Peyton Place is a 1957 American drama film starring Lana Turner, Hope Lange, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Diane Varsi, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn, and Terry Moore. Directed by Mark Robson, it follows the 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 Grace Metalious's bestselling 1956 novel of the same name.
In the New England town of Peyton Place, Paul Cross, fed up with his alcoholic stepfather, Lucas Cross, for his stealing, leaves town. Lucas is the school custodian and his downtrodden wife, Nellie, works as housekeeper for Constance "Connie" MacKenzie, a widow who owns a clothing shop. The daughters of both families, Allison MacKenzie and Selena Cross, are best friends and about to graduate from high school. While the MacKenzies live a comfortable life, the Cross family lives in poverty. At Peyton Place High School, town newcomer Michael Rossi has been hired as the new principal by school board president Leslie Harrington; the students had favored veteran teacher Elsie Thornton. Rossi wins Ms. Thornton over by offering to work with her.