Crucible the Film Version of Arthur Miller's Term Paper

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The film version of Arthur Miller's hit Broadway play of 1953 "The Crucible" was released in 1996. Miller

himself wrote the screen play of the film which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder in lead roles and was directed by Nicholas Hytner.

The Crucible is a fictional retelling of events in American history surrounding the Salem witch trials in the year 1692. The film, as well as the play on which it is based, is however in no way an accurate description of history and takes considerable liberties with the actual events that took place during the trial. The film is set in the Puritan era in a small town (Salem) in colonial Massachusetts when twenty innocent men and women were accused of witchcraft and put to death and hundreds more suffered.

When Miller wrote his play, which has been reproduced on film with just a few changes, he had meant it to be an allegorical tale about McCarthyism and the witch-hunt of Communists (both imaginary and real) in the United States in the 1950s.
Hence, while Miller was showing the characters of the Salem trials in his play, he was alluding to the paranoia prevailing in the U.S. At the time against the Communist ideology. With this allegorical aspect removed from the film released in 1996, one would have expected it to revert more closely to the historical events of the Salem witch trials. Unfortunately, the film diverges from the original events even further; thus loosing its sense of direction and meandering without purpose.

As noted by the renowned film critic, Robert Ebert in his review of the film, The Crucible strikes "the wrong note" from its very first scene. (Ebert, 1996) It shows a scene that could never possibly have occurred in the Puritanical society of 17th century Massachusetts and never did. The naked dancing in the forest by a group of adolescent girls is not only impossible to believe, it also takes the movie further away from a….....

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