Peyton Place

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This page is reserved for Anna's favourite television soap opera - Peyton Place

Daily Mail Daily Digest of happenings from the Daily Mail featuring Dorothy Malone

Nice to see Dorothy Malone and her link to Peyton Place still an item of interest after all this time! I'm also tickled that there is a direct link here to my husband Andrew and his infamous ancestor 'Bloody Ludlow' as one of those who signed the instrument of execution of Charles I

Iconic Peyton Place

1964 Cast of Peyton Place

Top - An iconic pose for the pilot of the series featuring Ed Nelson as Dr. Rossi, Dorothy Malone as Constance Mackenzie and Mia Farrow (seated) as Alison Mackenzie Bottom - the full original cast of Peyton Place in 1964 - both images courtesy of the Getty ABC archives

They said it would be a mistake!

Using my favourite picture of Dorothy Malone (and her own hair) IZ make a feature of a quote made by her which is backed up in the Telegraph obituary

"Inspired by Granada’s Coronation Street, which had been mesmerising British audiences since 1960, Peyton Place was quickly imported by ITV which paid the American makers ABC a trifling £30,000 for the first batch of 104 episodes.

“I was the first movie star to plunge into night-time soap opera,” Dorothy Malone recalled. Even so she took the part against the advice of pessimists who warned it would be a mistake. Television was then considered Hollywood’s poor relation, the hours would be horrendous and she would suffer from overexposure. But Dorothy Malone was so impressed with the first three Peyton Place scripts that she struck a deal with the ABC network that made her the highest-paid actress in television, settling for a pay packet of $7,000 a week (they had offered her an even fatter $10,000) provided there was no filming at weekends and she could be home by 6pm every night for dinner with her two daughters."

The sad news of the death of Dorothy Malone who played Constance Mackenzie has prompted me into creating this page which has waited so long to make its appearance in my favourites!

They may well have said that 'Peyton Place' (the TV Series) would be a mistake, they also said similar things about the book when it was first published .....

But when I first heard those immortal words 'The continuing story of Peyton Place' and saw these images ..........

Dorothy Malone as Constance MackenzieWarner Anderson as Matthew SwainEd Nelson as Michael RossiMia Farrow as Allison Mackenzie

The four principals as they appeared in pecking order for several episodes : Dorothy Malone, Warner Anderson, Ed Nelson and Mia Farrow

...... I was hooked forever!

Episodes 1 & 2

Episode 1

Dr. Rossi arrives in Peyton Place by train. What is he running from or hiding?
Alison and Norman Harrington realise their platonic relationship is shifting and they have reached a crossroads each wanting to go in different directions.
Betty Anderson and Rodney Harrington stepped up to full sexual intercourse during the summer recess down at ‘The Pond’ which becomes their euphemism for their elevated relationship. Rodney is already ‘cooling off’ and is uncomfortable with their reality.
Alison has a very close, intimate, stifling relationship with her ‘widowed’ mother. She has aspirations to be a writer and already has a regular column in the Peyton Place Clarion run by her ‘Uncle’ Matt Swain. Blood or brevet uncle?
Betty and Rodney meet Dr. Rossi and take him to The Inn in Peyton Place Square.
Rodney tells Betty he must tell his father Mr. (Leslie) Harrington, manager of Peyton Mills, that he has successfully met and delivered the doctor to The Inn.
Leslie Harrington’s secretary is Julie Anderson who just happens to be Betty’s mother. Their relationship as Boss and Secretary is also a sexual one and they realise the irony that their offspring have been going ‘steady’ over the summer.
Rodney sees them in a passionate embrace which eventually gives him the impetus to dump Betty.
Alison delivers her articles to the paper where Matt Swain keeps referring to a ‘courting’ moon. Alison tells him she isn’t in a relationship and doesn’t see it happening while she lives at home.
Rodney’s demeanour has changed when he returns to the car something that is not lost on Betty. He drives recklessly but gets Betty home in one piece.
As he continues driving erratically he narrowly misses Alison who nimbly dodges out of his way. He is about to berate her but stops when he realises who it is. He offers her a ‘no strings’ lift home.
Dr Rossi goes out into the square for a solitary cigarette where Matt Swain comes over to join him and introduce himself.
Rodney’s aberrant behaviour continues and he tries to impose his brattishness on Alison to intimidate her. Irritated but not intimidated Alison allows Rodney to ask her out and kiss her - an action observed by Constance behind the curtains.
Constance follows Alison on her return home to remind her that they had not said good night to each other. An awkward moment passes between mother and daughter as Connie says she doesn’t want Alison to start seeing Rodney.

1964 publicity still of Dorothy Malone

Publicity shot of Dorothy Malone as Constance Mackenzie outside her 'Book Gallery' - image sourced from Alamy

Episode 2

The tension between Alison and Constance is still palpable at breakfast, exacerbated by the fact that Alison has received another rejection slip from the publishers. The conversation turns to Alison’s lack of worldliness and experience in human relationships. Constance reminds her she is still only 17, Alison ripostes that she doesn’t want to be seen as different, a mid-Victorian porcelain doll with a ‘do not touch’ tag and pointedly reminds her mother that at her age she was already ‘a wife and mother.’ Constance is visibly shaken by the comparison. Alison pointedly leaves the kitchen returning with the paper in an effort to break the tension between them. She asks her mother how she came to observe Rodney bringing her home. Constance tells her she heard the car pull up and looked out of the window, the tension is not alleviated and Alison declares she wants to keep her date with Rodney. Constance mentions Betty, Alison tells her they have broken up. Constance opens the folded paper and sees the centrepiece feature welcoming, and accompanied by a picture of, Dr Michael Rossi.
We are treated to the first view of the Peyton Mansion currently inhabited by the Harringtons. Siblings Rodney and Norman are enjoying a heated discussion about their current educational state. Rodney teasing Norman about his loss of learning prowess, calling him ‘kid’,and Norman petulantly telling him not to call hi  ‘kid’ asking what exactly was Rodney gaining from attending college. Rodney steers the conversation towards his encounter with Alison the previous evening and asks Norman is emotionally invested in her. Norman replies that they are just friends, Rodney tells him he has asked her out on a date. Norman asks about Betty, Rodney admits that he’s uncomfortable with the intensity the relationship has developed.
Betty is trying to reach Rodney at home and her mother observes her agitation. Mother and daughter skate around the events of last night, Julie is relieved Rodney had not told Betty what he saw but is sorry for daughter’s distress. Betty explains the depth of her feeling for Rodney, that she didn’t want anyone else, that she was in love with him and wanted to marry him, had even hoped they might have married that summer.
Leslie and his wife Catherine are in their bedroom, she is still in bed while he dresses. He asks what her plans are for the day and she replies that she’ll go to visit her father and hopes that they can move him to the mansion. Leslie doesn’t think that’s such a good idea. He attempts to change the subject by mentioning George Anderson and his success as a salesman, Catherine expresses delight that he is working out so well and suggests that Julie can now give up work. Leslie realises he has been bested and we get our first glimpse of the magnificence of the Peyton Mansion as Leslie descends the palatial double staircase.
As he enters the dining room where Rodney is breakfasting Leslie attempts to start a dialogue with his son about what he saw the previous evening. Rodney storms out of the room departing with ‘why did you have to choose the mother of the girl I’m dating.’
Matt Swain and Michael Rossi meet on the green and have a quick chat about the front page of the Clarion. Michael says he wants some extra copies, Matt directs him to Constance’s shop explaining she opens at 9am and will have everything she needs.
Rossi heads to the Doctors surgery which still has Dr. Brooks name displayed. Inside he finds Laura removing the last of the late doctors personal effects. Laura is Dr. Brooks widow and aunt to Rodney and Norman. Laura offers her help which Michael accepts.
Constance is opening up when Rossi arrives to buy his additional copies of the paper. Constance is visibly nervous although she exchanges a little banter with him, his intensity unsettles her and the moment is broken by the arrival of another customer looking for the latest Agatha Christie. Before he leaves the shop Rossi asks Constance if they have met before. She assures him they haven’t.
After he leaves, Constance rushes over to the Clarion and hysterically tells Matt about the encounter. Matt wants to know why she feels so strongly about Rossi. She tells him Rossi was a young and very attentive intern when she gave birth to Alison all those years ago in the ‘young widows ward’ – “there were so many young widows in those days” she wails at him  and if she has recognised him then he is sure to remember her. Matt tells her sternly that she’s not the only young girl that had ever found herself in that situation and she should get over it, she’s already kept up the pretence for 18 years and kept herself apart from Alison and the inhabitants of Peyton Place ruining any chance of any love that she may have found!. Constance reacts badly at being spoken to so frankly – Matt quotes the Bible at her stating that ‘the truth shall set you free’. Tragically Constance turns on him and tells him it may well set her free but what would it do to Alison?

Rodney and Norman in London 1966

And who knew there was a Peyton Place in London - well of course, Getty did!

Here's a contemporary view from the London Peyton Place residents :

Peyton Place East Londond

THE CONTINUING STORY... Writer JOHN McLEOD and photographer record their impressions of the simple everyday drama of London's real-life Peyton Place. Life in Peyton Place has been a continuing story since around 1820. The shabby. 50-yard-long cul-de-sac lies behind Greenwich town hall. You could walk to it from the Cutty Sark in the time it takes Allison Mackenzie and Rodney Harrington to drink two Cokes each at Mr Hanley's soda fountain, in the TV series.

According to the 1851 census, a plasterer, coachman, butcher and groom lived there with their families. So did charwomen and seamstresses. Today, seven families and an elderly widower form a loosely knit community. They don't have the problems of murder, rape and professional jealousy highlighted by the late Grace Metalious. But neither do they have a source of advice parallel to Matthew Swain. Nor a pillar of comfort like Dr Rossi. Each home seems to be insular and introverted, though the people of Peyton Place, SE10, concede they generally "manage to get along together."

The row of five terraced cottage which rise wearily from the narrow, battered pavement on the south side adjoin a large house converted from a flour mill. Straddling the "dead end" of the cul-de-sac are premises housing a joinery contractor's business.

Next to this is Stanley Cottage, where 70-year-old widower William Gaines a retired demolition yard foreman reminisces on the changes he has seen since he arrived in Peyton Place in 1938. His cottage area is against the neat and unobtrusive house called Ernest Cottage, built, according to a stone inset, in 1880. There, a retiring lady said she did not want to speak about life in Peyton Place. "We don't care much for that kind of thing," she said, as the door swung shut.

Continuing down the north pavement one passes a former Methodist Hall, the ground floor now used by the council. And covering the remaining three-quarters of that side of the street is the towering, redbrick monstrosity of the council's Minor Hall, where old-age pensioners gather on Monday afternoons.

The biggest family in Peyton Place lives at No 4, where Dennis Walter Manners, his wife Doris and their eight children cram themselves into a living room, "front room," two bedrooms and a scullery. Like all the houses in that row, they have a lean-to toilet in a cramped backyard. Dennis, a 30-year-old Sparcatron operator -"actually I burn holes in metal electrically" earns £14 for a 40-hour week. Rent is only £1 19s Id, but "we had papers today saying it's going up by 6d a week." Family allowances bring them £2 18s a week, "with another 10 bob when we register Lisa Jane," only six days old when London Life called.

They have lived in Peyton Place for three years. "Life here is hell said 35-year-old Doris Manners, as she fed her baby. Her husband commented with more restraint "For the little street that it is, it's very busy and you daren't let kids out to play because of all the cars.

Tatler Page 1Tatler Page 2Tatler Page 3

"Saturday night is absolutely fantastic for noise," he went on. "You have people pouring into the Minor Hall, and I don't think they realise anyone lives here." Dances and weddings in the hall used to keep Peyton Place awake. Main problem was the dumping of crates of empty beer bottles outside the hall. "I wouldn't have minded if they'd thrown a few crates over here," said Mr Manners. A few weeks ago, the residents signed a petition, and the council, they say, has now put up notices in the hall, appealing for quiet.

There is no community social life in Peyton Place. Mrs Manners infrequently goes to bingo, her husband teaches at the local St John Ambulance Division on Wednesday evenings. If son Christopher wants to play football, he has to go to Greenwich Park, some distance away. The younger children play indoors, or jostle in the small, narrow backyard.

Next door, at No 3, is the Payne family father Mr Jim Payne, wife Flo, daughter Janet at 16, the only teenager in Peyton Place and Jimmy, 12, and Jacqueline, six. They have occupied their two downstairs rooms, two bedrooms and kitchen, for 13 years. Their rent and rates are 16s 7d a week. Mrs Payne, 38, says "My husband earns about £15 a week. He runs a motor-cycle, and we have a van we use for weekend camping in summer. You can go for weeks here without ever seeing your neighbours. In a little place like this, you'd think every body would be very friendly. But it's a case of some watching what others are doing.

"An elderly couple live next door to us, and we never hear them, let alone see them. The people in the street never mix socially. We all keep to ourselves. Every now and again, there's an explosion be tween us, then the whole place quietens down again. Apart from that, life goes on just normal like, really."

Daughter Janet, on holiday from her copy-typist's job in Cannon Street, was shy about being photographed. "Wait till I get the rollers out of my hair," she insisted. Unlike TV's Allison Mackenzie. Janet has no Peyton Place boy friends. Her regular boy is 19-year-old Douglas Davies, an apprentice electrician from across the river in Millwall. They see each other five nights a week generally go to the movies.

The only reaction to the "Peyton Place Thing" have been odd questions and wisecracks on "is it like the TV series?" But in over 100 years' history, about the only time the publicity spotlight has hit the street was when residents were given free tickets to see the film at the Lewisham Gaumont several years ago,

In the converted flour mill at the end of the street you'll find the Gilbert family, Mr Arthur Gilbert, a twinkling eyed, soft spoken man who has spent 40 years there, wife Jane and daughter Gladys. One other person is particularly noteworthy in the street ... 58 year old ragman Frank Popely, who brings his horse Tony and cart to the joinery yard once or twice a week. "I get sacks of sawdust for Tony's bed" says Frank.

Those are the people of Peyton Place, a mixed bag, as anywhere else. Unlike the film they have ho inn for the teenagers, no neatly painted bandstand in a trim square, no romantic lakeside drive-in.

But most say they are happy. And possibly on evenings in high summer, their by-passed, hum drum little street may acquire a certain quality that the other Place never has in its "continuing story." It would be nice to think so anyway. Source : The Tatler dated 16th April 1966

Peyton Place London negative

Daily Mirror

The Daily Mirror also added their two penn'orth on 14th April 1966

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