The Crucible (1914) - Plot Summary Poster

(I) (1914)


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  • Jean finds the boyish manner in which her late father raised her, is now causing quite a lot of trouble for her, and she ends up in a reformatory. After escaping this prison she meets Craig Atwood, a handsome artist, and now Jean must prove through a series of trials, that she is worthy of his love.

  • Jean Fanshaw is brought up by her father as nearly like a boy as possible, with the result that, when he dies, her mother and sister, quite primly different from the high-spirited sincere and prankish Jean, misunderstand and dislike her thoroughly, and ill-treat her accordingly. Her sister, Amelia, a sedate and self-righteous girl, magnifies all Jean's tempers and eccentricities, until Mrs. Fanshaw believes Jean to be a perfect fiend, and causes friends and neighbors to think the same. One day, at a picnic a playful trick of Jean's enrages her mother and sister, and when they arrive home Amelia nags and bullies Jean till she catches up a sickle in a spirit of mischief, threatening to defend herself with it, if necessary. Amelia, alarmed, throws her hand up with a quick motion, and cuts herself, on the sickle. She runs screaming to her mother, declaring that Jean has attacked her. This her mother believes, and joins her outcries to Amelia's; the constable and neighbors run in, and eventually Jean is sentenced to the reformatory, where the riff-raff of the town and state are collected, and among them Stella Wilkes, a notorious girl of the village, who is one of the first to welcome Jean to the house of refuge. At first, the refined and sensitive Jean is overwhelmed by the disgrace of her imprisonment, and crushed by her sordid environment, but gradually her strength of character asserts itself. She determines to escape from the reformatory, and succeeding, meets in the woods, Craig Atwood, a young artist, who, learning her sad story, advises her to go back and serve out her term, so that she may avoid all danger of being recaptured. Jean sees the wisdom of his advice, and that it is the nobler part. She returns to the refuge, and later, in a riot among the girls, led by Stella Wilkes, saves the matron from assault, and wins her pardon. Not being wanted at home by her proud mother and her sister Amelia, now married, she goes to the city and obtains employment, only to be hounded from her position and shamed everywhere by the vengeful Stella Wilkes, who has sworn to "get even." Almost at the brink of despair, she again meets the artist of her adventure in the woods, and after a hasty wooing, she promises to become his wife. How the cup of happiness is snatched from her lips, how the shadow of the reformatory again looms over her, how she heaps coals of fire upon her weak sister's head, saving Amelia's home, and how she regains her own love, and is rewarded for her long struggle against evil and despair, are vividly unfolded in this photoplay.


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