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The Crucible (1957)

Les sorcières de Salem (original title)
Salem, 1692. Industrious farmer, John Proctor, has twice made love to 17-year-old Abigail, a youth he and his wife have taken in. (His wife Elisabeth has rebuffed him for seven months; she ... See full summary »



(translation), (play) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Adam ...
Peter Corey
Jeanne Fusier-Gir ...
Françoise Lugagne ...
Jane Putnam
Coutan-Lambert ...
Aribert Grimmer ...
Gilles Corey (as A. Grimmer)
Yves Brainville ...
James Putnam
Alexandre Rignault ...


Salem, 1692. Industrious farmer, John Proctor, has twice made love to 17-year-old Abigail, a youth he and his wife have taken in. (His wife Elisabeth has rebuffed him for seven months; she is puritanical and cold.) When she finds John and Abigail embracing, she sends the lass from her home and John, feeling damned, agrees. Abigail vows revenge. Her chance comes when she accuses Elisabeth of witchcraft and manipulates younger girls to support her claims of seeing spirits. The town's minister and politicians want a cause: ridding the town of witchcraft is the ideal repression. John too, is accused; Abigail offers him a way to avoid hanging. Elisabeth has her own confession. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

26 April 1957 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Crucible  »

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Did You Know?


The first film version of the play. It was made in East Berlin, and in the French language, because American studios were terrified of filming a play by a recently blacklisted author which implicitly criticized the Joseph McCarthy "witch hunts" for Communists. See more »


Featured in Mémoires pour Simone (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Impressive Unknown Film
26 January 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the beginning of the XVII Century, certain protestant sects left England heading to North America. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts, was one of the most powerful and austere colonies.

After seven months of sexual abstinence of his frigid wife Elisabeth (Simone Signoret), the hard-worker farmer John Proctor (Yves Montand) has sex twice with the seventeen year-old virgin servant Abigail Williams (Mylène Demongeot) that is infatuated on him. When the other servant Mary Warren (Pascale Petit) sees John sneaking to Abigail's room during the night, she calls Elisabeth that sends Abigail back to her uncle's home.

When a group of women are accused of witchcraft, the manipulative and wicked Abigail manipulates Mary and other hysteric girls to revenge against Elisabeth, telling that they can see spirits and accusing the innocent Sarah Good and Elisabeth of witchcraft. The local Reverend Paris (Jean Debucourt), the Governor Danforth (Raymond Rouleau) and other politicians support the accusation expecting to increase their power against the repressed inhabitant. John and other dwellers are imprisoned and only a confession can save them from the gallows.

"Les Sorcières de Salem" a.k.a. "The Crucible" is an impressive unknown film based on a true story. The magnificent screenplay explores the theme of manipulation and fight for power by the powers that be in the XVII Century, the same way the McCarthyism did in the Twentieth Century or the lie about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq more recently, using the ignorance or omission of the population. The performances are top-notch, highlighting the talented Mylène Demongeot in an ambiguous role. Unfortunately this film has never been released on VHS or DVD in Brazil, and in Amazon is only available on an expensive VHS. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Not Available"

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