Media Adaptations

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  • The first film version of The Crucible was made in France in 1957. It stars Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Mylene Demongeot, and Jean Debucourt. The film was directed by Raymond Rouleau and written by Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • No further film adaptations were made until 1996, when Miller's own screenplay of his drama was put into production by Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Proctor, Winona Ryder as Abigail, and Joan Allen as Goody Proctor. In his introduction to the Penguin edition of the screenplay, Miller pointed to the advantages of film:"There was the possibility of showing the wild beauty of the newly cultivated land bordered by the wild sea, and the utter disorder and chaos of the town meetings where the people were busy condemning one another to death for loving the Evil One. Now one could show the hysteria as it grew rather than for the most part reporting it only."
  • Several versions of a sound recording of The Crucible in the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, New York, Repertory Theater are available and are published by Caedmon.
  • The Crucible has also been made into an opera with music by Robert Ward and libretto by Bernard Stambler. Recordings of the New York City Opera performance have been produced by Composers Recordings and Troy Albany Records.
  • In 1995 Penguin Books produced an interactive multimedia CD-ROM which includes a searchable text of the play, hypertext annotations, video interviews, historical data, pictorial material, commentary, and a bibliography.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Sources All quotations in this Enotes edition were taken from the Penguin edition of the play, New York, 1981.

Ansen, David. "One Devil of a Time." In Newsweek, December 2, 1996, p. 80.

Corliss, Richard. "Going All the Way." In Time, Vol. 148, no. 25, December 2, 1996, p 81.

Douglass, James W. “Miller’s The Crucible: Which Witch Is Which?” In Renascence, vol. XV, no. 3, Spring, 1963, pp. 145–151.

Griffin, John and Griffin, Alice. “Arthur Miller Discusses The Crucible.” In Theatre Arts, vol. XXXCII, no. 10, October, 1953, pp. 33–34.

Hayes, Richard. Review of The Crucible. In Commonweal, Vol. LVII, no. 20, February 20, 1953, p. 498.

Hewes, Henry. “Arthur Miller and How He Went to the Devil.” In The Saturday Review, New York, vol. XXXVI, no. 5, January 31, 1953, pp. 24–26.

Hill, Philip G. “The Crucible: A Structural View.” In Modern Drama, vol. 10, no. 3, December, 1967, pp. 312–317.

Hope-Wallace, Philip. Review of The Crucible. In Time & Tide, vol. 35, no. 47, November 20, 1954, p. 1544.

Huftel, Sheila. Arthur Miller: The Burning Glass. The Citadel Press, 1965.

Introduction to Arthur Miller’s Collected Plays. The Viking Press, 1957, pp. 3–55.

Interview with Arthur Miller. In Detroit News, October 26, 1996, p. 1C.

“Journey to The Crucible.” In The New York Times, February 8, 1953, section 10, p. 3.

Martin, Robert A. "Arthur Miller's The Crucible: Background and Sources.'' In Modern Drama, September, 1977, pp 279-92.

Miller, Arthur. An interview with Matthew C. Roudane. In Michigan Quarterly Review, Summer, 1985.

Nathan, George Jean. "Henrik Miller." In Theatre Arts, Vol. XXXVII, no. 4, April, 1953, pp. 24-26.

Popkin, Henry. "Arthur Miller's The Crucible." In College English, Vol. 26, no. 2, November, 1964, pp. 139-46.

Raphael, D. D. The Paradox of Tragedy: The Mahlon Powell Lectures, 1959. Indiana University Press, 1960, pp. 90–111.

Warshow, Robert. The Immediate Experience. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1962, pp. 189–203.

Welland, Dennis. Arthur Miller . Oliver &...

(This entire section contains 498 words.)

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Boyd Ltd., 1961.

Further Reading Budick, E. Miller. "History and Other Specters in The Crucible." In Arthur Miller, edited by Harold Bloom. Chelsea House (New York), 1987. Budick discusses the role of John Proctor and the questions of personal morality and integrity.

Herron, Ima Honaker. The Small Town in American Drama. Southern Methodist University Press (Dallas), 1969. Herron discusses different portrayals of American small town life, focusing on The Crucible in her chapter on "The Puritan Village and the Common Madness of the Time."

Miller, Arthur. Introduction to his The Crucible: Screenplay. Viking Penguin, 1996. In his introduction, Miller provides some insights into the production of the 1996 film adaptation of his legendary play. He also discusses the text as a work that would appeal to modern audiences, citing a number of contemporary issues that the play addresses.

Starkey, Manon L. The Witch Trials in Massachusetts. Knopf (New York), 1949. This book came out before Miller's play and was one of the first works to generate interest in the Salem Witch Trials. Starkey works with documents about the trial, which were collected together in the 1930s, and draws parallels with the 1940s, including the atrocities m Nazi Germany.

Warshow, Robert. "The Liberal Conscience in The Crucible." In Essays in the Modern Drama, edited by Freedman and Morris. Warshow discusses the character of Hale and questions of social control and individual freedom.


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Bigsby, C. W. E. “Arthur Miller.” Williams, Miller, Albee. Vol. 2 in A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-Century American Drama. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Bonnet, Jean-Marie. “Society Versus the Individual in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.” English Studies 63, no. 1 (February, 1982): 32-36. Solid analysis of the central themes. Contends that The Crucible explores the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom.

Budick, E. Miller. “History and Other Spectres in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible,” in Modern Drama. XXVIII (December, 1985), pp. 535-552.

Ferres, John H. “Still in the Present Tense: The Crucible Today,” in University College Quarterly. XVII (May, 1972), pp. 8-18.

Foulkes, A.P. Literature and Propaganda, 1983.

McGill, William J. “The Crucible of History: Arthur Miller’s John Proctor,” in New England Quarterly. LIV (June, 1981), pp. 258-264.

Martin, Robert A. “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: Background and Sources.” Modern Drama 20, no. 3 (September, 1977): 279-292. Contends that the play transcends the topical parallel of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and stands on its own merits.

Martine, James J. The Crucible: Politics, Property, and Pretense. New York: Twayne, 1993.

Meserve, Walter J. “The Crucible: ’This Fool and I,’” in Arthur Miller: New Perspectives, 1982.

Miller, Arthur. Conversations with Arthur Miller. Edited by Matthew C. Roudane. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1987. Miller discusses his work with various interviewers. Two useful discussions of The Crucible.

Miller, Arthur. Timebends: A Life. New York: Grove Press, 1987.

Morgan, Edmund S. “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and the Salem Witch Trials: A Historian’s View,” in The Golden and the Brazen World: Papers in Literature and History, 1600-1800, 1985.

Nathan, George Jean. “Henrik Miller,” in Theatre Arts. XXXVII (April, 1953), pp. 24-26.

O’Neal, Michael J. “History, Myth, and Name Magic in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible,” in Clio. XII (Winter, 1983), pp. 111-122.

Popkin, Henry. “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible,” in College English. XXVI (November, 1964), pp. 139-146.

Warshow, Robert. “The Liberal Conscience in the Crucible.” In The Immediate Experience: Movies, Comics, Theatre and Other Aspects of Popular Culture. New York: Doubleday, 1962. Warshow considers the work a wooden political polemic, historically inaccurate, without a central point.


Historical and Social Context