Three Sovereigns for Sarah

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  • Three Sovereigns for Sarah, a Landmark film originally aired in 1985, was produced by American Playhouse for PBS. Starring Vanessa Redgrave as Sarah Cloyce, it is considered by many to be the most historically accurate dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials. Danvers historian Richard B. Trask served as a consultant to ensure historical accuracy. The film was based on the book Salem Possessed by Stephen Nissenbaum.
  • The rough story outline: In the winter of 1703, Sarah Cloyce has journeyed to Boston with her nephew Samuel. She hopes to receive retribution for the wrongful deaths of her sisters Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty, both executed in the Witch Hysteria 10 years before. The story is told by back-tracking to the events that led up to the Witchcraft trials, such as feuding neighbors and the absence of a charter or court to keep peace or fairness.
  • This hard-hitting saga, which used original transcripts from the trials, co-stars Kim Hunter, Phyllis Thaxter, Will Lyman, Patrick McGoohan, and John Dukakis. 171 min.


See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Movies made in Massachusetts
  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Witchcraft #3
  • "The witches of Salem get a new hearing; Three Sovereigns for Sarah, a public-TV mini-series" New York Times, Oct. 28, 1984, p. H 29