Years after her son’s suicide, a woman longs to confront both the past and a friend of his who took his business idea.
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Grace Metalious’ once-notorious bestseller Peyton Place is given a lavish — and necessarily toned-down — film treatment in this deluxe 20th Century-Fox production. Set during WWII, the film concentrates on several denizens of the outwardly respectable New England community of Peyton Place. Top-billed Lana Turner plays shopkeeper Constance McKenzie, who tries to make up for a past indiscretion — which resulted in her illegitimate daughter Allison (Diane Varsi) — by adopting a chaste, prudish attitude towards all things sexual. In spite of herself, Constance can’t help but be attracted to handsome new teacher Michael Rossi (Lee Philips). Meanwhile, the restless Allison, who’d like to be as footloose and fancy-free as the town’s “fast girl” Betty Anderson (Terry Moore), falls sincerely in love with mixed-up mama’s boy Norman Page (Russ Tamblyn).
After a frantic suicide attempt, Veronika awakens inside a mysterious mental asylum. Under the supervision of an unorthodox psychiatrist who specializes in controversial treatment, Veronika learns that she has only weeks to live.
In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city’s subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he finds his aunt married to Frank Olchin, one of the big contractors; he’s battling with a minority-owned firm for contracts.
Although he’s now eighty years old, Claude Lherminier is still as imposing as he ever was. But his bouts of forgetfulness and confusion are becoming increasingly frequent. Even so, he stubbornly refuses to admit that anything is wrong. Carole, his oldest daughter, wages a daily and taxing battle to ensure that he’s not left on his own. Claude suddenly decides on a whim to go to Florida. What lies behind this sudden trip?