An Analysis of the Film Adaptation of The Crucible Directed by Raymond Rouleau

Film Analysis – The Crucible

The film “The Crucible” portrays the events of the Salem witch trials in the late 1600s. The Crucible was originally a historical fiction play written by Arthur Miller but later received a movie adaptation directed by Raymond Rouleau. The story begins with the town girls dancing around a fire in some kind of ritual when they are spotted by Samuel Parris. After these events, children around the town begin acting strangely and the town members conclude that Lucifer, or the devil, must be in satan.

The Salem court system proceeds to try and hang anyone found guilty of witchcraft, all through a very unbalanced system of having children’s words hold more weight than hard evidence.

Eventually, the main character, John Proctor, has him and his wife both on death row to be hung, and are offered a chance to escape death if John lies about being the one to summon Lucifer, which he declines. The film ends with a scene of John being hung, even though he was innocent.

The Crucible has a plethora of both historical accuracies and inaccuracies. One important detail that the Crucible got right was that the main roles of each person in the movie were real people and what they generally did in the events. However one inaccuracy that compliments this is that the reasons for their actions were altered, such as Giles Corey being crushed by stones for withholding a name of a witness in the movie, but in reality, he was crushed for refusing to plea to claims of witchcraft.

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Another important detail which the movie changed from reality was that the movie only portrayed young females as being inflicted with the strange illness at the beginning of the movie when in reality it was both adults and kids, male or female who were afflicted. Finally, the movie got incorrect the fact that the main character John Proctor was not a farmer as he was portrayed but instead owned a tavern.

Overall, I enjoyed the film quite a bit, and I can safely say that it has earned a spot as one of the better historical movies I’ve seen. Having family having were raised in Salem, I’ve been well accustomed to certain details of the story, such as knowing the names of people like John Proctor and Giles Corey, but not knowing who they were or what they did, I was able to make a personal connection to further improve my experience. An event like this easily could occur due to mass hysteria and panic, as people generally are “sheep” in society, meaning that they are likely to follow in the footsteps of others instead of logically seeing things through. The film itself has a decent degree of historical value, as it gets the main idea of what happened in the Salem witch trials across, but also had many inaccuracies which did heavily alter the story, such as Abigail Williams having a romantic subplot with John Proctor and being 17 in the movie, when in reality that never happened and she was only 11. Major inaccuracies like that harm the film’s credibility, but not badly enough to say the movie can’t be taken seriously as a way to learn about the Salem witch trials. This movie is extremely effective as a political allegory as it strongly gets across the idea of McCarthyism, which was the original purpose of the play being written. McCarthyism, simply put, is the practice of creating accusations of treason without caring for evidence. Such actions at the time of the play being created were occurring over communism, having people being called communists without strong evidence. This directly mirrors people being accused of witchery during the Salem witch trials. All in all, I think the movie can get across the message it was designed to portray, and I would personally give it a 7/10.

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An Analysis of the Film Adaptation of The Crucible Directed by Raymond Rouleau. (2022, Jun 16). Retrieved from

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