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The Crucible [DVD] [1996]

Release Date:06/01/2004
Nicholas Hytner's superb adaptation of Arthur Miller's politically charged play The Crucible makes its debut on DVD with this excellent package from 20th Century Fox. The anamorphic widescreen transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and does a fantastic job of capturing the rural landscape that is crucial to the piece. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, while Spanish and French soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Surround. Hytner and Miller each provide commentary. Although they were recorded at different times, they have been perfectly edited together. Each brings a unique perspective to the material. Hytner discusses his attempts to open up the play and goes into an interesting comparison between the acting styles of Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Scofield. Miller discusses the amount of research he did for the original play, and discusses the political climate that helped give birth to the play. A making-of featurette, an interview between Day Lewis and Miller, and the original theatrical trailer round out this highly recommended disc.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 3)

    Special Features

    • Making-of featurette
    • "A Conversation With Daniel Day-Lewis and Arthur Miller" featurette
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Closed Captioned


    The Crucible
    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 Ryder) is held in suspicion of practicing magic. Abigail in turn levels charges against John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his wife Elizabeth (Joan Allen). Abigail has a private grudge against the Proctors; while working as their servant, she had an affair with John, and when John ended the relationship and returned to his wife, Abigail was fired. Now the Reverend Parris (Bruce Davison) is hearing accusations and counter-accusations of misdeeds from all sides of the community in the wake of Abigail's charges, so he brings in Judge Danforth (Paul Scofield) to determine who is guilty or innocent. However, given the moral climate of the time, it seems someone has to be found guilty of witchcraft, even though firm evidence of wrongdoing is becoming hard to come by. This was the second screen version of The Crucible, though it was the first one in English; the previous version, filmed in France in 1956, starred Simone Signoret and Yves Montand. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Daniel Day-Lewis
      Daniel Day-Lewis - John Proctor
    • Winona Ryder
      Winona Ryder - Abigail Williams
    • Paul Scofield
      Paul Scofield - Judge Danforth
    • Joan Allen
      Joan Allen - Elizabeth Proctor
    • Rob Campbell
      Rob Campbell - Reverend John Hale

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.