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  • The Crucible [VHS] [1997]
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The Crucible [VHS] [1997]


Price: £19.99
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Dispatched from and sold by qualityfilmsfromuk.
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£19.99 Only 2 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by qualityfilmsfromuk.

Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, Bruce Davison
  • Directors: Nicholas Hytner
  • Writers: Arthur Miller
  • Producers: David V. Picker, Diana Pokorny, Mitchell Levin, Robert A. Miller
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: CBS Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CUVX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,068 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In Salem, Massachusetts, 1692, accusations of witchcraft are rife. John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his wife Elizabeth (Joan Allen) are innocent of any such charges, although John has committed adultery with their former serving girl, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder). When witch expert John Hale is called in to investigate the reports of witchcraft, Abigail attempts to implicate Elizabeth, thinking that she will then be able to resume her affair with John. Arthur Miller's play was originally written as an allegory for the Joseph McCarthy American 'witch-hunt' trials of the 1950s.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Salem witch hunts are given a new and nasty perspective when a vengeful teenage girl uses superstition and repression to her advantage, creating a killing machine that becomes a force unto itself. Pulsating with seductive energy, this provocative drama is as visually arresting as it is intellectually engrossing. Arthur Miller based his classic 1953 play on the actual Salem witch trials of 1692, creating what has since become a durable fixture of school drama courses. It may look like a historical drama but Miller also meant the work as a parable for the misery created by the McCarthy anti-Communist hearings of the 1950s. This searing version of his drama delves into matters of conscience with concise accuracy and emotional honesty. Three passionate cheers for Miller, director Nicholas Hytner and costars Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Dec. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This film, based upon the Arthur Miller play of the same name, is excellent. Miller himself wrote the screenplay for it, so it is no wonder that the story told by the film is relatively faithful to the play. Coupled with the capable direction of Nicholas Hynter, as well as a stellar cast, the play successfully makes the transition from stage to celluloid.
The movie recounts a fictionalized version of the famous Salem, Massachusetts witch trials of 1692, which saw quite a number of of the town's citizens executed for witchcraft. Winona Ryder is excellent as Abigail Williams, the poor relation of the town's craven minister, well played by Bruce Davison.
Dancing with other young women around a camp fire in the woods one evening, Abigail is surprised by the intrusion of the minister into their festivities. He is just as surprised as they are. The young women are in terror of having been caught doing something forbidden to them, and the games begin.
"The devil made me do it!" becomes the rallying cry of the day, as the young women begin pointing the finger at those townsfolk who in some measure have come under their unfavorable scrutiny. Beginning with Tituba, the slave, who is the first to fall, the circle of those accused widens under the careful leadership of Abigail.
She ultimately sets her sights on Elizabeth Proctor, the prim wife of John Proctor, played with icy calm by Joan Allen. Elizabeth is the woman for whom Abigail had previously worked and from whose employ she had been dismissed, as Mrs. Proctor had rightly suspected her of having an affair with her husband, John.
Abigail still lusts mightily for John, who has spurned her subsequent overtures and advances.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Crucible is considerably simplified from the play. Despite Arthur Miller handling the adaptation himself, so much of the historical detail and motivation for the witchhunts is dropped to get the narrative moving faster that at the end of the day the whole thing seems to have been reduced to a simple case of a woman spurned and a bad case of mass hysteria. Some awkward performances in the first half don't help either - Bruce Davison is shrilly ineffective, Daniel Day Lewis still seems to be doing Hawkeye, Joan Allen does her serious face again and the jury's still out on whether Winona Ryder is giving a convincing performance as an unconvincing liar or and unconvincing performance as a convincing liar. Yet the strength of the material shines through and suddenly, by the halfway point, you suddenly realise that you are completely gripped by it and that most of the performances have improved immeasurably once Paul Scofield has arrived to up the ante. Indeed, by the end the piece is genuinely tragic and moving (that said, I still maintain that the real hero of the piece is not John Proctor but Pastor Hale - the only character to realise his terrible error and to have the courage to publicly try to remedy it, however hopelessly). Excellent supporting performances from Karron Graves and, surprisingly, George Gaynes, although the houses seem a little too large for Puritan stock. Definitely a film of two halves, but worth seeing for the sheer power of the latter half.

No extras of any kind on the UK disc (unlike the US disc, which features commentary by the director and Miller as well as a brief interview with Miller), but it does at least boast a decent 1.85:1 widescreen transfer.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Hawkes TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Miller's 1953 play, The Crucible, at the time was a satire against the McCarthy Communist "witch hunt" of the 1950s. Indeed, Miller himself was prosecuted for "Contempt of Congress" for refusing to implicate others: the central metaphor is clear.

This 1996 film version is, of course, divorced in time from the proceedings of the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities, but not from its significance. Miller wrote the screen play itself, and it does steer very closely to the text of the play.

The cast is also excellent: in particular, Winona Ryder as the enigmatic Abigail, and Paul Scofield as the Machiavellian Judge Danford. And Daniel Day-Lewis is surprisingly good as John Proctor, especially in the affecting concluding scenes. The setting too feels authentic, a real closed-in atmosphere for Salem, the "Crucible" of the title.

So why not 5 stars? This might perhaps label me as a pedant, but I find the film slightly dissatisfying first because of the beginning, a rather gratuitous "romp" which is only alluded to in the play itself.

Second (and perhaps more importantly), the movement from place to place is very filmic, but therefore the film loses some of the intensity of the play, which is designed to be claustrophobic.

I could also add that in the play, there is a real sense that Salem is on the edge of civilisation, struggling to contend with the forces of literal and metaphorical darkness that could so easily overwhelm a town like Salem in the 17th Century - indeed, Abigail's parents were killed by native Americans.
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