The Crucible (1996) short review


Winona Ryder and Daniel Day Lewis can sometimes really irritate me, which makes it an even bigger statement when I say that this is a great movie. A really serious adaptation of the famous play, which makes it of interest to anyone interested in the period or in the witchcraft trials of the early United States. Joan Allen gives a mesmerizing performance as Elizabeth Proctor. The costuming is great, although not at all glitzy — these are lower middling class people in the colonies.


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

One Response

  1. Michael L. McQuown

    From the picture, it looks as if the producers have costumed it far earlier than 1692, which is usually the case. Puritanism developed in the late 16th century, got strong in England in the early to mid-17th, then waned after the Restoration 11 years of no fun didn’t do much for their popularity. Although Cromwell was an Independent and not a Puritan, he followed their lead on many points. Puritans did not wear all black all the time; almost never, in fact, because a) they considered it too extreme, and b) it was fashionable at court, largely due to Spanish influence on fashion. They did wear mulberry, dark green, brown, and tawny. The common image of the Puritan/Pilgrim in this country is a slightly off version of the St- Gaudens statue, but with a wide belt and buckled shoes. And the buckle on the hat — all wrong. First, not all the Pilgrims were Puritans, Second, the hat, called a capotain, was seldom if ever worn with a buckle in the band; third, belts of that era were narrow and segmented for carrying a sword, and fitted close to a waistline that starts out high and descending to a point in front, then gets lower, then disappears altogether as the coat replaces the doublet. By the time of Salem, coats are knee length, have no collar, but do have turned back wide cuffs and turned back fronts which become the facings on military uniforms. Think pirate. Ornate wigs also come into this era. Buckles on shoes show up in the last half of the century, but are small. As for the TV series, I find it a guilty pleasure as an occult fantasy, but don’t even begin to take Montgomery’s WTF outfits as historical. Hysterical, maybe. They’re much more accurate depicting the magickal aspects.