A very powerful movie. I have never seen a movie where every character was done so well. There were no weak links at all. The cast, led by Daniel Day Lewis as John Proctor, Joan Allen as Elizabeth Proctor, Winona Ryder as Abigail, and Paul Scofield as the Judge, was outstanding. I remember hearing about this movie back in 1996. It was supposed to be the big Oscar contender. Then nothing happened. It was only in the theaters for a short time, and it didn't get any major nominations. I can't understand why. This was a very well made movie. I never read the play, so I didn't know what I was in for. It's a movie about the Salem witch trials, where if you're found to be a witch, you are sentenced to death by hanging. Did you ever see a movie where you felt frustrated by what was going on? A movie where you know what the right thing to do is, you know what the truth is, but it just never comes out? This movie is like that. You know while you're watching who is lying and who is telling the truth, but the people who decide life and death don't. I often wonder what my life would have been like had I been born in a different time, or a different place, but when I see movies like The Crucible, I get scared. This may have only been a movie, but this sort of thing went on back then. People, sometimes just at random, could be accused of being a witch, and when that word is even whispered around you, your life was over. Religion was very powerful back then, and if there as even an inkling that you were a witch, you only had two choices, and both were bad. You either told the truth, and said you weren't a witch, at which point you'd be hung, or you lied, and said you were, at which point you be an outcast for life. You weren't allowed to not believe in God. If you didn't then you were with the Devil. Your life wasn't in your hands. If someone accused you of being a witch, there was nothing you could do about it, and that is frightening.
I couldn't take my eyes off this movie from beginning to end. It's a little over two hours long, but well worth it. If you want to see a very powerful, very moving film about life in this country centuries ago, rent The Crucible. It's one of the best films I've ever seen.