5.1/10
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89 user 34 critic

The Scarlet Letter (1995)

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

Director:

Writers:

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

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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)
...
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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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: My father died before I reached my teens. Some say that was a punishment. My mother never remarried or loved another. Some say THAT was a punishment.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield (1997) 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

 
Not that bad, actually
26 November 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was expecting something really awful, but once I got about 15 minutes into the movie, I decided that the only way to enjoy it was to forget that it was "based on" a famous novel and just enjoy the movie for what it was. And I found myself very entertained.

I was impressed with Gary Oldman's performance. It's nice to see him portray someone who isn't a psychotic ham and he did admirably well. Demi Moore suprised me with her acting and apart from a few stilted scenes and discomfort with the dialogue, I think she pulled it off pretty well. I found myself caring about her character and her relationship with Dimmesdale. Perhaps the bathing scene was a little too gratuitous -- c'mon, Demi, do you need to show it all? -- but it was only a few minutes out of 135.

I wish that Pearl could have been given more screen time and character development and the woman who did her voiceover throughout the story left much to be desired. As did Robert Duvall's performance. I didn't much like his acting in this movie at all.

The supporting cast was excellent: Joan Plowright, Edward Hardwicke, and others. The locations and set design were exquisite and the costumes were gorgeous.

Overall, I thought it was a very good way to spend a couple hours. You see some early colonial atmosphere, something which is almost extinct in movies nowadays, and adequate and sometimes inspired acting. Just don't expect to see Hawthorne's novel on the screen. If you want to see the unhappy ending in all its self-mutilating glory, see Lillian Gish's silent version that is sometimes aired on Turner Classic Movies. 6/10


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Why the LOW Score?!?!? AllUNeedIsLove
Gary Oldman---- SEXY MAN!!!!! jrswing80
How true is this movie to the novel? clau_clau_1991
Who's sexier?Dracula or Dimmesdale???? meandmy72
Demi Moore is an idiot. icklegod
Beautiful Pic of Gary as Rev. Dimmesdale Punahelee
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