The Crucible

Director:Nicholas Hytner
Writer:Arthur Miller
Director of Photography:Andrew Dunn
Editor:Tariq Anwar
Music:George Funton
Production Designer:Lilly Kilvert
Producers:Robert A. Miller and David V. Picker
Twentieth Century Fox; PG-13; 123 minutes
Cast:Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, Bruce Davison, Rob Campbell, Jeffrey Jones, Karron Graves and Charlayne Woodard
Based on Arthur Miller's play

The Crucible
Archive Photos

Though set in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, Miller's drama remains timeless. This faithful film adaptation builds on the famous allegory of McCarthyism to reflect our current, and no less virulent, blend of media-fed group-think and religious fundamentalism. Abigail Williams (Ryder) and her circle of friends create a terror of demons when they are caught conducting a haunting ritual to cast love spells, with Williams fixing her sights on former lover John Proctor (Day-Lewis). When put on trial, Williams sees it as a spiteful opportunity to accuse Proctor's wife, Elizabeth (Allen), of witchcraft. The accusations send the community into a frenzy of betrayal and vengeance. Hytner's spare setting allows Miller's plainspoken, yet powerful, language to work to chilling effect.