6.5/10
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10 user 8 critic

Maid of Salem (1937)

Passed | | Drama | 12 February 1937 (USA)
Young lovers fall afoul of repressive society as Salem elders get caught up in the witch hunts and trials of 17th century Massachusetts. One family in particular uses the hysteria to its ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writers:

Walter Ferris (screen play), Bradley King (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claudette Colbert ... Barbara Clarke
Fred MacMurray ... Roger Coverman of Virginia
Harvey Stephens ... Dr. John Harding
Gale Sondergaard ... Martha - His Wife
Louise Dresser ... Ellen Clarke - Barbara's Aunt
Benny Bartlett ... Timothy - Her Son (as Bennie Bartlett)
Edward Ellis ... Elder Goode
Beulah Bondi ... Abigail - His Wife
Bonita Granville ... Ann - Their Daughter
Virginia Weidler ... Nabby - Their Daughter
Donald Meek ... Ezra Cheeves
E.E. Clive ... Bilge
Halliwell Hobbes ... Jeremiah
Pedro de Cordoba ... Mr. Morse
Madame Sul-Te-Wan Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Tituba - A Slave
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Storyline

Young lovers fall afoul of repressive society as Salem elders get caught up in the witch hunts and trials of 17th century Massachusetts. One family in particular uses the hysteria to its advantage, getting even with everyone for every slight--real or imagined. Written by Ed Lorusso <elorusso@techreps.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

salem | trial | witchcraft | 1600s | See All (4) »

Taglines:

Another Paramount Silver Jubilee celebration hit! (Trade paper ad).

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Kreuzverh√∂r See more »

Filming Locations:

Carmel, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Louise Dresser. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Parris: Speaking of Satan, I also you bid ye beware the frivolity and foolishness of women that bedeck themselves with ribbons, curls and lace bonnets, thus causing the minds of men to, to wander. I tell you that a female that will fritter away her time, trimming and tricking herself out in such a fashion, should be looked upon as the mere gizzard of a trifle . The mere epitome of nothing and a very apt prey for the Devil.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Fred MacMurray (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Bid Me But Live
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Word Of Warning About Witches
28 August 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

As studio policy went at Paramount controversial subjects were usually shied away from. So when Maid Of Salem came out this was a big surprise for the movie-going public and those who review films back in 1937.

Arthur Miller's The Crucible has become the defining work about the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, but Maid Of Salem should not be readily dismissed by Miller's admirers.

Claudette Colbert is in the title role and Fred MacMurray who is a refugee from Virginia colony star in this film. In fact MacMurray's very presence inadvertently ticks off fear of witches and demons and goblins and all kinds of things that go bump in the night. He puts on a spook act that scares some gullible Puritans after they've been given the word of warning about witches.

But the real demons are in one's own mind and in the evil intent of those who use fear of same. That in this film is Bonita Granville who is playing the same kind of role she did in her breakthrough part in These Three.

Lest you think that Maid Of Salem is an unrelenting drama, there are two very nice comic roles. First from E.E. Clive who is a drinker and unashamed of his vice and who goes obligingly off to the stocks like Andy Griffith used to let town drunk Otis lock himself in the jail cell every night. Secondly is Sterling Holloway a person of some property who just can't understand why Claudette Colbert should be less than enthusiastic about getting such a catch.

The performance of Madame Sul-Te-Wan should also be singled out. Back in this day most of the northern colonies also permitted slavery and she does a superb job as a woman who basically because she's not forgotten her African roots yet, still going by a tribal name she becomes an easy first target when she's accused.

Frank Lloyd got good if under-appreciated work from his whole cast. This film ought to be better known for today's audiences.


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