The Crucible

Produced by 20th Century Fox, released Nov. 26, 1996, gross of $10 million, color 35mm negative, 1.85:1 screen ratio, Dolby Stereo sound, 123 mins., Laserdisc released 1997.

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This film is based on the play The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953 in response to the McCarthyism of that era. Miller used the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials to symbolize the hysteria of a popular fear (witchcraft in the Puritan era, anticommunism in the modern era) and the willingness of a few to oppose the tyranny of the many. The film was photographed on location for 55 days from September to November in 1995 on Hog Island MA, a half mile off the shore north of Boston in Essex Bay, where Fox leased the 680-acre Crane Wildlife Refuge from the oldest nonprofit land trust in the U.S., the Trustees of Reservations. Daniel Day-Lewis, who had played Newland Archer in the 1993 film Age of Innocence (opposite Winona Ryder who played May Welland), studied the accent and people on the island to develop his character. On Nov. 13, 1996, Lewis, age 39, married Arthur Miller's filmmaker daughter, Rebecca, age 33, even though the previous year he fathered a son Gabriel-Kane, born April 9, 1995, to French actress Isabelle Adjani.

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revised 9/19/03 by Steven Schoenherr | Filmnotes