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The Scarlet Letter (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 October 1995 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 11,142 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 33 critic

An affair between a young woman and a pastor has disastrous consequences.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lisa Andoh ...
Mituba (as Lisa Joliffe-Andoh)
...
Gov. John Bellingham
...
Horace Stonehall
...
Rev. Thomas Cheever
...
Malcolm Storry ...
Maj. Dunsmuir
James Bearden ...
Goodman Mortimer (as Jim Bearden)
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Goody Mortimer
...
Goody Gotwick
George Aguilar ...
Johnny Sassamon
...
Brewster Stonehall
...
Elizabeth Cheever
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Storyline

In 1666 in the Massachusetts Bay colony, Puritans and Algonquian have an uneasy truce. Hester arrives from England, seeking independence. Awaiting her husband, she establishes independence, fixing up a house, befriending Quakers and other outsiders. Passion draws her to a young pastor. He feels the same; when they learn her husband has probably died at the hands of Indians, they consummate their love. A child is born, and on the day Hester is publicly humiliated and made to wear a scarlet letter, her husband appears after a year with Indians. Calling himself Chillingworth, he seeks revenge, searching out Hester's lover and stirring fears of witchcraft. Will his murderous plot succeed? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La letra escarlata  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Demi Moore reportedly said she was fine with changing the ending, because not many people have read the book. See more »

Goofs

When Hester starts to follow the red bird into the forest, once she's gotten deeper in the woods, you can see to the left of the screen three deliberate puffs of white smoke coming from a fog machine. See more »

Quotes

Pearl: [voiceover] Who is to say what is a sin in God's eyes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Smart Guy: T.A. or Not T.A. (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Agnus Dei
(Based on Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings")
Performed by Robert Shaw and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers
(Adm. by G. Schirmen Inc. (ASCAP))
Courtesy of Telarc International Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolute dreck.
1 April 1999 | by See all my reviews

You could try to imagine a worse film, but why bother? As a film and as an adaptation ("freely adapted" is perhaps the greatest understatement since our involvement in Vietnam was labeled a "police action") of a book, it's a complete failure. The acting ranges from the clueless to the atrocious. Gary Oldman is apparently trying to do a Scottish accent, Demi Moore is just plain terrible, and Robert Duvall is nuts. The soft-glow sex scene is risible. There's no tension to the story because Oldman & Moore don't appear to have souls to lose. Instead of a perceptive & morally soaked tale of guilt, sin, and conscience, this is a trite, gushy story about being true to yourself. It's basically a Disney cartoon message, except without as sophisticated a presentation. The script (it's idea of 17th century English is lots of thees & thous) is as bad as everything else, substituting a nick of time rescue happy ending for Hawthorne's. So bad that it's not even enjoyable on a camp level. C-R-A-P.


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