The Crucible (1996)
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 18
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 30,782
When Arthur Miller's play The Crucible was first staged in 1953, it was widely acclaimed as a metaphor for the recklessness of Joseph McCarthy and his spurious crusade against communism. In its 1996 screen adaptation (scripted by Miller), the tone has been adjusted somewhat and plays as a warning against the dangers of political and religious extremism of all kinds. After a group of young women is accused of witchcraft in the Puritan community of Salem, Mass. in 1692, Abigail Williams (Winona
Dec 13, 1996 Wide
Jun 1, 2004
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Rev. Samuel Parris
Reverend John Hale
Judge Samuel Sewall
Mary Pat Gleason
William Preston Robertson
Anna V. Boksenbaum
Then there's always Mr. Scofield, bringing an almost unbearable, yet entirely believable, lightness of spirit to his loathsome character. It's a bold stroke by a great actor, making zealotry and evil seem positively beneficent.
I recommend Hytner's movie highly, but a part of me resists a work that makes the audience feel as noble in our moral certainty as the characters it invites us to deplore. Some part of its power seems borrowed from the thing it hates.
Her cheeks flush, her winsome beauty seared with erotic rage, Ryder exposes the real roots of the piece. Forget McCarthyism; The Crucible is a colonial Fatal Attraction.
Too bad, though, that The Crucible fails to probe deeper into the sexual, religious, and political conditions that can give false accusations so much power -- even today.
I very much admire how Hytner... keeps the pace swift and doesn't fetishize the 17th-century decors and clothes. But I can't help feeling that in more ways than one, The Crucible is a period piece.
Arthur Miller's screenplay keeps everything nice and faithful to the period, and the actors have the dirt on their hands to prove it. The movie lacks polish as well, and that's to everyone's benefit.
A McCarthy-era retelling of the Salem witch trials, Arthur Miller's 1953 play is a literary classic, but this adap falls short.
The story is unchanged, but its theme relates surprisingly well to today's versions of the bias and scapegoating that Miller rightly deplores.
The physical production of the film is so authentic and compelling, you can't get beyond it, not for a second.
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