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The setting of the movie is the same setting as the play itself; if you haven't read the play or watched the movie yet, I highly recommend it. They are both very excellent, and the 1996 version of the play, with Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis is fantastic.
"The Crucible" takes place during the Salem Witch Trials, which occurred in the year 1692, in the town of Salem, Massachusets. It was a pretty successful merchant town, whose government was a theocracy, or, a government that followed religious laws. The officials were religious men, and if you broke the precepts of the religion, you were punished according to the law. The main religion they practiced was Puritanism, a break-of of the Church of England. Puritans were strict, and stuck to the bible as the source of all authority.
The play opens up in Reverend Parris's house, where his daughter Betty is ill; the mood and tone is tense, dramatic, and strained. The movie opens up a bit differently; it shows a group of girls dancing in the forest and performing spells. The mood is dark, intense, and sordid. After that scene, the movie moves on to Parris's house, starting where the play opens.
I hope that helps; again, I recommend watching the movie or reading the play. It's a great story with a lot of applicable lessons.
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