The Scarlet Letter (1979)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 267 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

In the 17th century Massachusetts, a married women, whose husband is missing, has a child with the local pastor. The puritanical residents of her town condemn her to carry the Scarlet Letter of shame. Then the husband shows up.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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 Nathaniel Hawthorne (unknown episodes)
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Storyline

In the 17th century Massachusetts, a married women, whose husband is missing, has a child with the local pastor. The puritanical residents of her town condemn her to carry the Scarlet Letter of shame. Then the husband shows up.

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2 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der scharlachrote Buchstabe  »

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(4 episodes)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The filmmakers' decision to outfit Hester Prynne with a gold letter "A" was sharply criticized at the time of the mini-series' premiere on P.B.S. as author Nathaniel Hawthorne was quite specific about the "scarlet letter" being red-colored. In the novel, the adjective "scarlet" wasn't only used in the symbolic sense (scarlet meaning "grossly and glaringly offensive" in the sense of "sinning in flagrant and scarlet fashion" [deriving from the use of the word in Isaiah 1:18 & Revelation 17:1-6], thus being associated with sexual immorality); the letter sewn onto Hester Prynne's clothing in the novel actually was colored scarlet, albeit it was sewn to her clothing with gold thread. In the words of Hawthorne, "...[W]ith all the townspeople assembled and levelling their stern regards at Hester Prynne, - yes, at herself, - who stood on the scaffold of the pillory, an infant on her arm, and the letter A, in scarlet, fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom!" (Chapter Two). See more »

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Version of The Scarlet Letter (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An excellent production of Hawthorne's book!
4 September 2001 | by (San Diego, Ca USA) – See all my reviews

Don't let Michael's comment deter you from watching this very faithful, well-acted AND produced version of the book. If actually reading the book itself isn't your cup of tea, you won't go wrong by viewing this 4-hour, videotaped production from PBS. Its leads are excellently and richly portrayed - it has a fine sense of time and place - and only the quite inept view of the Salem Custom House (special effects creation) stands as less than exemplary. The director clearly wanted a sense of the realism of the pounding sea in the scene with Hester & Roger, which heightens the emotional urgency, and the baby crying is annoying because a baby crying is often QUITE ANNOYING! If a dramatic presentation of the tale is your interest, you won't go wrong with this one.


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