The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
The story of the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy who was shot in the early morning hours of June 5, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, and 22 people in the hotel whose lives were never the same.
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 »
We all know that Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" draws stark comparisons between the Salem witch hunts at the end of the 17th Century, and the Communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era. In fact, Miller's play, which he adapted himself for this film, is far more interesting and powerful than many expect.
The film follows Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder, the best I've seen her since "The Age of Innocence") in 17th Century Salem, Massachusetts. She loves a married man, John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis), who doesn't return her feelings. When Abigail and other young girls are discovered dancing in an apparently satanic ritual, this begins a wave of accusations of witchcraft, with Abigail attempting to bring down Proctor's wife (Joan Allen). In the process, she may destroy the entire town.
What is so interesting about Abigail is that she seems to convince even herself of the truth of her lies. She spins out of control, and her court room scenes with the other girls seem more delusional than consummate acting. This notion of believing your own lies is a fascinating one. Watching many of the townspeople fall to absurd allegations by Salem's religious, conservative city fathers (including one man accused of witchcraft when a lock breaks as he looks at it) reminds one of the religious fanaticism that has had a constant grip on humanity (including terrorism in the name of God today). Of course, there are many other motives at play, with neighbors accusing each other to gain the other's land. We've seen this before with the Stalinist denouncements, so what "The Crucible" really confirms is that the darker side of humanity never changes, and never goes away.
Some may find this film a photographed play rather than a true film. True, it feels a bit stagy, and there are no dramatic camera angles or special effects. But with drama this inspired, who needs these arbitrary things? The climatic court room showdown, in which the excellent Paul Scofield sets himself up like a Spanish Inquisitor, will keep you glued to the screen. This one's a real pot boiler!
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