The Crucible

1996

Action / Drama / History

38
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 66%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 33163

Synopsis


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Cast

Winona Ryder as Abigail Williams
Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor
Frances Conroy as Ann Putnam
Joan Allen as Elizabeth Proctor
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
930.94 MB
1280*700
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 4 min
P/S 0 / 12
1.9 GB
1904*1040
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 4 min
P/S 2 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dead47548 10 / 10

One of the finest plays in history is turned into a cinematic masterpiece.

One of the finest plays in history is remarkably turned into one of the finest masterpieces of the '90s. Arthur Miller's original story is one of power and the terrible nature of society on two fronts. First, it tackles the inner struggle of a morally strong man who's emotions get the better of him and the girl who will do anything to have him be her's forever. Secondly, it displays the flaws of the government and society in general, and how one person's claim can corrupt an entire town. It's a stunning take on the foolishness and utterly unbelievable nature of a topic that dates back to the Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism and is even poignant today in terms of the War on Terror.

The topic that interested me more was the first one I spoke of; a striking study of a moral man who's done a wrong and the pain he has to suffer because of it. John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a working man, who gets whatever he earns with his bare hands. His wife, Elizabeth (Joan Allen) is the standard working class wife. While John is in the field, she gets dinner ready and gets the house in order. Lingering over this seemingly perfect marriage is a secret that has isolated them from the rest of the community. John's affair with a former servant, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder) has created a cold, emotionless relationship between the two but Elizabeth's devoted love for him means that they will stay isolated and no one will ever know of his sin which would surely lead to his hanging. Of course no man can endure this experience without suffering some severe inner pain and this slowly unfolds over Proctor throughout the course of the film.

In the end, after turmoil between John and Elizabeth both trying to do the best thing for each other that has turned into the worst case scenario for both, Proctor's pain is unleashed in one of the most heartbreaking scenes in as long as I can remember. He agrees to proclaiming his life in the world of witchcraft in exchange for releasement from prison back to his wife and unborn child. But when they ask for his signature on the statement, and state that they will post it on the church wall, his years of torment and internal frustration explode as he pleads in a scene of gut-wrenching release as he begs for the jurors to leave him his name. This story is all highlighted by an absolutely brilliant and cathartically heartbreaking performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. He even upstages the commanding Queen Joan Allen (who also delivers a superb performance) in several scenes, and delivers one of the finest examples of acting genius I've ever had the privilege of experiencing.

This entire relationship and painful release is experienced under the grand scheme of the Salem Witch Trials, an eye-opening display of how easily the government and society can be fooled and won over. Due to her love for John Proctor, Abigail Williams will do anything to take Elizabeth out of the picture. Even if this means bringing down all of Salem in the process. She starts claiming that everyone is a witch, along with her numerous friends who so easily follow her example, in order to avoid getting into trouble. When she realizes how brilliantly this works, and how everyone she claimed practiced witchcraft ended up in the gallows, that she could use it to end Elizabeth and live a happy life alone with John. Of course the folly of youth is there blind belief that everything will work according to plan, and she underestimates Proctor's love and devotion to his wife who he clearly shows he will go to the grave with. Abigail see's that no matter what she does, she won't get John back and flees Salem in the midst of night, never to be seen again (at least as far as the film/play is concerned). Winona's performance is also very strong and ranks high among the best of her career and of 1996.

At the center of this entire story is how easy it is to sway society, shown through these Witch Trials. Arthur Miller originally wrote his play to comment on the foolishness of McCarthyism; the children representing McCarthy, the jurors obviously as the government and the false witches as the dozens of people that McCarthy accused of being a communist under no grounds that were put into prison for being completely innocent. These two incidents in American history show that the government lies down to the very core of their jural structure. The phrase 'Innocent until proved guilty' is one of the most abused in history and these historical accounts prove that we are and have always been much more about the reverse; guilty until proved innocent or, in terms of the Witch Trials, hanging unless you admit your guilt. Even now we see the flaws of the governmental structure as numerous people are being claimed to be terrorists and are put in prisons, though there is no concrete evidence of that which they are prosecuted for, just the false claims of a foolish society.

Reviewed by dee.reid 10 / 10

Not just a dynamic character study, but a study of madness. **** (out of four)

For my eleventh grade English class, I have just finished reading "The Crucible" and have also finished watching the movie adaptation. "The Crucible" which was written by Arthur Miller, is a shocking look into the events of a tragic period early in history that America will not likely forget. The setting of "The Crucible" is that it takes place in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The story revolves around the hysteria caused by the Salem Witch Trials. John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis), the story's protagonist (or should I say antagonist?), is facing a little bit of a moral dilemma. It turns out that Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder), Proctor's former servant girl and mistress, along with several other young girls, were caught out in the woods dancing. Apparently, from the evidence, Witchcraft was taking place. John's wife, Elizabeth (Joan Allen), is suffering because of his lechery, but deep down thinks that she may be partially responsible. Reverend Parris (Bruce Davison) calls for Reverend Hale (Rob Campbell), a renowned pastor (and self-proclaimed paranormal expert) to come to Salem to investigate the accusations.

John Proctor is sort of an innocent in this story. In the beginning of the play, we see that he is deeply haunted by the affair, but he keeps his head up about it. He is powerful of body, even-tempered and not easily led or quick to jump to conclusions. He changes significantly because he begins to lower his self-esteem, especially after he looses control over his current servant girl, Mary Warren. His change furthers because he later admits his sins, which leads to his inevitable imprisonment. While in prison, he learns that his wife has become pregnant, and therefore she will not be hanged. In the end, John is hanged after signing a confession and then ripping it up when he learns that it was to be nailed onto the church door. However, he did not die in bad spirits because he had accepted the fact that he was not coming out of this situation alive but his name would go untarnished. Proctor pleas before his execution, "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!"

Elizabeth Proctor is sort of an innocent too. At the very start of the play, we see that she is a rather soft-spoken person, even with her past grievances. As well, she is an honest person who always tells the truth and never lies. She changes, however, when Abigail Williams brings charges of Witchcraft up against her. Her physical change starts when she discovers that she is pregnant. By the end of the play, she forgives John for his lechery. She states, "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!" This simply goes to show that she truly loved him in the end.

Lastly, there is Reverend Hale. At the beginning of the play, we see that he is a very confident man. He seems to consider himself an expert in the field of Witchcraft and goes about promoting that image with the aid of his countless books. The books, he thinks will solve all of the problems facing Salem. When Reverend Parris makes a comment about how heavy his books are, Hale simply replies, "They must be; they are weighted with authority." This goes to show that he puts too much faith into his books and not enough into common sense. His emotional change begins when the good and well-respected people of the Salem community start being accused of Witchcraft, like when Abigail Williams charges Elizabeth Proctor as being a witch. By the end of the play, he discovers that all of the accusations were in fact a hoax, orchestrated by Abigail Williams who shortly before the end of the trials, mysteriously disappears along with Mercy Lewis. He feels deep regret and extreme guilt for not trying to stop the madness sooner. He is also begging John Proctor to save his life, regardless of the possible aftermath in which his name is going to be corrupted.

In many ways, the story of "The Crucible" may not just be a dynamic character study, but it is also a study of the madness that can stem from superstition and fear. It simply amazes me that one little girl was able to use fear and superstition as a means of getting what she wanted. The madness that had been created by the Salem Witch Trials was not just the result of people's greed, but jealousy and all-out hatred for one another. And you must remember that this is coming from a religious community that had come to this country to escape hatred, though it was not the same type as it was the reason for them leaving Europe.

For many bizarre reasons, "The Crucible" has also been the unfortunate target of misguided criticism. These criticisms, I feel, are the unfortunate result of the Joseph McCarthy era. In 1950, McCarthy who was a senator from Wisconsin had engaged on a "Red Hunt", which to him, was a hunt for suspected Communist Party members and spies inside the U.S. State Department. Though this was relatively early in the Cold War, he had played on Americans already stemming fears of the Soviet Union in order to help rally people to flesh out the suspected persons. Many of the people who were accused, lost their jobs and had extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere. McCarthy, like many of the people during the Salem Witch Trials, had engaged on this hunt out of sheer hatred and jealousy of other people. And like when the Trials finally came to an end when the governor's wife had been accused of Witchcraft, McCarthy met his downfall in 1954, when he began attacking members of the United States Army. The Army immediately took dislike to the accusations and struck back at McCarthy. His power finally fell through when then President Dwight Eisenhower launched his own investigation into the accusations and found nothing. McCarthy later died in 1957 of alcohol-related problems.

Do you see all of the parallels between the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and the McCarthy era during the 1950s? These are perfect examples of the horrible things that people are capable of doing to each other out of the pure hatred and the accusers will often succeed in doing this by playing on people's fears and local superstition.

Reviewed by muneezanasir24 10 / 10

Masterpiece. Every one should watch.

Tremendous acting done by actors and a very good cast assembling as well.

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