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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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
(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 »
I must inform you that that Roland Joffé has utterly bastardized Nathaniel Hawthorne's work with this film, but I find I must review the film as a film, rather than an adaptation due to the strength of the film itself in comparison to the original literary work. As an adaptation, it is a sexed-up, stylized-down piece of detritus. But as a film...
This work stands alone, as it will not bear up under scrutiny when compared against Hawthorne, but aside from that, this "based on" work is a fabulous dramatization of Hawthorne's story. I have to say the performances are marvelous, the story is captivating, and the emotion of the portrayals is wrenching.
I highly enjoyed this bastardization, and rate it at a 7.6/10 from...
the Fiend :.
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