Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Three Sovereigns for Sarah|
Actors: Vanessa Redgrave, Kim Hunter, Will Lyman, Buffy Baldauf, Les Barden
Director: Philip Leacock
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
This is a true story. Nineteen people were hanged and one old man pressed to death, while hundreds of others suffered in jail cells during the witch hysteria" of 1692. THREE SOVEREIGNS FOR SARAH is the most accurate portra... more »
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A bit of my family history, beautifully told
Tracy Hodson | Middle of Nowhere, OR United States | 08/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really loved and appreciated this film when I saw it, and was so glad to have the incomparable Vanessa Redgrave playing my Great (x10) Aunt, Sarah Bridges-Cloyce, whose maiden name was Towne and who was sister to Rebecca Towne Nourse (of "The Crucible" fame) who was actually born in England (as were all but two of Joanna Blessing Towne's children), before the family's voyage, and to Mary Towne Eastey, whose letter to the Court is available to be read in Salem (I have a copy, and it is heart-wrenching in its quiet assertion of innocence and in Mary's faith in her God). These three sisters, two of whom were hanged, were amongst the first of the Towne women to grow up in the New World. All three of them fought back in their own ways, and after the deaths of Rebecca and Mary, both elderly and pillars of the community, the Towne family broke Sarah out of her prison cell (which was merely an old back shed in someone's yard--by this time the jail was full and the accused were being housed by all sorts of greedy people who were paid to house them); they took her back to her childhood home in Topsfield, which was out of the jurisdiction of Salem Village. (This bit of the story is only known in our family--it is not documented, as far as I know, even in the Village Museum. In this film, she's rescued only after the trials have ended, when in fact she was snuck out before-hand; now you know this bit of family history, too.)
As has been mentioned by another reviewer, "The Crucible," for all its brilliance, is not terribly accurte (Abigail was only 11 and there was no sexual relationship between her and any of the men in the village). Miller used sexual freedom vs. repression to represent the stultifying atmosphere of the entire colony. "Three Sovereigns" is the only accurate play/film to show how some of the people, particularly the women, did not all just accept their fates in stoical silence. I believe, however, that only Sarah fought for restitution in her lifetime; three sisters, one sovereign for each, three weeks after her appearance before the magistrates, she died. Lots of threes... Her descendents went on to found Oxford, Framingham, and other towns in Massachusetts: the last of our particular family branch with the surname Towne was my great-uncle Charles Towne, who was Editor-in-Chief of the Hartford Courant (one of New England's first newspapers) for decades. Unlike the Quakers out of Philadelphia, Puritans in New England, like our family, were not moneyed, merely dedicated, and I am proud to be a Towne woman, doing my best to follow the tradition of strength Sarah and her sisters began (ironically, on the other side of my family I represent one of the Natives the Townes and other settlers unsettled and eventually waged war on--I guess that makes my sister and me rather too extremely "American"!)
I have always wanted to contact Ms. Redgrave to tell her how much I appreciated her portrayal of this brave woman. Sarah's outrage and lawsuit used to be just proud family history, so it was a great joy to see her strength so well-written and acted.
I gratefully and whole-heartedly recommend this film, particularly for people who can show it in a classroom or otherwise use it to teach kids.
--Tracy Elizabeth Towne Hodson"
K. Giorlando | Eastpointe, Michigan United States | 04/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received this movie for Christmas 2000 and I have watched it three times so far since. I do not believe there is a better movie showing America's Puritan past, as well as the awful Salem witch trials. Another one of those 'you are there' epics, the THREE SOVEREIGNS FOR SARAH is a must see for all students of American history. Knowing that this was filmed in the actual buildings where the original events happened sends shivers down my spine. Now, where's the DVD of this movie?"
The Story of My Ancestors
Susan Hobbs | Arlington Hts., Il. USA | 01/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine my delight upon finding this movie that details the experiences that my very own 7X Great Grandmother, Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyce experienced during those very dark and troubling times in Salem, Massachusetts. She very narrowly escaped with her own life after being falsely accused of witchcraft but unfortunately had no recourse to save her two sisters, my 7X Great Grandaunts, Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty. Hearing some of the words actually spoken by my own ancestors makes their lives and the history I have been compiling about my genealogy so much more real. The best part is having such celebrated and distinguished actresses recreate the lives and times that my ancestors endured during that fateful year of 1692. My daughter, who is not genealogy-oriented, raved about this movie in two separate phone calls to me and has now become appreciative of her family history. I very highly recommend this movie as one of the best of the Salem Witch Trials."
MUST SEE MOVIE
L. Morrow | Kentucky, United States | 11/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"True Story: Three Sovereigns for Sarah is a great movie that keeps you intrigued and horrified about the Salem Witch Trials. It's told in a way that helps the viewer to understand what the accused went through. I am a teacher and show it to my high schoolers when we study the Salem Witch trials. They love it!!! They like it much better than The Crucible, which is good but not accurate."