Thursday, November 8, 2012



'Peyton Place'

Grace Metalious

Mia Farrow


Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
In the first episode, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson) arrives from New York City to set up practice in town. Newspaper editor Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson) tells him people usually try to get away from towns like Peyton Place, not move to them.

Matthew's third cousin Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow), a close friend of classmate Norman Harrington (Christopher Connelly), has begun to fall in love with his older brother Rodney (Ryan O'Neal); she is smitten as soon as they share their first kiss. At the end of the episode, Allison's mother, Constance (Dorothy Malone) makes it clear she disapproves of her daughter's
 newfound relationship with Rodney.

[Allison was ] the quiet and smart daughter of Constance. She likes to spend her time reading books and usually befriends older people. She also becomes romantically involved with Rodney several times.

In the original novel, Allison was the illegitimate daughter of Constance MacKenzie, the owner of a clothing store in Peyton Place, a small community in New Hampshire, and an imported fabric store owner also named Allison MacKenzie (in the movie, her father was named Angus, and in the television series, he was a New York City businessman named James).

Three years after she was born, her father died. Constance and her mother, Elizabeth Standish, deliberately changed the year of birth on her birth certificate to make Allison seem a year younger than she really was. This led to quite a lot of friction between mother and daughter. Allison was sensitive and dreaming, unlike her practical and often distant mother. The friction between the two would escalate as Allison grew up.

In the television series, Allison is the daughter of Constance. Her father is believed to be an unknown man in a photo. Her real father ended up to be Elliot Carson, a wrongly convicted man. Constance doesn't want her daughter to know who her real father is. Allison reads a lot and doesn't have a lot of friends of her own age. She is good friends with Matthew Swain, an older man who works at the newspaper and she prefers to call uncle Matt.

She falls in love with the popular Rodney Harrington. They date for a short period, before Rodney knocks up Betty Anderson and marries her. He later admits he planned to runaway town with her if Betty hadn't gotten pregnant. After Rodney and Betty are divorced, he and Allison begin dating again, but Rodney's arrest for murder and Allison's coma (see below) tend to get in the way.

When Elliot is released from jail he returns to Peyton Place. Constance is afraid the truth will come up and tries to keep her away from him. However, she and Elliot become good friends after they find out they share the same interests. In this period, Allison also became good friends with her teacher Paul Hanley, the man who testified against Elliot in court.

She ends up finding out who Elliot really is and her good relationship with her mother was strained from that point forward. Even when Constance and Elliot get married, she does not approve. Meanwhile, she becomes the babysitter of Kim Schuster, a deaf 6-year old. Kim's father David Schuster constantly flirts with her.

Her bond with Kim ended abruptly when Marion Fowler involves her in a car accident. Allison is sent into a coma for several weeks. When she came out of it, she suffered from amnesia and couldn't remembered the entire past year. Therefore she didn't recognize Elliot as her father. The emotional package eventually became too much for her and she suffered a nervous breakdown. She ended up cutting her hair.

As noted above, in this period, she again had a relationship with Rodney. However, he couldn't handle her anymore and broke it off. She later became close to the blind Chris Webber. Chris was believed to be blinded by Ann Howard, but he confessed it was actually his brother Lee Webber who was responsible. Allison was nearly capable of handling all the emotional baggage until Ann died, when she decided to leave town.

Two television movies followed. The first; "Murder in Peyton Place" was broadcast on NBC in the fall of 1977. Billed as a reunion movie it focused on the mysterious deaths of Rodney Harrington and Allison MacKenzie, as well as a diabolical plot of a powerful person to ruin the community. It reunited original cast members Dorothy Malone, Ed Nelson, Tim O'Connor, Joyce Jillson, and Christopher Connelly.

The second; "Peyton Place: The Next Generation" which aired in the spring of 1985 on NBC, was conceived as a one-shot sequel, that would hopefully revive the popular series and was therefore also promoted as a television pilot. Although a new series of the show never came to fruition; the film did reunite original cast members Dorothy Malone, Ed Nelson, Tim O'Connor, James Douglas, Christopher Connelly, Ruth Warwick and Barbara Parkins, who had declined to appear in "Murder in Peyton Place".


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