The Crucible Reviews

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Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2012
Just as good in 2012 as 1996. The screenplay by Arthur Miller is wonderful...the dialogue is true (I guess) to the times, at least it sounds archaic while still being witty and the beginning sequence where the girls rush out to "pray" for specific boys to love them is so right on the money I kept wondering how Miller knew this about girls, and then remembered he was married to Marilyn. The power it unleashes is right on the money as well...You can make comparisons of witchhunts to just about any mass hysteria and this movie nails it. Really wonderful performances by Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen. I thought the sets were great, too, and I usually don't pay specific attention to them.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2012
some of the worst overacting I've ever seen in a film and not in the funny and entertaining way. More like the shut the hell up way. The characters are all unlikable and I've read the play and I do enjoy it but this was just done so poorly in my opinion.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2011
The Witch trials of Salem, Massachusetts, and an examination of how mighty reason and immovable logic fare against different types of hysteria (they don't). Simply an excellent work, a script with balls, with moving performances by all concerned. Joan Allen though was particularly spellbinding.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
The film of Arthur Miller's classic play. It stars many popular actors, and they all do a great job bringing their characters to life. I really liked this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ July 6, 2007
Absorbing and well-acted period piece, about the famous Salem witch trials in 17th century America. An honest and intriguing reflection of the hysteria that went on at the time; as a result of religious fears and that ignorance that goes with it. Stellar performance by Winona Ryder (if not the best I've ever seen by her), and Daniel Day-Lewis is equally engaging as one of the voices of reason among the town's conflicted villagers. A dark chapter in human history, authentically portrayed in this widely captivating drama.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2011
As always DDL was great. Near the end he seemed to slip a bit but I think that had to do a bit with the fake teeth they were making him wear. :) Of course I had to watch this for english class but I had seen it before and I could following it much better the second time I watched it.
Super Reviewer
December 30, 2010
I never had to read the play or anything, but I did rather enjoy this. Whenever Winona Ryder pulled a crazy I got this big ole smile on my face. I do love some good theatrics. I wasn't entirely entranced with DDL, one of my faves, but in the end he definitely pulled it off.
I can't really note any amazing cinematography or anything, all a play can offer in translation to film is good acting and good dialogue, and it did deliver that much.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2010
Who better to pen the script to a film version of the classic stage play, than the playwright himself, Arthur Miller?
Centered around the Salem Massachusetts witch trials of 1692, it tells the story of Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder), a young woman who is infatuated with local landowner John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis). They once had an illicit affair but when Proctor refuses any further contact, the jilted Abigail accuses Proctor's wife Elizabeth (Joan Allen) of witchcraft, resulting in trials being held. Young Abigail is so convincing in her scornful lies, that it brings the whole town to ruin and under suspicion. With the arrival of Judge Danforth (Paul Scofield), determined to rid the town of evil forces, hangings of innocent people begin, prompting Proctor to face the lies he has told in order to save his friends and his wife.
Although loosely based on actual events it was also written by Miller as an allegory on Senator Joseph McCarthy and his "Communist witch hunts" of the 1950's, that blacklisted artists and filmmakers for being "Un-American". This included Miller's one time friend and film director Elia Kazan, who went on to make "On the Waterfront" as a defence of his 'naming names' and a direct response to Miller's play.
It's a powerful film with powerful performances. Not being overly keen on Winona Ryder, she is actually really good as the conniving and scorned Abigail. Joan Allen is absolutely solid as the seemingly stoic and reserved wife. Daniel Day-Lewis' tormented Proctor is at first, slow-burning but once he realises the full extent of the injustices, his portrayal of a proud man torn apart by guilt is mesmerising, and the almost expressionless Paul Scofield seems to convey his character through his tone of voice, which is very powerful and quite simply, a masterclass in acting.
It would make an interesting double bill with Kazan's "On the Waterfront". Both having entirely oposing messages and themes throughout and showing, quite clearly, what side of the fence they both sat on.
Me? I'm with Miller!
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2010
True to the source material and very dark. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2009
Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing as always and Winona Ryder gave a surprisingly creepy performance as well. For being such an old play, the adaption was true to it's source and at the same time breathed new life into the story. I loved the stale approach that they went with, it was a great choice of style and tone.
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2009
Very stupid and so is the book.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2007
A wonderful and powerful adaptation, this one left me speechless.
Super Reviewer
October 17, 2006
Nothing spectacular.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2007
I would have liked it better had I seen it under better circumstances.
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2007
Now to read the play...
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2007
Arthur Miller turned the incident into a 1953 sage play that was - among other interpretations - an indictment of McCarthy-era communist hunts. Miller has now turned his play into a crisp, volcanic film about repressed sexuality, collective evil, and mass hysteria.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2007
Winona Ryder swinging a chicken around her head naked = win
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2006
Everytime I hear about the crucible, I get pissed off, because it reminds how ignorant/evil/stupid many people were and still are.
Super Reviewer
½ December 3, 2007
Arthur Miller adapted his own stage play for the screen very successfully. British stage director Nicholas Hyntner shows a firm grasp of the themes of the tale and leads the cast and crew to produce a movie that is anything but stagey. The conflict between the two factions of conservative and liberal Puritans in Salem gives this a timeless realism. The whole cast handles the language of the play masterfully. Day-Lewis, Ryder, Scofield, and Allen are especially fine. Rob Campbell as Rev. Hale stood out more strongly on screen than the character seems to on the page.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2012
A dark and smart historical drama based on the play, and Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal as always.
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