Traveling dentist O'Connell traverses South America on his motorcycle for the 'Eversmile' foundation of New Jersey, in a fight not only against caries, but also against fear, ignorance, ... See full summary »
Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.
The movie is centered around the Salem Massachusetts witch trials of 1692. The movie is based on the play "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. He also wrote the screen play adaptation. Written by
As John Proctor holds his confession note, the condition of the paper changes between shots from being almost completely crumpled within his hand to mostly exposed and barely wrinkled to mostly exposed but extremely wrinkled. See more »
Arthur Miller is gone now, but he lived long enough to see his master work The Crucible finally on the big screen. Back when it was on Broadway it was deemed too controversial in those paranoid days of the Fifties. The Crucible was Miller's answer to the witch hunting House Un-American Activities Committee and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee of Joe McCarthy. He saw parallels between the Salem Witch Trials where several people were put to death in that sad town for the elusive crime of witchcraft. Miller even got to adapt his work to the screen and did it so well that the stage origins aren't even noticeable.
One of the things I marveled when viewing the film was Miller's mastery of the Puritan culture. He must have done some heavy research into it to capture so well the spirit of those times and how they paralleled the McCarthy Fifties.
But I would take a different tack in talking about The Crucible. It is a wonderful condemnation of a religious based society as the Puritans were in those days. These people came to the new world to seek freedom of conscience to worship the Creator/Deity in their own way. No sooner do they get here than a society is built by them excluding others who don't buy into their view of things. It would be another century before the novel idea was seriously raised about having NO established religion. It hasn't taken fully hold yet as witness by the Moslem theocratic states like Iran or the newly found influence of the Russian Orthodox Church in some of the former Soviet Union. Not to mention here where after thirty or so years the influence of bible beaters in the body politic seems finally to be receding.
Daniel Day-Lewis plays John Proctor the farmer who is by no means an ideal hero is the man forced into martyrdom simply because he won't denounce his neighbors as witches and warlocks. Joan Allen is magnificent as Mrs. Proctor who pays for her husband's indiscretions with teenage flirt Winona Ryder.
All of this gets started when Ryder and several of her peers go out to dance in the moonlight, strictly forbidden in the Puritan society. Who led them into this is Charlayne Woodard, an African slave and recently over from Africa where she remembers her customs from her tribe. The girls get spotted and all that follows come from some young girls who rather than face punishment for breaking their strict code say the devil made them do it and start naming friends and neighbors as witches. This whole business gives the girls an opportunity to escape punishment and settle some personal scores. And it spreads to the adults who ought to know better.
I've also thought that Arthur Miller might also have been influenced by Lillian Hellman's These Three which is also about tattle tale young girls and the harm they cause. The parallels are too obvious to ignore.
Though it took half a century to make it to the screen, The Crucible was worth every second of the wait.
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