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What is ironic about Hollywood making a movie about The Crucible?what is ironic about...

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academian | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 26, 2010 at 2:29 PM via web

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What is ironic about Hollywood making a movie about The Crucible?

what is ironic about hollywood making a movie about the crucible

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 26, 2010 at 2:36 PM (Answer #2)

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The only true irony that I find in Hollywood making a film of "The Crucible" is the relationship that the book had to McCarthy.  Senator McCarthy created hysteria in America during the Cold War period.  People were picked out and tried for crimes on communism and conspiracy. 

The nation was in a type of hysteria.  At first people regarded the man as being wise and correct.  A black list was created and if anyone believed that the person was a communist conspirator, he or she went on the black list.  Many Hollywood performers were put on the list.  For them it meant they were not hired to work and could not find jobs.  It was a difficult time in the acting and film industry. 

The situation masked the Salem witch hunts and the false allegations made by Abigail.  Americans eventually began to see the farce behind the trials and the damage it had caused.  The list dissipated and some level of normalcy in the in the film industry returned, but not with out having caused major damage to careers and the personal lives of many.



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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 26, 2010 at 2:38 PM (Answer #3)

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The most ironic thing about the play being made into a movie is that Hollywood was actually opposed to the point that Miller was making back in the 1950s.

The play was written during the McCarthy Era as a protest against the anti-communist "witch hunts" that were going on.  But, during this time, Hollywood was pretty much on McCarthy's side.  After the Hollywood 10 were called up in front of HUAC, they were pretty much all blacklisted and were unable to work in Hollywood for a long time after.

So it's pretty ironic for Hollywood to make a movie criticizing something that they took part in.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 27, 2010 at 7:33 PM (Answer #4)

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It is not so much irony as it is a means of making a profit. All movie studios are capitalistic enterprises, so their first goal and purpose is always to stockholders and the company itself. Movie studois have always made movies about movie-making from Chaplin to Tim Robbins.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:18 AM (Answer #5)

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It's ironic because Miller was writing about McCarthyism, which blacklisted many Hollywood actors and directors by accusing them of being communists or sympathizers.  So it's ironic that Hollywood would be the one commenting and criticizing that process with an actual movie, just as it was funny and appropriate that Arthur Miller wrote about Salem during the actual McCarthy hearings.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM (Answer #6)

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Exactly right.  This play was Arthur Miller's literary portrait of his experiences with McCarthy and his Committee as well as a rather dire reminder that history repeats itself.  What happened in 1692--horrible as it was for everyone involved--happened again in the 1950s.  He didn't go so far as to predict such a thing would happen again, though he certainly didn't deny the possibility.

Hollywood was one of his targets, for buying into such a hysterical movement (though not without some merit, of course).  What a delicious irony that they had to pay Miller royalties for producing his play.

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