Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This 1979 documentary chronicles the first 64 years in the life of Arthur Miller (b. 1915), an important 20th-century American playwright, novelist and all-around man of letters. Miller also wrote several screenplays, notably for The Misfits and The Crucible. The last was based on his award-winning Broadway play. Featuring extensive interviews with Miller and clips from films based on his work, the documentary also explores his courageous stand against Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. In one of the interviews, he explains that he had developed an interest in the Salem witch trials long before the anti-communist crusader began making headlines, and he based The Crucible on the insights he gained at that time. He recalls his brief marriage to Marilyn Monroe and modestly expresses the wish to "do something really good" someday.