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The Moviegoer

"Maid of Salem" Not a Study of Bigotry and Witchcraft, but a Good Tale of Adventure

By M. O. P.

Sometimes advance ballyhoo for a movie can hurt it. The press agents for "Maid of Salem" have made a reputation that the picture cannot live up to. Those who go because the previews attract them will be disappointed, the more's the pity because the show is a good one. It is not a study of witchcraft and bigotry in an isolated community nor is it a picture of life in Colonial New England. It is simply a good adventure story with clean, true love surmounting a series of exciting perils.

Fred McMurray plays a hotblooded political rebel from Virginia with a price on his head and a sword in his belt, who flees north to a romance with a Puritan daughter chaffing at her restrictions. Their secret love--complete with assignations in the woods and kisses in the dark--runs up against some difficulties. Through a mistake a Salem wife becomes jealous, McMurray is kidnapped by sailors which climaxes with the conviction of Miss Colbert herself. The executioner is placing the noose about her neck when Fred charges up on a horse and explains that it is all a mistake. What makes the picture a considerably better-than-average adventure is the care taken in production. The sets are superb, the acting good, the direction skillful, and the net effect pleasant. An afternoon at the University is well spent.

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