Rotten Tomatoes

Movies / TV

    Celebrity

      No Results Found

      View All
      Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

      Maid of Salem

      1937 1h 26m Mystery & Thriller List
      Reviews 0% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings When a young woman named Barbara Clarke (Claudette Colbert) has an affair with adventurer Roger Coverman (Fred MacMurray), it causes a scandal in the Puritanical town of Salem, Massachusetts. After a meddling girl arouses their suspicions, the town's elders accuse Barbara of being a witch. She is tried, convicted of sorcery and sentenced to death. As the townspeople prepare to burn Barbara at the stake, Roger tries desperately to save the woman he loves. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      Pare Lorentz McCall's I am sorry Maid of Salem is not a better picture. It dealt with an unusual theme and it was produced well enough to give you an idea of how good it might have been. Oct 30, 2023 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine Maid of Salem is a decidedly worthwhile film, both as history lesson and as object lesson, and shouldn't be missed. Oct 2, 2019 Full Review Alberto Abuín Espinof Lloyd adds very cleverly little details about witchcraft, so that when conflict erupts and fear takes over the population, all these elements surface, spreading and turning a drama into an almost terrifying film. [Full Review in Spanish] Aug 23, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (5) audience reviews
      Steve D The cast does their best with slow forgettable material. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/13/24 Full Review Audience Member another picture about salem witch trials with little historical accuracy and much dramatic liscense Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Early Hollywood version of the Salem witch trials isn't bad but the miscast leads hurt the overall film. Both Colbert and MacMurray were expert at drawing room comedies and contemporary dramas but at sea in a historical setting. Bonita Granville is properly hateful as the spiteful girl who starts the panic. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member A pre-[i]Crucible[/i] look at the Salem witch hunts... while certain plot devices and developments are familiar and intriguing, a lot of it just feels formulaic and plodding. Fred MacMurray's casting is just plain wrong - never mind the fact that I just plain can't stand the dude. Colbert fares better, but not by much - the dialogue is a hilarious attempt at old-timey speak, and in a film so obviously borne from the studio system, it just doesn't work. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member 3: It's hard not to be enthralled by a story as powerful as that of the Salem witch trials, but the Hollywood ending does strike me as a bit false. Everything is wrapped up a bit too neatly in the end for the film to become truly immortal. Colbert gives a powerful performance though. There are definitely times when the simplicity of classic Hollywood pictures is very alluring. The style of filmmaking was certainly partially determined by the technology available in the day. Black and white film allowed the California coast to double for Massachusets in this and many other films (including How Green Was My Valley for instance). The quality of the film forced one to remain somewhat at a distance and obscured the details of the costumes and sets to some extent. Thus, sets and costumes that would pass for authentic then wouldn't necessarilly work today. Nothing needed to be weathered in the same way. The sets could be clean and less detailed and still work. It ends up being quite charming and clean, whereas newer films seem more true to life, but less like Hollywood. Both can be highly desired. Period pieces seem to have been much more in vogue at the time as well. Again, this seems to be somehwat out of necessity rather than a specific desire on the part of the studio system and audiences (technology was the culprit here as well, see my review of Avatar for an explanation). Since films set in 17th Century America are so rare today, this picture is quite a welcome change. I can't say I'd like to live in an early Puritan colony such as Salem though. I know this story mainly through The Crucible so this version was quite interesting. I wonder if Arthur Miller was familiar with it. It must have been a horrible life for those not apt to enjoy the Puritanical persuasion as well. I imagine life must have been very harsh, particularly for women. Humans truly can be vile, disgusting, and weak creatures. Colbert and MacMurray work quite well here and are supported by a quality cast as well. It's a perfect example of the strong product churned out by the studio system on a regular basis. Hollywood didn't always produce the masterpieces on the level of those made in Europe, but they were extremely proficient in turning out consistently entertaining and quality pieces time and time again. This being an example of the latter and Dreyer's La passion de Jeanne d'Arc being an example of the former. Both involve the torture and murder of women, but one is a masterpiece, while the other is merely excellent. This would have rated a 3.5 if the ending had been different. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Maid of Salem

      My Rating

      Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis When a young woman named Barbara Clarke (Claudette Colbert) has an affair with adventurer Roger Coverman (Fred MacMurray), it causes a scandal in the Puritanical town of Salem, Massachusetts. After a meddling girl arouses their suspicions, the town's elders accuse Barbara of being a witch. She is tried, convicted of sorcery and sentenced to death. As the townspeople prepare to burn Barbara at the stake, Roger tries desperately to save the woman he loves.
      Director
      Frank Lloyd
      Producer
      Frank Lloyd
      Production Co
      Paramount
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (DVD)
      Apr 9, 2013
      Runtime
      1h 26m