Admittedly, this copy is terrible, but that's okay because the point isn't the quality of the film.
This scene is perhaps one of the most dramatic and important of the entire play/film, and how it's portrayed in both is strikingly different.
Read the ending of Act III, comparing the scene and the quotes of Proctor, specifically:
- The Diction. The play has Proctor ending his speech with, "Your are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore," while the movie deletes his long paragraph about seeing satan in all of them and ends with "GOD IS DEAD!!!"
Why? And, more importantly, what difference does it make?
Do not focus on which is more entertaining or sounds better, but rather, which one has a greater impact on the moment, on Proctor, and on you the reader?
Why did Nicholas Hytner feel the need to change the script?
- A Possible Biblical Elusion: As the girls are running down the hillside you can faintly hear, "They're running towards the sea!" Compare this scene with Mathew 8:28-32
28 When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. 29 And they cried out, saying, “[a]What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before [b]the time?” 30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going tocast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.
Do you think Hytner is purposefully drawing this parallel? If so, what is he saying through this simple manipulation of interpretation? If not, why change the scene? What possible purpose might he have?