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The Scarlet Letter (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 October 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 11,641 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 34 critic

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



(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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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)
Goody Mortimer
Goody Gotwick
George Aguilar ...
Johnny Sassamon
Brewster Stonehall
Elizabeth Cheever


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


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


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La letra escarlata  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)


$10,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After bad reviews and a disastrous box office performance in the States, it was released in UK cinemas without being screened for critics, a first for a major UK release. See more »


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 »


[to the crowd gathered for Hester's hanging]
Reverand Arthur Dimmesdale: In God's eyes, I am her husband.
See more »


Referenced in Once and Again: The Scarlet Letter Jacket (1999) See more »


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

I enjoyed this movie
7 March 2004 | by (Panama) – See all my reviews

First, I apologies because my English, I'm from Panama. Second, for me, TSL is a very beautiful movie and I know that it is far from the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, nevertheless, I found nice things there, for instance, the setting was so refreshing to me and the love scenes were very romantic too. In this movie I felt in love to Gary Oldman. I consider that Demi as well as Gary were chemistry. On the other hand, I think that the producer and the whole team portrait the epoch of the pilgrims, the way they lived and thought about morality and religion. Demi was pretty in this character and convincing. For me this was a sad story of love. Although, the screenplay changed at the end, I found that this movie was done to give audience happier than the original book.

29 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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