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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

The film was almost impossible to find for nearly sixty years due to Arthur Miller blocking the film from being screened or released in any way. This was, according to different accounts, either so that the film didn't steal the spotlight from an English-language adaptation of his play he was working on, and which eventually came out as The Crucible (1996), or as an act of revenge on star Yves Montand, who had an affair with his wife Marilyn Monroe. Actress Mylène Demongeot begged Miller on several occasions to allow the film to be shown again, both before and after the newer adaptation came out and bombed at the box office, but in vain. French company Pathé finally acquired the rights and restored the film in 2016 and released it on Blu-ray and DVD on March 29th 2017, twelve years after Miller's death. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: The Crucible (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who knew this existed?
27 June 2012 | by gizmomogwaiSee all my reviews

Arthur Miller's knockout play The Crucible was published in 1952, so it always struck me as odd that we didn't get a film version until 1996- after the Cold War ended. It's been a decade since I saw the 1996 adaptation, and I wasn't impressed by it. I don't totally remember why, but I thought it was a mistake to actually show the girls engaged in witchcraft-like activities and thought the ending was a bit abrupt, cutting off Proctor's prayer on the gallows. But as it turns out, it actually wasn't the original film version. The first was a French movie from 1957- The Crucible, or The Witches of Salem.

I did like this version better. Although it too shows the girls engaged in witch-like activities (indeed, in this version Abigail appears to be a bona fide witch), it seems slightly more restrained. All of the subject matter involving the supernatural and the political made this movie intriguing and compelling to me. After watching 15 minutes or so, I knew I wanted more. The 1957 film definitely borrows from Miller's play but in a way it is its own take on the Salem witch trials of 1692. It manages to get its point across adequately. It does strike me as odd that the French and Germans would take interest in a witch case from America when Europe had many brutal witch hunts of its own- but setting the story in Salem is true to Miller's story which is the obvious inspiration.


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