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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 »

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(translation), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alfred Adam ...
Pierre Larquey ...
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...
Peter Corey
Jeanne Fusier-Gir ...
Françoise Lugagne ...
Jane Putnam
Coutan-Lambert ...
Aribert Grimmer ...
Gilles Corey (as A. Grimmer)
Pascale Petit ...
Yves Brainville ...
Hale
...
James Putnam
Alexandre Rignault ...
Willard
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Storyline

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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Drama | History

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Release Date:

26 April 1957 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Crucible  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Version of ITV Play of the Week: The Crucible (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

A hanged man does not bleed
21 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

Everybody knows Arthur Miller's "the crucible" ;few people outside France know that,long before the excellent version starring Daniel Day-Lewis,the play was filmed in France.One should note that it was first performed on stage ,featuring roughly the same actors,directed by Raymond Rouleau ,a man who was primarily a theatre man (and also a good actor :"Falbalas" "L'Assassinat du Père Noel") So "Les Sorcières de Salem " was the French title (= Salem Witches).Critics were divided on the Montand /Signoret's performance;historian Jean Tulard goes as far as to write that it was their fault if the film was not successful.But Jean Tulard is a right-wing writer whereas Signoret and Montand were at this time securely under the influence of communism.This film was for them a political gesture.

But Miller's play was so strong it survived the dated events it actually depicted (McCarthyism).It has become the symbol of personal freedom,freedom of thought.Informing and signing papers abound along the drama and could not fool the audience about what Miller was actually saying.

Yves Montand's performance was somewhat dwarfed by Day-Lewis ' sensational portrayal of Proctor.But on the other hand,Mylene Demongeot is dazzlingly talented as Abigail .Sensual,maleficent,she steals every scene she is in;she should have become one of the greatest French actresses but it was not to be :she got lost in mediocrities such as OSS 117 or Fantomas.Too bad .

As the precedent user has pointed out,Rouleau's directing was influenced by Dreyer and particularly "Dies Irae".Rouleau plays the part of judge Danforth.


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