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Roy Cronin

The Intersection of Kings Row & Peyton Place

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Some years ago after I first viewed Kings Row I began reading about the novel and the making of the film.  I became a great fan of this film and immediately thought of comparisons to Peyton Place, a movie of which I am also fond.  Full disclosure:  I have not read Henry Bellamann's novel, but I have read Grace Metalious's Peyton Place.

Reading background on Metalious and having viewed both films, one of course sees parallels.  She even admitted that she was a fan of Bellamann's work and considered it a source of some inspiration.  As you may know, the central plot of Peyton Place focusing on Selena Cross was based upon a real event which intrigued Grace.

While incest is found in Bellamann's novel (I have heard), it was excised in explicit form for the film.  In Peyton Place it is step-father/step-daughter rape in both the book and the film.  However, in her manuscript, Metalious specifically made the event father-daughter after the real life occurrence.  Her publisher, however, insisted upon the change and Grace was furious, considering that the central theme of her work was destroyed.  Interesting, considering Kings Row was published in 1940 and PP in 1956.

Another alteration which I learned of recently was the change in title.  Grace originally called the book "The Tree and the Blossom" while the publisher had it changed to "Peyton Place" presumably to duplicate the success of "Kings Row" and its small-town reference.

Funny how the first lines of each novel reference a season:  I wonder if Grace did this intentionally.

"Spring came late in the year 1890, and the fullness of its burgeoning heightened the seasonal disturbance that made unquiet in the blood."

"Indian summer is like a woman.  Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle......"

Grace has become a highly sympathetic character to me, though self-destructive.

A friend said after the book's success: "Grace Metalious would never be really poor or really happy again."

And on her death bed she is said to offer the advise: "Be careful what you wish for.  You might get it."

Her life story might make an interesting biographical movie.  I mean, they did one on Jacqueline Susann.

Pardon my somewhat disjointed ramblings, but I wonder if others have observations, either from the novels, film adaptations, or both?

 

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8 minutes ago, Roy Cronin said:

Some years ago after I first viewed Kings Row I began reading about the novel and the making of the film.  I became a great fan of this film and immediately that of comparisons to Peyton Place, a movie of which I am also fond.  Full disclosure:  I have not read Henry Bellamann's novel, but I have read Grace Metalious's Peyton Place....

Grace has become a highly sympathetic character to me, though self-destructive.

1. A friend said after the book's success: "Grace Metalious would never be really poor or really happy again."

And on her death bed she is said to offer the advise: "Be careful what you wish for.  You might get it."

2. Her life story might make an interesting biographical movie.  I mean, they did one on Jacqueline Susann.

3. Pardon my somewhat disjointed ramblings, but I wonder if others have observations, either from the novels, film adaptations, or both?

 

1. That is profound.

2. There was a pretty thick BIO of GRACE METALIOUS that came out some time ago and it got rave reviews, I wouldn't be the least surprised is MELISSA MCARTHY'S PEOPLE were on it, developing something to try and snag her the BIG, FAT SOLID GOLD DOORSTOP.

3. The JAQUELINE SUSANN movie (ISN'T SHE GREAT?) was SUCH a disaster though. I'm not sure PAUL RUDNICK'S screenwriting career ever revived and it put the Kibosh on Bette's third(?) BIG SCREEN COMEBACK. like, DISASTER DISASTER.

Your post is neither disjointed nor ramblings.

i go to my downtown LIBRARY  alot and ther eis a copy of KING'S ROW that LEAPS OUT AT ME- it's on the end of an end shelf at eye level that i always pass. i've picked it up and skimmed parts, it's got a very inspiring first page- as i recall- it talks about the HIGHEST PLACES in KING'S ROW- the competition between the different churches to have the TALLEST STEEPLE in town and such.

i used it as inspiration for a side project i was working on at the time.

 

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I also feel kind of bad tho, I really hope CAROL LYNLEY didn't read my review of RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE from a couple weeks ago.

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Those desk drawers are the perfect spot to stash the fifth of liquor she is said to have consumed daily for years......

And believe it or not, upon reading of Carol's demise, I immediately thought of the recent conversations here (I'll assume she was not a frequent visitor.)

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7 minutes ago, Roy Cronin said:

Those desk drawers are the perfect spot to stash the fifth of liquor she is said to have consumed daily for years......

And believe it or not, upon reading of Carol's demise, I immediately thought of the recent conversations here (I'll assume she was not a frequent visitor.)

God, I hope not.

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14 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

 

2. There was a pretty thick BIO of GRACE METALIOUS that came out some time ago and it got rave reviews, I wouldn't be the least surprised is MELISSA MCARTHY'S PEOPLE were on it, developing something to try and snag her the BIG, FAT SOLID GOLD DOORSTOP.

 

I remember there was talk years ago that they wanted Sandra Bullock was wanted to play Grace, but given that they look nothing alike other than the dark hair, it would require an Academy-award level makeup job......

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3 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I remember there was talk years ago that they wanted Sandra Bullock was wanted to play Grace, but given that they look nothing alike other than the dark hair, it would require an Academy-award level makeup job......

SANDY is too old tho. Grace died at 39, SANDY was 39 ABOUT 12 YEARS AGO.

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

1. That is profound.

2. There was a pretty thick BIO of GRACE METALIOUS that came out some time ago and it got rave reviews, I wouldn't be the least surprised is MELISSA MCARTHY'S PEOPLE were on it, developing something to try and snag her the BIG, FAT SOLID GOLD DOORSTOP.

3. The JAQUELINE SUSANN movie (ISN'T SHE GREAT?) was SUCH a disaster though. I'm not sure PAUL RUDNICK'S screenwriting career ever revived and it put the Kibosh on Bette's third(?) BIG SCREEN COMEBACK. like, DISASTER DISASTER.

Your post is neither disjointed nor ramblings.

i go to my downtown LIBRARY  alot and ther eis a copy of KING'S ROW that LEAPS OUT AT ME- it's on the end of an end shelf at eye level that i always pass. i've picked it up and skimmed parts, it's got a very inspiring first page- as i recall- it talks about the HIGHEST PLACES in KING'S ROW- the competition between the different churches to have the TALLEST STEEPLE in town and such.

i used it as inspiration for a side project i was working on at the time.

I never got to see Isn't She Great? Was it at least entertaining in a bad way? It opened in Jan. and wasnt around long. Hard to get me out and about that time of year.

 

I read a bio on Grace, she had such a sad life. Peyton Place brought her nothing but grief after the brief notoriety/success.

Never got to see Isn't She Great? Was it at least entertaining in a bad way? It opened in Jan. and it wasn't around that long. Hard to get me out and about that time of year.

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37 minutes ago, Hibi said:

NEVEr got to see Isn't She Great? Was it at least entertaining in a bad way? It opened in Jan. and it wasn't around that long. Hard to get me out and about that time of year.

It was so bad. I do not know what happened during filming, but- (it's been a while since i saw it)

I recall feeling as if maybe they spilled something on the master print and had to slap together a new one last minute with footage of the actors just running lines and rehearsing hitting their marks.

something HAPPENED during the making of that film, I don't know what, but the end result is just an off movie all-around.

ps- as much as I do like BETTE MIDLER, the performer, I think she is...um, difficult and that difficulty has actually been a problem on some of her other films to where it has affected how everything turned out.

PLEASE DON'T COME AT ME, FANS OF BETTE

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40 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

It was so bad. I do not know what happened during filming, but- (it's been a while since i saw it)

I recall feeling as if maybe they spilled something on the master print and had to slap together a new one last minute with footage of the actors just running lines and rehearsing hitting their marks.

something HAPPENED during the making of that film, I don't know what, but the end result is just an off movie all-around.

ps- as much as I do like BETTE MIDLER, the performer, I think she is...um, difficult and that difficulty has actually been a problem on some of her other films to where it has affected how everything turned out.

PLEASE DON'T COME AT ME, FANS OF BETTE

Isn't She Great did get its fair share of bad reviews. i remember Roger Ebert gave it a low grade, and looking at his review, it was pretty low-key for a film he disliked so much. he just felt it was a big miscalculation (he thought that Stockard Channing who had a smaller part in the film should have played Jackie). Other reviewers were blunter:

Quote
Quote
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Has to be among the worst movies ever made.: The Philadelphia Enquirer

Quote

 

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I happen to own an old copy of the novel King's Row, which is much racier than the movie, and although I've never read Peyton Place, I wonder whether King's Row, the book, might not be more salacious.  There is nude swimming, at least one gay character, the clear implication that Randy (the Ann Sheridan character) is sexually active with boys at an early age, at least one other female character is sexually promiscuous, as is Drake (Ronald Regan's character),  and the incestuous relationship between Cassie and her father is quite obvious.  While its only implied in the film, it's pretty clear that Randy and Drake are having a sexual relationship before marriage.  

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I got that impression, rosebette,  that Kings Row was more explicit.

Which is why I was surprised to learn that Grace's publisher made her alter the incest angle considering it was in Kings Row, a bestseller, years earlier.  I guess they may have thought that a 1950s Eisenhower Era public wouldn't accept it.

 

 

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Just now, rosebette said:

I happen to own an old copy of the novel King's Row, which is much racier than the movie, and although I've never read Peyton Place, I wonder whether King's Row, the book, might not be more salacious.  There is nude swimming, at least one gay character, the clear implication that Randy (the Ann Sheridan character) is sexually active with boys at an early age, at least one other female character is sexually promiscuous, as is Drake (Ronald Regan's character),  and the incestuous relationship between Cassie and her father is quite obvious.  While its only implied in the film, it's pretty clear that Randy and Drake are having a sexual relationship before marriage.  

I haven't read Peyton Place either, but from what I could glean from people's comments, PP was provocative in its day due to much rough language, the  incestuous rape theme, premarital intimacy, and it seems in the boook that Selena had an abortion, whereas in the film it was a miscarriage. Also much of the characters were seemingly more mixed-up on the page.

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An Intersection I should mention is Betty Field!

First the tragic, tormented Cassandra of Kings Row.

Then, years later the tragic,  tormented Nellie Cross of Peyton Place.

And both in the incest plot line, real or imagined.

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8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

such lesbian chic. 11/10

220px-Gracemetalious.jpg

And really versatile too, because for formal occasions you could keep the jeans and shoes and substitute a plaid lumberjack shirt.

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Both Kings Row and Peyton Place are great movies.  I love to read Kings Row one day.  I read Peyton Place years ago.  I have seen certain episodes of the TV series but was young when it first ran.  I also have watched the sequel Return To Peyton Place.   I forget that Betty Field is in both films.  Ann Sheridan was sensational in the film.  Both ladies should have been nominated for an Academy Award.  Makes you wonder if they ever remade these classics films today, would they still be allowed to use both novels candid plotlines.  Politically incorrect today we are.

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1 hour ago, Dommy said:

Both Kings Row and Peyton Place are great movies.  I love to read Kings Row one day.  I read Peyton Place years ago.  I have seen certain episodes of the TV series but was young when it first ran.  I also have watched the sequel Return To Peyton Place.   I forget that Betty Field is in both films.  Ann Sheridan was sensational in the film.  Both ladies should have been nominated for an Academy Award.  Makes you wonder if they ever remade these classics films today, would they still be allowed to use both novels candid plotlines.  Politically incorrect today we are.

Perhaps more faithful versions of both books could be made today because the film industry doesn't have to deal with as much censorship about sexual matters.

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I read somewhere a suggestion  that perhaps HBO could do a mini-series of "Kings Row" similar to Kate Winslet's "Mildred Pierce", faithful to the source material. 

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BLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I was at the local library today, and the copy of KING'S ROW that always leaps out at me from the shelf leapt out at me from the shelf, and i took some pictures of page one with my phone  and have just spent THE LAST 45 EFFIN MINUTES TRYING TO POST PICS OF PAGE ONE, BUT IT WON'T WORK. Only thing that will is the pic of the page before the first chapter above.

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