In Puritan Boston, seamstress Hester Prynne is punished for playing on the Sabbath day; but kindly minister Arthur Dimmesdale takes pity on her. The two fall in love, but their relationship cannot be: Hester is already married to Roger Prynne, a physician who has been missing seven years. Dimmesdale has to go away to England; when he returns, he finds Hester pregnant with their child, and the focus of the town's censure. In a humiliating public ceremony, she is forced to don the scarlet letter A - for adultery - and wear it the rest of her life. Dimmesdale is encouraged by the church fathers to demand of Hester the person with whom she sinned. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After years of desperately wanting to see this movie I finally got hold of a copy of it. I put the DVD in the machine and waited with baited breath, was the film going to be as wonderful as the other commenters(?)had rated it? was it going to be anywhere near as good as the other Gish/Hanson/Seastrom collaboration "The Wind"? Well, the answer was that it was everything I hoped for and more. The version I saw a recording of TCM's restoration so the quality of the print veered from superb to not quite so good, but, in all honesty that did not matter as I soon got caught up in the story of Hester Prynne and the Rev. Dimmesdale. The acting was superb by all the cast, the direction was excellent and the whole setting of the movie was outstanding. It still amazes me who there are those who will not watch a silent movie, are you crazy? This version is a million miles better than the Demi Moore/Gary Oldman version made 70 years later, the chemistry between Gish and Hanson is perfect, the child actress Joyce Coad who plays Pearl, the love child, is delightful and Henry Walthall is menacing as Roger Chillingworth, Karl Dane also deserves mentioning as Master Giles in a slightly comedic role. The only downside to the movie and it had nothing to do with the movie itself was that I bought it from a guy who contacted me via IMDb and led me to believe it was his own print, I paid $52 for a TV recording off TCM. He is contacting people concerning vintage movies so beware if someone offers to get a print of that vintage movie you want to see.
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