The Crucible: Movie Review

Crucible is an American historical drama picture directed by Nicholas Hytner and filmed by Century Fox. This motion picture was created thanks to Arthur Miller, a famous American playwright and prose writer. The picture was based on his 1953 play of the same name, inspired by the Salem witchcraft trials.

The film is a picture in which the actual events in Salem are installed. The motion picture character depicts real people of that time accusing others of witchcraft. Those who admitted to being witches were made outcast until the end of their lives. The people, who were accused of witchcraft, but didn’t want to confess were executed by fire. Although the events of the motion picture are historical, they are not shown accurately. This famous period in American history and its first movie adaptation have become a basis of many other films and TV shows, Motherland: Fort Salem being one of the newest versions of it.

General Info on The Crucible by ‎Arthur Miller

The Crucible, released in 1996, tries to show the horrific historical and religious facts that happened in the city long ago. Those events caused hysteria there. A lot of information on The Crucible by ‎Arthur Miller is accessible in numerous essays and research papers because it was praised by critics. Many interesting facts about the cast, plot, and actual historical events were highlighted thanks to the release of the film. The picture offers one of the possible points of view that can logically explain everything that happened in 1692. However, this drama should not be taken as historical evidence but as an allegory point of view.

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The Beginning

A group of young village girls meets an enslaved black Barbadian in the woods in the morning, trying to cast love spells on the men in their town. One girl, Abigail Williams, who is played by Winona Ryder, kills a chicken and drinks its blood, wishing death on Elizabeth-another man’s wife. They are spotted by her uncle, Reverend Parris, played by Bruce Davison. As the women start running away, his daughter Betty passes out. Betty will not wake up, nor will Thomas and Ann Putnam’s daughter Ruth, who also participated in the ceremony. The situation leads to the infamous witch trials which are aimed at executing women connected to witchcraft.

Mrs. Putnam is distressed because she had had seven other children who died in childbirth. Giles Corey, who suspects the kids are playing pranks, and John Proctor, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, with whom Abigail was having an affair, also visit the house. 

Main Events

Believing that Betty and Ruth are demon-possessed, the Putnams and Reverend summon Reverend John Hale, played by Rob Campbell, from nearby Beverly to examine Betty. The main character accuses Tituba of witchcraft to save herself and the other women from punishment. After flogging, Tituba confesses to seeing the devil and is protected from being hanged. Amazed at their new strength, the other women begin calling women they have “seen” with the devil. Mary Warren, one of the accused, testifies in court that the witchcraft was faked. In court, Francis Nurse lists persons vouching for the accused.

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The judge Danforth, played by Paul Scofield, orders everyone on the list to be arrested and brought in for questioning. Elizabeth Proctor says she is pregnant and will be saved from death until the baby is born, but John insists on accusing the woman of perjury. The other women are called in and asked if they lied about witchcraft, but a commotion is caused by screaming Mary Warren who is bewitching them. To prevent the girls’ complicity, John confesses that he had an affair with Mary, claiming that she blamed Elizabeth for getting rid of her, so she could marry him. To save herself from being hanged, Mary Warren accuses John of witchcraft. The day before his hanging, Reverend Hale confronts the girl in the now-abandoned homes of the victims she testified against.

The Final 

On the eve of his hanging, fearing that his execution will spark riots, John meets with Elizabeth to see if she can get him to confess to save his life. John agrees and writes a confession. The judges insist that he signs the confession and displays it publicly to prove his guilt and persuade others to confess. John, determined to keep his name pure for his sons, angrily shouts, “Leave me my name!” Before he, Nurse Rebecca, and Martha Corey finish reciting the Lord’s Prayer, they are hanged and die.

Historical Perspectives

Even though in the drama, some of the names coincide with real people, many characters are added to the plot to make the drama more attractive. For example, the secret affair between Abigail Williams and a married man, Joan Allen, was not a historical fact. It is an essential detail in the drama. Although the film describes historical events, the main plot is partly fictitious. Some historical facts stand behind the picture. It combines them into an exciting plot. The motion film repeats actual events, showing the countryside, but not once mentioning the city.

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Another inaccuracy is that the first two women who caused a wave of suspicion were named Betty and Abigail. In the motion picture, their names are Betty and Ruth. According to the real story, they were 9 and 11 years old, but these heroines are much older in the drama, as their connections with men are shown. Furthermore, the actual events took place in February, meaning that dancing in the forest with stripes was impossible in such cold weather. 


As a result, the plot of the movie is very similar to the real life of the Salem witch trials. However, the drama is filled with inaccuracies. The picture develops much faster than it was for real. For a person who is unfamiliar with the real story the drama can be good and educational, but it would be better to have a basic understanding of such events. This motion picture is popular and streaming nowadays, too. 

The drama has been praised for its beautiful production and strong performances. Even though some historical inaccuracies are present, the thematic depth is attractive to many viewers.