Peyton Place (1957)

Peyton Place (1957), directed by Mark Robson.

When I was young the title was a synonym for moral hypocrisy, adultery and other steamy lewdness. That must have come from the book; the movie (they say) has been toned down quite a bit. Still, it was a big hit at the time and earned a bunch of awards.

Big screen soap opera. Good cast (Arthur Kennedy was always a favorite), location filming in New England, lush Franz Waxman score. On the other hand the dialog can be a bit stiff. The hair styles and clothing don't look much like 1941.

That normal, respectable life is a thin layer over corruption has been a popular theme for about a century. You might call it a movie cliche.