In Puritan Boston, seamstress Hester Prynne is punished for playing on the Sabbath day; but kindly minister Arthur Dimmesdale takes pity on her. The two fall in love, but their relationship cannot be: Hester is already married to Roger Prynne, a physician who has been missing seven years. Dimmesdale has to go away to England; when he returns, he finds Hester pregnant with their child, and the focus of the town's censure. In a humiliating public ceremony, she is forced to don the scarlet letter A - for adultery - and wear it the rest of her life. Dimmesdale is encouraged by the church fathers to demand of Hester the person with whom she sinned.Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Greta Garbo was an almost daily visitor to the set, in order to be near her friend Lars Hanson, and to speak Swedish to alleviate her homesickness. See more »
I have told thee my thoughts - thou dost say they are sinful - but, why? Why are we taught to be ashamed - of love?
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In 2000, Turner Entertainment Co. copyrighted a restored version with a musical score written by Lisa Anne Miller and Mark Northam and a running time of 98 minutes. Its previous version ran 79 minutes. See more »
There just aren't enough words to describe the beautiful performances in this film....not that words are needed, then or now. Victor Seastrom's lovingly crafted scenes provide perfect visual frames for the transcendent performances of Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson. An artistic triumph for everyone concerned, and a bittersweet reminder of what was lost with the death of the art of the silent film. (The Turner restoration is alas, also bittersweet, as prints of wildly differing quality had to be "married" in order to create a substantially complete copy of the subject. Thus, viewers move from scenes that shimmer with pristine beauty to muddy, contrasty dupes. It's a tribute to the art of all concerned however, that this is not the distracting issue it might be with a lesser film. Like any work of art, you won't notice the cracks and flaws after a while if you're paying attention as you should. It's just a shame that the entire film isn't as mint-fresh as some of its scenes.)
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