like the entire town of Peyton Place in the sequel is fixated on keeping Astor out of their hair......Eleanor Parker is the new Constance McKenzie and does not have the acting power of Lana Turner as the original McKenzie mom. She tries hard to overact ala Turner in the original but it just does not work. Tuesday Weld as Selena handles her role a bit better but just does not connect as well as Dianne Varsi....a tidbit about Weld, she was also filming "Wild in the country" with Elvis at the same time Return to Peyton Place was being filmed...story had it that she just commuted from sound stage to sound stage on a daily basis to make both films at the same time. As soon as filming for the day was done on Wild in the Country she hurried over to the Peyton Place set. Anyhow this film isn't too bad...just gotta love the execution squad of Astor and the local townspeople who threaten to fire Mike Rossi for placing Allison's book in the school library. A love twist develops between Selena (Weld) and a Swedish ski instructor (Gunnar Helstrom) who prods Selena to tell her story about being raped. Allison (Carol Lynley) falls in love with a married book publisher (Jeff chandler) as the movie bounces back and forth between the goings on in the town and Allison's love tryst with Chandler in New York. Mary Astor, as the mother from hell and the Polly Harrington of the town pretty much steals the film. By the end you will detest the sight of her. Ending leaves a little bit to be desired....a town meeting that ends with Astor being more bitter and everyone else trying to explain their personal beliefs. Allison decides not to keep her romance with Chandler at the end of the film and return to peyton place (no pun intended!). Not bad for a sequel, but the original is much better.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Not Worth the Trip
bkoganbing9 September 2006
Anyone who hasn't seen the original film Peyton Place will not be able to comprehend what's happening in Return to Peyton Place. And the journey is hardly worth it.

Aspiring writer Carol Lynley writes a steamy novel about the goings on in her prim and proper New England town of Peyton Place. When Jeff Chandler publishes it, tongues start to wag. Carol's stepfather Robert Sterling who is the high school principal puts it in the school library and the local pharisees want his head.

It's all been done before and since and better. Interesting that none of the original cast repeated any of their roles from the first film. I think they were asked, read the script and turned it down.

If Return to Peyton Place has any value it's because Mary Astor plays a deliciously evil woman, the kind of mother that Danny DeVito wanted to throw from a moving train. Astor overwhelms everyone else the cast.

I think they all knew it as well.
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
An underrated sequel that's worth a look, especially for writers
ruffrider18 March 2005
After reading a feature article about Grace Metalious (the 1950's "Pandora in blue jeans") in the Baltimore Sun a few years ago, I read "Peyton Place" twice and then watched both the original film and this sequel. I'd seen the latter in the theater when it first came out and it's funny what time and your own experiences can do to an old film like "Return." Having become a writer myself, I was fascinated by Jeff Chandler as the editor who tells Allison MacKenzie what it takes to become a real writer, not just a talented kid with an idea. Chandler's constant reference to a great editor (I suspect the man he refers to was based on a real-life editor) who MADE such talented wannabes into writers by giving their books shape and direction and Chandler's tutelage of Allison made "Return to Peyton Place" fascinating to me. Fans of the original "Peyton Place" will have to adjust to the change of cast, but this sequel has its own strong performers, like Mary Astor as a domineering mother and Carol Lynley, her beauty in full bloom and quite competent as Allison. I thought Gunnar Helstrom also stood out and this entire effort is worth a look.
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
See MARY ASTOR As The Biggest Mother Of All !!!
Kelt Smith22 October 2000
Lacking the better cast and production of the original, RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE is only a mediocre movie. In this sequel, Allison MacKenzie (CAROL LYNLEY) has written a novel about the citizens of her hometown, many of whom are less than thrilled. While Allison is in New York finalizing the publication of her work she falls for married publisher Lewis Jackman (JEFF CHANDLER). Back home,Allison's stepfather school principal Mike Rossi (ROBERT STERLING) is being threatened with removal from his post by schoolboard trustee Roberta Carter (MARY ASTOR) if he dares to stock Allison's book in the high school library. Roberta is also busy trying to destroy her son Ted's (BRETT HALSEY) marriage to his new bride Raffaella (A pre THUNDERBALL LUCIANNA PALUZZI). An additional concern for Roberta is keeping the town incest rape victim Selena (TUESDAY WELD), who is also the centerpiece of Allison's novel, away from son Ted. The characters of Allison and her mother Constance (ELEANOR PARKER) were the mainstays in the original. Here they become almost secondary when you watch MARY ASTOR wipe the floor with everyone in this film. Nobody can stare you down like ASTOR ! Nor can anyone in this movie match her subtle gestures or command. Telling his mother that his bride is a nice girl after she has insinuated differently, ASTOR adds, "Maybe it's the way she dresses." LYNLEY is over dramatic after her first 20 minutes. CHANDLER comes across as a dullard. WELD holds her own fairly well, except for an over the top semi flashback scene with new ski instructor boyfriend Nils (GUNNAR HELSTROM), where she proceeds to get hysterical and belt him with a fireplace poker. Veteran PARKER doesn't have much to work with here, but does admirably. PALUZZI is beautiful, but no match for sparring partner ASTOR. Sometimes you're better off not seeing what became of your favorite characters.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A necessary return?
dbdumonteil4 March 2011
The sequel to the fifties blockbuster ,it's much more modest in scope and in ambition and its ending is so predictable it does not equal the first episode.Constance McKenzie (Lana Turner is replaced by Eleanor Parker) is no longer the central character but one must say there is no more central character.There are about three plots which could be depicted as "the book Alison wrote" "Ted and his over possessive mom" and "Will Selena be an outcast for all her life?" .All these plots meet in the end as Alison's stepfather stands in great danger of being discharged ,cause he put his stepdaughter's more or less autobiographical "work" in his high school library.Lucianna Paluzzi ,who plays the unfortunate daughter-in-law ,is a future James Bond Girl ( one of the best villains ,Fiona Volpe, in "Thunderball")

"Peyton Place" fans might be interested but the others had better choose the 1957 original work .
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Sequel misfire
scruffy589 November 2005
This sequel to the sturdy and beautifully made "Peyton Place" is not very good. The chief problem is the curious time warp. It appears to take place in 1961, the year the film was made, but the original took place during the Second World War. There is roughly a 15 year time gap, but no one has appeared to age much. Whats going here? The usually reliable Carol Lynley is rather miscast as Allison MacKenzie in an awkward transition role from her previous strong performances in films like "The Light In the Forest", "Blue Denim" and "Holiday For Lovers". Here she plays her first truly adult role, but comes off looking rather frumpy with that awful hairstyle hiding her stunning good looks. Tuesday Weld as Selena Cross suffers much the same fate. Everything appears drab and lethargic. Franz Waxman's score and Mary Astor's mother-in-law from Hell are the prime reasons to watch this disappointment.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The whole movie leaves me scratching my head in amazement..
beatleslunchbox6531 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In 2006 I finally read "Peyton Place" and "Return to Peyton Place". I was born in 1957. I'd seen Peyton Place on TV many times and have the video. I love the movie BECAUSE it was sanitized. I was shocked, yes, in this day and age I was shocked by the subject matter. Hated the book, love the movie.

However, not only do I hate the sequel as written but I also hate the movie version as well. My problem with the movie is not only are the wonderful characters of Mr. Harrington, Doc Swain, Elsie Thornton and Seth Buswell missing but the entire cast has been changed. Not one original person is in the sequel. But the characters seem to have been written by someone who has never even read Peyton Place. Ted Carter and his mother seem more like Norman Page and his mother. Wasn't Ted Carter wondering how to pay for law school? Now his mother has a mansion and says she will buy her son a law partnership with Charlie Partridge.

Selena Cross declares that "when she was 13, Luke threw me down, tore off my clothes and raped me!". She was 17 and about to graduate! Then there's the ridiculous line that her stepfathers' name was Luke not Lucas. Isn't Luke short for Lucas and does that really matter?

There is no chemistry between any of the characters. The dialogue is silly, I don't really care about the characters and there is no "atmosphere" as in Peyton Place. The only notable dialogue is during the town meeting. I watch the movie because it's so bad. If it didn't have the words Peyton Place in the title it might stand on its own.

I get chills when I hear Mary Astor's speech at the end about living to regret the decisions made in the town meeting for Peyton Place if they disregard the standards they have lived by all these years and which have made Peyton Place a decent and respectable place to live.

She was right. What a shame no one listened to her.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Worth watching (once) for these reasons.....
denis-1116 December 1998
1. You get to see Robert Crane of Hogan's Heroes in an "Ed McMahon" type role to somebody else doing a "Johnny Carson". Actually he's acting more like Jack Paar.

2. The first 45 minutes of the movie take place on what seems to be two days before thanksgiving. Then on thanksgiving morning, they show a scene of New York at dawn - and the streets are totally deserted!!!!

3. You get to see this 1960 era turkey as a prop and boy, were turkeys skinny back before corporate farming took over.

4. Everything was so wholesome back then. Except when a woman (the Italian actress) has an unwanted pregnancy. Then she tries to lose it by having a skiing accident because abortions were illegal back then, silly.

5. I've been to Camden, Maine, several times, and the locals told me that they shot none of this movie up there (they filmed the original peyton place there in 1956).

6. Peyton Place was set in 1941-43; this movie never sets a year but if you figure by the fact that the young lawyer just got through law school and that takes 7 years from the start of college, and he was in the war until 1945, that would make this about 1952 I guess. Or maybe its supposed to be current with the release date and be 1961; they never explain this.

7. There is nothing said about several of the characters of the earlier movie that had prominent roles (such as the town doctor and Allison's boyfriend). Why are two such good looking girls still unmarried during that era anyway? Obvious plot loopholes.

8. This movie has an old fashioned look and feel to it even for 1960-61 standards. Within 3-4 years clothing, hairstyles, speech, and mannerisms were significantly different. It's like a time capsule movie of a small town America just before all the crappy changes that took place in the 1960s.

9. It has a really good ending. I found myself actually siding with the old biddy who is singlehandedly trying to enforce the old Puritan moral code of her era against the will of apparently the entire rest of the town, who want to change with the times and let everybody do their own thing. She walks out of the town hall meeting in silence and totally defeated; terrific symbolism, and almost supernaturally prophetic in what actually happened across the country over the rest of the decade.

10. Last but not least, the man who plays the character "Dexter" (he has about 1 line; he is a school board member who is a weak character and the old biddy uses him as a supporter)...this guy was on a lot of the old three stooges shorts. He always played a bad guy, and I've never seen him on any other serious movie.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Sequel-itis Sets In
Harold_Robbins20 May 2008
I was pleasantly surprised that RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE wasn't as bad as I'd remembered it to be - it's a well-mounted film, again produced by Jerry Wald (who produced, among other classics, MILDRED PIERCE), but neither as glossy-slick nor as compelling as its predecessor. It suffers from the same fate most sequels do, no matter how well-done or well-intended: the magic that sparked the original is simply gone and cannot be recaptured.

RETURN, of course, is a thinly-veiled account of some of what happened to author Grace Metalious after PEYTON PLACE became the publishing phenomenon of the 1950s (no indeed, the townsfolk were not too fond of their "Pandora in Blue Jeans," as she was called, and, if memory serves, did indeed fire her schoolteacher husband). But it's kind of inconceivable that Metalious's novel would have been published at all if she'd been the snotty bitch portrayed by Carol Lynley - no publisher would have put up with such an attitude from an unknown, first-time novelist.

CLEOPATRA's budget was straining the coffers at Fox, so the cast is not as big as PEYTON PLACE, nor, with three exceptions, as notable. Three Hollywood veterans - Eleanor Parker, Mary Astor, and Jeff Chandler, show the young folks how it's done, and Astor, selfish and manipulative as were two other characters she played (Brigid O'Shaughnessy in THE MALTESE FALCON, and Sandra Kovack in THE GREAT LIE, for which she won an Oscar) simply walks off with the film. We don't like Roberta Carter, or the censorship she tries to impose, but we understand her resistance to change, to losing the values and things she holds dear (including her son). And, unfortunately, Astor/Carter's advisory to the people of Peyton Place that they will live to regret their willingness to encourage such changes in morals as Allison's book seems to exemplify, was a sad prediction of the painful price we would pay in the 1980s for the sexual freedom of the 1960s.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Who has the right to tell us what to read and what kind of stories to write?
mark.waltz10 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It certainly isn't the old fuddy duddys of Peyton Place, the Vermont town where scandal is still rocking them years after a young girl killed the stepfather who raped her. Like Miss Gulch of "The Wizard of Oz", society seems to be run by the domineering Mrs. Carter (Mary Astor), a vindictive widow who not only despises her son Ted's (Brett Halsey) new wife (Luciana Paluzzi) but uses Selena Cross (Tuesday Weld), the subject of that scandal to try and drive a quick wedge between them all the while going out of her way to prevent a reunion between the girl from the wrong side of the tracks and her spoiled son. Sitting back and watching is Constance McKenzie Rossi (Eleanor Parker) whose daughter Allison (Carol Lynley) has gone off to New York to prepare to have her book published. Influenced by the publisher (Jeff Chandler) to re-write and add more truth to the fictionalized tale of what happened years ago, Allison creates a new scandal and eventually her step-father, principal Mike Rossi (Robert Sterling) is fired for adding the book to the school library and balking at the board's demands that it be removed.

The veteran Mary Astor dominates the film with her strong performance as the nasty Roberta, a woman so hard that she has no qualms about destroying her own son rather than see him happy with a woman other than herself. This is an ironic role for Astor who in real life had her own share of scandals which she wrote about in a scandalous diary. The role of Constance has been turned into a supporting one for the veteran Parker (who has recently passed away as of this writing) and is not nearly as flashy as what Lana Turner played in the original. She has one scene with Lynley that is practically identical to one between Joan Crawford and Ann Blyth in "Mildred Pierce". Director Jose Ferrer may not physically appear but his voice is very apparent as one of the minor characters.

A beautiful song by Rosemary Clooney brings out the lushness of the landscape (set between Thanksgiving and Christmas) and appropriately sets up the melodrama. There's one truly strange scene which is never resolved between Selena and the ski instructor (Gunnar Hellström) where Selena all of a sudden flashes back to the rape and reacts as strongly as if she had been taken back in time. The movie is far from perfect, and while equally as much of a guilty pleasure as the original, it is missing the strong story detail of the original. A fascinating visual of Allison arriving in New York by train is followed by a detailed view of a New York publishing house that leads to many telling facts of that industry that may seem laughable now that there are too few publishing houses for every ambitious writer, and far too few actual books being released.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Wonderful movie, especially for the Trump era
ClassicFilmFan201813 October 2018
I made an account just so I could write this review since I disagree strongly with most of what's been written here about this movie. First of all, if your main criteria for a sequel is that it MUST contain all the leads and supporting cast from the original, well, you can move on since this movie doesn't have them. On the other hand,if you value great acting, Sirk-like cinematography, and a substantive story that both perfectly captures an era and still resonates today, then Return to Peyton Place is for you.

There's not a single wooden performance to be had, from Eleanor Parker to the great Mary Astor to Carol Lynley (who is stunning and excellent as the headstrong but "polite" Allison MacKenzie) to Jeff Chandler to Tuesday Weld. All of them are as believable as the original cast in capturing how family crises and changes in sexual mores played out within a community in the late 1950s. And in this sequel you have the big city/progress--small town/tradition dichotomy and the dilemmas of the writer's life added on as well. There's a lot there. Anyone who says this film lacks substance must really have tuned out....

Return to Peyton Place also superbly captures how the town hall meeting, which embodies the idea of grassroots democracy, is both a very positive, stirring thing but also how it's in constant danger of being manipulated by a mob mentality and those with demagogic intentions. This is presented not in a heavy handed "political" way but simply as part of the regular life of one community. Powerful indeed and very relevant to today.

One scene that really sticks in my mind is when Carol Lynley's Allison meets Jackman's wife and they don't say very much to each other.... They just give each other these intense, wary, sizing-her-up looks.... Wow. The scene is masterfully shot. And as others have noted on here, Mary Astor is great as Roberta Carter. Many will be able to relate to the Wife/Mother-in-Law tension that she and Luciana Paluzzi do a great job in portraying.

No movie is without its weaknesses, but if you're a fan of Classic Hollywood, the late 1950s/early 1960s, or simply good movies that leave you satisfied and with something to think about, then ignore the negative reviews on here, get comfortable, and enjoy Return to Peyton Place!
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A very underrated sequel - seeming simply because of a new cast..........
tonaluv25 March 2018
If the only reason (or the no.1 reason) you give a wonderful film sequel a bad review, is because none of the original cast returned - aren't you totally missing the point?

This is a great film with with a great cast and a good message against bigotry, racism, censorship, hypocrisy and small town insular small mindedness.

I enjoyed it immensely and recommend you watch it!
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A pale, lifeless version of the original...a sequel that never should have happened...
Doylenf18 August 2006
The only spark of life left in RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE is MARY ASTOR as Roberta Carter, ironically, a character who had no screen time in the original film five years previously. Her sassy, confrontational arguments with the denizens of Peyton Place provide the only juicy and convincing moments in the whole film.

In every other respect, this is about as poor a sequel as could be expected from the original PEYTON PLACE which had several Oscar nominations to its credit, including Best Picture.

Why Jerry Wald gave the green light to this production is something that has always baffled me. The script is a complete mess and the casting is only adequate without a shred of inspiration as to any of the players. Even such wonderful people as ELEANOR PARKER and ROBERT STERLING have to cope with the weakest sort of material, while CAROL LYNLEY and TUESDAY WELD fail to make any deep impression in their mainline roles.

The only holdover from the original seems to be Franz Waxman's lovely score with his main theme giving the audience hope that something approaching the original is about to happen. No such luck.

Sequels get their bad names from films like this. The extensive fire sequence was filmed, then scrapped, but turns up only in the DVD trailers for the film. The story ends now with Astor getting her comeuppance from the townspeople who turn a cold shoulder to her after she's exposed as the harridan she is. Too bad Astor's performance is wasted in a bad film.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
The First Amendment
wes-connors29 July 2009
The film starts with one of the most unnecessary additions of lyrics to music; Franz Waxman's beautiful "Peyton Place" theme is awkwardly enhanced with lines from author Grace Metalious' novel, as sung by Rosemary Clooney. An early 1950s recording superstar, Ms. Clooney was also actor José Ferrer's wife. "Return to Peyton Place" was one of Mr. Ferrer's few directing credits. Like the song, everything falls awkwardly into place. None of the original cast returns to "Peyton Place". Two engaging characters, "Norman" and "Betty" are forgotten. The original film's sweet romantic relationship between "Selena" and "Ted" is unforgivably altered. And so on…

The main storyline has New York writer and runway prone Carol Lynley (as Allison MacKenzie) publishing her first novel, the oddly titled "Samuel's Castle", which causes a "Peyton Place"-type sensation. Back home, the townspeople are appalled at the novel's thinly veiled airing of their dirty linen. Like mother Eleanor Parker (as Constance MacKenzie Rossi) before her, Ms. Lynley has an affair with a married man, publisher Jeff Chandler (as Lewis Jackman). Lynley friend Tuesday Weld (as Selena Cross) handles the novel badly, and is romanced by ski instructor Gunnar Hellström (as Nils Larsen). Lawyer friend Brett Halsey (as Ted Carter) has married busty Italian Luciana Paluzzi (as Raffaella).

Many of the performers in the original "Peyton Place" received acclaim for their characterizations. Only one in "Return to Peyton Place" matched the caliber of the original - Mary Astor (as Roberta Carter) received a "Supporting Actress" mention from "The Film Daily" - she is excellent as the uptight resident trying to break up son Halsey's marriage, ban Lynley's book, and get principal Robert Sterling (as Michael Rossi) fired. This film was a moderate success, but was a setback for the "Peyton Place" franchise. The next project, a ground-breaking ABC-TV television serial, brought "Peyton Place" to full glory, and imaginatively developed and expanded upon Ms. Metalious' original characters.

***** Return to Peyton Place (5/5/61) José Ferrer ~ Carol Lynley, Eleanor Parker, Mary Astor
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Half Misfire And Half Triumph
Noirdame7921 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The much anticipated sequel to the 1957 box office sensation, somewhat rests in the middle of being a success and a failure. Most lamentably, none of the cast members of the original film reprises their roles, for whatever varying reasons, nor does the original director, Mark Robson. Miscasting and changes from the novel may account for some of the movie's awkwardness, but the quality of the performances and the last scene involving the town meeting which again, exposes the truth and the bigoted views of the townspeople, elevates it above other film sequels that suffered similar blows of comparison. Conversely, the fact that entirely different locations and sets are used, also gives the movie a sense of unfamiliarity - Mamouth, California for the ski lodge scenes, Fox's Malibu Ranch and backlots for the remainder of interiors and exteriors - the rest of the footage comes from the 1959 film "The Best Of Everything" (New York) and the first movie.

Allison MacKenzie (Carol Lynley) publishes an autobiographical novel, Samuel's Castle, based on her hometown of Peyton Place and the people she knows. She becomes romantically involved with Lewis Jackman (Jeff Chandler), her married publisher. He encourages her to be as truthful as possible and never to be frightened of it. But that's not the only repercussion that her book incites - the locals are offended by the truths that Allison's tome reveals. Her mother Constance (Eleanor Parker) is both angry and fearful of both her daughter's expose and of history repeating itself, while her husband Mike Rossi (Robert Sterling) refuses to remove the book from the school library and as a result, his job as principal is put in jeopardy. It also touches Allison's friend Selena Cross (Tuesday Weld), as she begins a relationship with a ski instructor, Nils Larson (Gunnar Hellstrom), when reading aloud passages of the novel cause Selena to flashback to the night she killed her stepfather in self-defense. And Ted Carter's (Brett Halsey) marriage to the fiery Raffaela (Luciana Paluzzi) is on the rocks thanks to his meddlesome, evil mother Roberta (Mary Astor), whose bigoted view of her daughter-in-law and determination to keep her son in her clutches has tragic consequences. Conflict ensues as Allison achieves literary fame and Connie's need to control her daughter surfaces yet again, climaxing in a showdown during a town forum in which the truth is again told, much to the dismay of Roberta, who is also on a mission to keep up the facade of moralistic hypocrisy.

Astor excels as the villainous matriarch, while Parker does a great job of taking on a role made famous by Lana Turner. Chandler is sufficient support but on occasion seems lost in the shuffle, while Lynley does a commendable turn as Allison, but she cannot eclipse the fine characterization of Diane Varsi. Halsey and Paluzzi were married at the time, which may or may not have factored into the casting, since Ted's wife in the novel was a woman from Boston named Jennifer rather than being an Italian model. Hellstrom, playing a role that was originally that of a summer stock actor, is a bit out of place (although quite humorous), and his jealousy of any man in Selena's life is alarming and distracting, while Sterling is respectable as Mike, who supports Allison and stands his ground. But by far the standout performance is that of Weld, who exceeds in touching the tormented past of Selena, never more so than in the scene where the past plays out in front of her, causing her to attack her boyfriend, and later resurfacing during the meeting, confronting the locals regarding their unfair treatment of her and Allison revelations of the hidden side of Peyton Place. While Selena has a significantly smaller role than in the original (it's interesting that both Weld and Hope Lange, who originated the character of Selena, would costar the same year in the Elvis Presley vehicle "Wild In The Country"), and does not compare to Lange's portrayal, it still makes the film watchable. The lovely score of Peyton Place has had lyrics added and wonderfully sung by Rosemary Clooney, who was then married to the film's director, Jose Ferrer. Some characters were eliminated, and it's a shame since it would have been great to see what became of Norman Page, Betty Anderson, the Harringtons, Doc Swain and Mrs. Thornton. There are also several inconsistencies that do not make sense or match with the film's predecessor. Selena and Ted were just friends? They wanted to get married, and since when is Ted wealthy? What happened to him having to save for law school? Selena was raped by her stepfather at 13? No, she was graduating from high school that same year, and since when was Lucas Cross called Luke? The story is also not entirely true to the period (post WWII). Sylvia Stoddard's commentary is enjoyable and informative, especially considering that she attended the Hollywood Professional School with Weld. Watch for Bob Crane's unbilled appearance. A moderate success at the box office, Return To Peyton Place can never surpass the glory of the original, but it is intriguingly flawed, and an interesting follow-up.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Dreadful sequel to "Peyton Place"
preppy-330 September 2011
Alison (Carol Lynley) from the first movie has her book being picked up to be published. She goes to NY to talk to publisher Lewis Jackman (Jeff Chandler). Even though he's older she falls in love much to the alarm of her mother Connie (Eleanor Parker). Roberta Carter (Mary Astor) is thrilled when her son (Brett Halsey) comes home from college...but is upset that he has a wife (Luciana Paluzzi). Selena Cross (Tuesday Weld) meets "cute" with Swedish ski instructor Nils (Gunnar Hellstrom) but her past comes back to haunt her.

Just dreadful sequel. The book was bad too but this movie is even worse! It makes bewildering changes, some characters are left out completely and it ends with plenty of loose ends dangling. It starts out great with Rosemary Clooney singing but quickly falls apart. Bad acting doesn't help. Lynley (who was a wonderful actress) gives a lousy performance as Alison (although the terrible script doesn't help). Chandler is (to be nice) totally bland as her love interest. The scenes between them working on her book are boring and drag. Halsey is handsome and Paluzzi is beautiful but both give bad performances. Hellstrom is good but disappears and reappears with alarming infrequency. Also the story has a strange jokey attitude that's totally at odds with the material. Badly directed by Jose Ferrer too.

So why am I giving it two stars? There are three reasons--Eleanor Parker (a VERY underrated actress) is great as Connie; Tuesday Weld (another underrated actress) is affecting as Selena; Astor is just incredible as Roberta. She single handedly brings this movie to life. There are a handful of OK sequences and there is a great town meeting at the end. But, all in all, this is badly cast, deadly dull and not worth seeing at all.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Dumbfounding sequel
moonspinner5519 March 2006
Unnecessary follow-up to 1957's "Peyton Place", featuring none of that film's on-screen talent, concerns a young literary woman from small, gossipy New England town who publishes a roman a clef about her friends and neighbors, causing a scandal. One can only watch and wonder what original "Peyton Place" authoress Grace Metalious thought of this fatuous extension of her characters (hopefully she was paid off). Producer Jerry Wald (who helmed both pictures) comes up with nothing but recycled clichés, and his large, new cast (including Carol Lynley, Jeff Chandler, Tuesday Weld and Eleanor Parker) get lost among the suds. *1/2 from ****
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A really good film
jromanbaker27 September 2019
This sequel to ' Peyton Place ' is in my opinion as good as the first film and the fluidity of the camera work and direction is as good as Douglas Sirk. and of Jean Negulesco. Carol Lynley who died recently gave one of her best performances, and given material like this she was an outstanding actress. Perhaps the film is too quiet and in some ways less sensational than ' Peyton Place ' but in Mary Astor's extraordinary performance we get a portrait of profound conservatism that is both troubling and relevant to today. She wants to censor and suppress and wants to control a whole town's behaviour. This was an Oscar winning performance for a great actress but it seems no one was really looking. Eleanor Parker in Lana Turner's role is equal to her, and other members of the cast are I think better than the original. Tuesday Weld is excellent and the whole film needs a better reception now than it had back in the 1960's as it has a lot to say and I repeat, the cast is superb and Jose Ferrer deserves credit for a fine achievement,
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A cheap movie tries to cash in on a big-time success!
JohnHowardReid19 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Copyright 4 May 1961 by Jerry Wald Productions and Associated Producers, Inc. Released through 20th Century-Fox. New York opening simultaneously at the Paramount and the Normandie: 5 May 1961. U.S. release: 5 May 1961. U.K. release: 25 June 1961. 122 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: The news that Allison MacKenzie (Carol Lynley) has received a telephone call from New York accepting her first novel, spreads rapidly through the small town of Peyton Place. Those not on "the grapevine" are soon informed by a bubbling Allison who joyously shouts her success to the rooftops as she rushes to her mother's dress shop.

NOTES: Jeff Chandler's second-last film. He died on 17 June 1961. This film was released posthumously in the U.K. and Australia.

VIEWER'S GUIDE: Adults.

COMMENT: One of the few films of the CinemaScope era that I didn't see on its original release — and frankly that I didn't want to see. José Ferrer is not one of my favorite directors. Even "The Great Man" (1956), though well acted from a forceful script, is drearily directed in a stolidly unimaginative television style. "Return to Peyton Place" continued this tradition.

As for the players, they don't interest me overmuch. True, Mary Astor contributes a convincing performance, but Carol Lynley, Jeff Chandler and the rest hardly inspire confidence.

The lead character writing a book is such a hoary old catalyst for a plot, I'm amazed the script even got so far as a producer's desk. And Ronald Alexander, the author of "Holiday for Lovers", is a name that hardly inspires confidence.

I'm afraid "Return to Peyton Place" rates as an exploitation film pure and simple, shot on the comparative cheap on a Hollywood sound stage. I understand that not a single one of the players from the original "Peyton Place" is represented here. What we have is a comparatively second-rate cast enacting a third-rate script on a fourth-rate budget.

You'd think this mediocre movie would have put paid to the commercial viability of "Peyton Place" — but you'd be forgetting TV and its insatiable appetite!
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed