Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, and the movie with the same name have many differences and similarities, all of which contribute to the individual effectiveness of each in conveying their central message.
There are several additions and variances in the movie. First of all, the scene where the children and Tituba are dancing in the forest is never seen in the forest; we simply learn of it from dialogue. This scene was most probably added in the movie for a dramatic effect: foreshadowing.
Along the same lines, there are many scenes included in the movie that are outdoors, however; there were no such scenes in the play. All of the action in the play was indoors. The director, in this case, was simply using the advantages of movie making. It is difficult to replicate an outdoors scene in a theatre. Also, some of the techniques used when filming outdoors create a symbolic message. A portion of the scenes before the beginning of the witchcraft trials is seen in a downpour of rain, possibly foreshadowing doom and dreariness to come.
There were some scenes added or adapted in the movie as opposed to the play. First, the large group of "stricken" girls, which indeed had a greater number than did the group in the play, left the church meeting at the beginning of the movie to see about Betty's condition. Betty seemed to be much more violent in the movie and she tried to jump out of the window, which did not occur in the play. These details were most likely added to augment the idea of "mass hysteria." A scene was added in the movie, showing the hangings and cheers of the crowd watching, also to add to that effect.
Next, Tituba was not whipped into confession in the play, whereas she was in the movie. This was most indefinitely added to show that the profession was typically not made willingly. One had to be forced one way or another into confessing, to save their skin or their life. Also, around the time of this scene is one where Abigail and John Proctor have a conversation. In the movie, Abigail kisses John Proctor and he throws her off of him, which did not occur in the play. This was no doubt inserted to show the audience that Abigail was oddly and obsessively lusting over the man while he was making a sincere attempt to get over her.
Another significant change is in the character portrayal. In the play, Parris seemed to be overly egocentric and self-conscious. He is still thus in the movie, but is more whiny, and annoyingly so. Putnam, also, seems to have a personality change. In the play, his personality is not so domineering as in the movie, where he is bordering on psychotic. His role seems to be made larger and more significant in the movie, which presumably accounts for the change in...