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The Scarlet Letter (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 October 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 11,651 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?


Three original scores were written for this film. The ones by Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein were rejected. The one used was by John Barry. 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 »


Dr. Roger Prynne: Has this new land turned thee into a heathen?
See more »


Version of The Scarlet Letter (1934) 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

Just Horrible
12 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If this movie were original it would be only fair to mediocre, but claiming its based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel is insulting. I hear the ads for this movie say its based 'freely and liberally' on the book. Well, this is an insult to the book. Is Demi Moore so illiterrate she comments (see trivia section) that it was okay to change the ending of the book from sad to happy because not many people read the book? Unbelievable. The Scarlett 'A' imagery has been permanently etched in American culture. Take classic literature and try shoving it through the Hollywood formula mill and this movie is the result, a faceless, emotionless and forgettable movie. Try sayign that about the book

27 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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