You Are There: The Salem Witch Trials (review)
- Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies
- Center for the Study of Film and History
- Volume 1, Number 3, September 1971
- p. 7
- Additional Information
The Twisted Cross (National Broadcasting Company, 1956) b&w, 55 min, This is a documentary film, beginning with the Weimar period and showing how economic and political instability, plus psychological frustration, led to extremist parties such as the Nazis. The bulk of the first half of the film is on the Nazi rise and their consolidation of totalitarian power at home. The second half deals with the German expansionist foreign policy and eventual defeat in the Second World War. This is an excellent supplement to both survey and advanced courses in high school and college. Best used when reading and lectures prepare students to gain maximum from the film, it has served as a source of very good discussions. (Courses, Modern Civilization & 20th Century Europe) Taylor Stults; Muskingum College; New Concord, Ohio You Are There: The Salem Witch Trials (McGraw Hill, 1956) b&w, 27 min. The film provides a summary of the events surrounding the hysteria at Salem and the issues involved in the trials. It is clear that everyone at Salem believed in witches and that the system of justice was really the issue in question. Walter Cronkite quickly fills in the background of the persecutions of witchcraft in Europe and the political background of the new Massachusetts charter etc., but some further preparation of the class for the film is desirable The most valuable aspect of the film is the dramatization of the actions of the teenage girls who touched off the episode and the wave of fear which swept the community. My classes wanted to discuss possible motivations for the girls behavior. Since the film was produced in the mid-50s it was rather easy to draw the comparisons with the hysteria of McCarthyism. (Course, "The Founding of The American Nation") John E. O'Connor; Newark College of Engineering Truman versus McArthur (University of California) b&w 25 min. The conflict between Truman and McArthur was a significant one in many ways for American history. In a 25 minute production that was part of the "Men in Crisis" series, David Wolper presents the men and the issue. Truman the politician is pitted against McArthur the aging general. The film presents a general narrative on Korea that .leads direptly to the crisis.. Who is right? Truman or McArthur? The film leaves the viewer to decide as the issues of civilian versus military control of the war effort are clearly pictured. The film is an excellent one for use in U.S. survey courses, or upper division courses on 20th century America. It can best be used as a basis for future discussions and may be related to some of the problems of the recent war effort. (Course, U. S.History—1865 to the present) Gerald R.Baydo, Grossmont College, ElCajon, Calif. ...