Maid Of Salem

  • 1937
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Historical

Casting MacMurray and Colbert in this talky epic of witch burning did nothing for any of the actors or the six members of the creative force. It was a big bomb at the box office, although the sets were incredibly authentic and there was nothing wrong with any of the acting. It's 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Colbert lives with her aunt, Dresser, and her...read more

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Casting MacMurray and Colbert in this talky epic of witch burning did nothing for any of the actors or the six members of the creative force. It was a big bomb at the box office, although the sets were incredibly authentic and there was nothing wrong with any of the acting. It's 1692 in

Salem, Massachusetts. Colbert lives with her aunt, Dresser, and her cousin, Bartlett, and indicates a certain rebelliousness against the pinched society of New England. MacMurray, a man on the lam from Virginia, arrives in the small town and begins seeing Colbert, although she must be careful

because he is wanted. Granville, the troublemaking daughter of Bondi and Ellis, hates her family's black slave, Tituba, so she starts telling witch stories about the woman, saying that Tituba has been possessed. This starts a wave of hysteria and Tituba, as well as many other innocents, are burned

at the stake. Colbert is in total accord with the falsely accused and that puts her in a bad light; that is she may be the next one to get the big hotfoot. MacMurray recognizes the danger and wants Colbert to flee with him. He goes to Boston to buy boat tickets, but someone blows the whistle on

him and he is tossed in the clink. Simultaneously, the madness has caught up with Colbert and she's accused and arrested as being a witch. At the trial, Sondergaard, wife of the town doctor, Stephens, says that Colbert's mother had been burned in England for the same charge. Stephens had been

attempting to aid Colbert, and Sondergaard became angry, so it is unclear if what she says is true or induced by jealousy. Colbert gets the customary death sentence for matters of witchcraft but is saved when MacMurray escapes from jail and comes back to Salem in time to disprove the charges

against her. Granville, that little snit, confesses she made the whole thing up and MacMurray and Colbert are left to spend the rest of their lives together. A brooding, dark film about a dark subject; Arthur Miller would use the same material to write his play "The Crucible," which did about as

well as this picture. Granville did a similar role in THESE THREE. In order to make the picture, the producers built an entire New England village in Santa Cruz, California.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Casting MacMurray and Colbert in this talky epic of witch burning did nothing for any of the actors or the six members of the creative force. It was a big bomb at the box office, although the sets were incredibly authentic and there was nothing wrong with… (more)

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