Peyton Place is a 1957 American drama film directed by Mark Robson, and starring Lana Turner, Hope Lange, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Diane Varsi, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn, and Terry Moore. It follows numerous residents of a small fictional New England mill town in the years surrounding World War II, where scandal, homicide, suicide, incest, and moral hypocrisy belie its tranquil façade. It is based on the bestselling 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious.
In the New England town of Peyton Place, drunkard Lucas Cross stumbles out of his house, just as his stepson Paul, fed up with his alcoholism, leaves town. Lucas's downtrodden wife, Nellie, works as housekeeper for Constance "Connie" MacKenzie, the owner of a local clothing shop. The daughters of both families, Allison MacKenzie and Selena Cross, are best friends and will soon graduate high school. While the MacKenzies live a privileged life, the Cross family is indigent. At Peyton Place High School, a newcomer, Michael Rossi, is hired to be the new principal by school board president Leslie Harrington; the students' choice for the position is long-time teacher Elsie Thornton. Rossi wins over Ms. Thornton by offering to work with her.