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The Scarlet Letter (1973) More at IMDbPro »Der scharlachrote Buchstabe (original title)

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The Scarlet Letter -- Open-ended Extra (Clip) from Anchor Bay Entertainment


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Wim Wenders (writer)
Tankred Dorst (scenario Der Herr klagt über sein Volk in der Wildnis Amerika)
View company contact information for The Scarlet Letter on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1977 (USA) See more »
In 17th-century Salem, Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A because she is an adulteress, with a child out of wedlock... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
German period drama... See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Senta Berger ... Hester Prynne
Hans Christian Blech ... Roger Chillingworth

Lou Castel ... Rev. Dimmesdale
Yelena Samarina ... Mistress Hibbins, the daughter of Gov. Bellingham
Yella Rottländer ... Pearl
William Layton ... Gov. Bellingham
Alfredo Mayo ... Gov. Fuller
Ángel Álvarez ... Rev. Wilson
Laura Currie ... Sarah
Tito García ... Church Attendant
Lorenzo Robledo ... Captain
Rafael Albaicín ... Indian
José Villasante ... Shop Owner
Rüdiger Vogler ... The Sailor
José Vivó
Julián del Monte
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Antonio Cintado
Eduardo Fajardo
Antonio Orengo

Directed by
Wim Wenders 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Tankred Dorst  scenario Der Herr klagt über sein Volk in der Wildnis Amerika
Ursula Ehler  scenario Der Herr klagt über sein Volk in der Wildnis Amerika
Bernardo Fernández  writer
Nathaniel Hawthorne  novel "The Scarlet Letter"
Wim Wenders  writer

Produced by
Volker Canaris .... producer
Peter Schamoni .... line producer
Joachim von Mengershausen .... producer
Original Music by
Jürgen Knieper 
Cinematography by
Robby Müller 
Film Editing by
Peter Przygodda 
Production Design by
Adolfo Cofiño 
Manfred Luetz 
Costume Design by
Carmen Marín 
Makeup Department
Ingrid Thier .... hair stylist
Ingrid Thier .... makeup artist
Production Management
Peter Genée .... production manager
Primitivo Álvaro .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bernardo Fernández .... assistant director
Sound Department
Christian Schubert .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Martin Schäfer .... assistant camera
Martin Schäfer .... still photographer
Heide M. Weis .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Barbara von Weitershausen .... assistant editor
Music Department
Luis de Pablo .... composer: additional music
Other crew
Astrid Graue .... continuity
Pablo Martínez .... production assistant
Thomas Schamoni .... technique

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Der scharlachrote Buchstabe" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
90 min | Spain:78 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Easy A (2010)See more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
German period drama..., 14 November 2012
Author: Tim Kidner ( from Salisbury, United Kingdom

I watched this film as part of my lovely Wim Wenders Collection boxed set, with eight films/documentaries, which I'm slowly working through.

As an English film lover, who's so used to 'our' often excellent dramas of old, that the thought of a German one seems quite odd and with Wenders normally associated with more contemporary and thought-provoking subjects, perhaps surprising, too.

Such films are never going to be my favourites but I can tell immediately that his version here of the Salem-set melodrama looks the part, is well-made and convinces in its period detail. Some of the coastal scenery is impressive, too, with quite a Danish feel, to my eyes. The story is most likely to be a familiar one to those seeking out this, so I don't feel the need to elaborate too much on this aspect.

As the central character Hester Byrne, Senta Berger looks attractively regal, but with a distant, cool look and the main men-folk are interestingly featured, facially (in other words, a bit ugly!) but in a not unattractive way. Another reviewer has talked about a heavy musical score which they thought hampered it - true, but this is suited to a slow-moving period drama, as it's all orchestral and musically fitting but also keeps the movie flowing along better. Visually, in parts, it could be rather static otherwise.

As I said, I'm no expert on period drama, nor on this story and haven't read the source material, so cannot say how faithful it is. However, it is a well presented, good-looking drama with a good cast and the subtitles present us with a fairly well written script. It is not as dingy and dark as many of such ilk, specially from the 70s, that I've come across and whilst Wenders will never be known for such, his 1973 (so, early) adaptation is well worth watching if you either enjoy the literary source, Wenders himself or indeed, good period drama.

The German dialogue will put some off, as will the requisite subtitles and those Wenders fans expecting something more modern, or snappy will be disappointed, possibly very much so.

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