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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 »

Director:

Raymond Rouleau

Writers:

Arthur Miller (play), Jean-Paul Sartre (adaptation)
Reviews
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simone Signoret ... Elisabeth Proctor
Yves Montand ... John Proctor
Jean Debucourt ... Reverend Parris
Alfred Adam Alfred Adam ... Thomas Putnam
Pierre Larquey ... Francis Nurse
Mylène Demongeot ... Abigail Williams
Jean Gaven ... Peter Corey
Jeanne Fusier-Gir Jeanne Fusier-Gir ... Martha Corey
Françoise Lugagne Françoise Lugagne ... Jane Putnam
Coutan-Lambert Coutan-Lambert ... Rebecca Nurse
Aribert Grimmer Aribert Grimmer ... Gilles Corey (as A. Grimmer)
Pascale Petit ... Mary Warren
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... Hale
Michel Piccoli ... James Putnam
Alexandre Rignault 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The American Premiere of a Major Triumph of the French Cinema! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | East Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

26 April 1957 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crucible See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of four major Franco-East German co-productions made during the late 1950s with Bold Adventure (1956), Les misérables (1958) and Les arrivistes (1960). The Democratic Republic's government authorized the DEFA studio to collaborate with companies outside the Eastern Bloc in order to gain access to Western audiences, thus bypassing the limitations imposed by West Germany's Hallstein Doctrine. Eventually, they intended their films to reach also the public in the Federal Republic. The French, on their part, were interested in reducing costs by filming in East Germany. See more »

Connections

Version of The Crucible (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A hanged man does not bleed
21 February 2008 | by dbdumonteilSee 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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