WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Crucible, The

Reviewed In Issue 26 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Daniel Day Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, Bruce Davidson, Rob Campbell & Jeffrey Jones

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 3.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 0414485
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Retail Price): $49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 123
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1996
(LD Release Date): 8/97
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): Nicholas Hynter
(Screenplay/Written By): Arthur Miller
(Story): NA
(Music): George Fenton
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Lilly Kilvert
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Tariq Anwar
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Diana Pokorny
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Robert A. Miller & David V. Picker

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.82:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): SDDS & Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible is a relentlessly suspenseful drama of collective evil and personal conscience. Perched on the edge of a continent is a community dedicated to the service of God. Several teenaged girls, stifled by the crushing piety of their elders, dance naked in the woods. Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder), her innocence lost in the bed of married farmer John Proctor (Daniel Day Lewis), drinks a charm to kill his wife. Suddenly the Devil is loose in Salem. The girls are discovered and, spurred on by their terrifiying accusations, the entire village cries witchcraft. One by one, the blameless victims of mass hysteria are torn from their homes until, inexorably, Abigail’s vengeance is turned on Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth (Joan Allen in an Academy Award®-nominated role). The Crucible is one of 1996’s most critically acclaimed films and features Paul Scofield, Jeffrey Jones, Bruce Davidson and George Gaynes in a powerful supporting cast.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture, matted at 1.82:1 exhibits good quality with extremely natural colors and fleshtones and deep, solid blacks. Exterior scenes are superb. Images are sometimes wanting in sharpness, seeming soft and slightly out of focus. Shadow detail is often bluish and marred with chroma noise, but there are no detected artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The Dolby® Digital 5.1 discrete soundtrack is dramatically clearer and more open than the veiled sounding matrix PCM soundtrack. Dialogue is unnaturally ADR-produced with poor sounding spatial integration. Sound effects are wanting in spatial dimension. The music score is nicely recorded with an expansive and deep soundstage with effectively delineated instruments. Bass extension is sometimes deep and powerful, reaching below 25Hz, with both subtle and aggressive surrounds. The matrix version sounds congested and undefined, possibly due to an error with encoding because such differences are not the norm. Overall, the soundtrack falls short of the material’s potential
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: