The Scarlet Letter (1934)

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In the seventeenth century, in Massachusetts, a young woman is forced to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress for bearing a child out of wedlock.


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Complete credited cast:
Henry B. Walthall ...
Cora Sue Collins ...
Bartholomew Hockings
Virginia Howell ...
Abigail Crakstone
William Kent ...
Sampson Goodfellow (as William T. Kent)
Al O. Henderson ...
Master Wilson (as Al C. Henderson)
Jules Cowles ...
Mickey Rentschler ...
Digerie Crakstone
Shirley Jean Rickert ...
Humility Crakstone
Flora Finch ...
Faith Bartle, the Gossip


At the end of the 17th century a impetuous woman of noble birth but poor arrives in Boston when it was just a village rather than a city. As she is married to an old doctor she tries to change her life. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic tale of sin & redemption!


Drama | History | Romance





Release Date:

18 September 1934 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of Colleen Moore. See more »


Version of The Scarlet Letter (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

For Laughing on ye Sabbath
11 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This film is probably most notable, in hindsight, as containing the last cinematic performance from Colleen Moore, one of the great "silent" stars of the 1920s. Ms. Moore's portrayal of Hester Prynne is neither great nor representative, but it does reveal the actress had the ability to carry on making pictures with sound. Sadly, the available material proved unworthy of Moore.

This is an uninspired, and unnecessary, attempt at a more comic version of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"; it is more listless than lighthearted. The drama is provided by the classic literary trio of characters: Moore as Hester Prynne, Hardie Albright as Arthur Dimmesdale, and Henry B. Walthall as Roger Chillingworth. The comedy is provided by Alan Hale as Bartholomew Hockings, William Kent as Sampson Goodfellow, Virginia Howell as Abigail Crakstone, and others. In a close call, but the comedy side of the story is slightly more entertaining.

Mr. Hale's performance is the most enjoyable of the comic players; significantly, he is able take all the attention off Mr. Albright, during one of the latter's dramatic sermons, as Reverend Dimmesdale. Mr. Walthall, who performed the same character in the far superior 1926 version, with Lillian Gish, is interesting to watch; but, his attempt at a faithful portrayal of Chillingworth does not match the surrounding production.

Adorable Cora Sue Collins plays "Pearl" Shirley Temple-like -- this is understandable, given the time of release -- consider, especially, the scene when Ms. Moore and her little girl take swords, begin a dancing march, and chant, "Boom! Boom! Boom!" Cora, take a bow!

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