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The Scarlet Letter (1926)

Passed | | Drama | 8 January 1927 (USA)
After having a child out of wedlock, a young Puritan woman is pressured to reveal the name of her lover.

Director:

Victor Sjöström (as Victor Seastrom)

Writers:

Nathaniel Hawthorne (novel), Frances Marion (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lillian Gish ... Hester Prynne
Lars Hanson ... The Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale
Henry B. Walthall ... Roger Prynne
Karl Dane ... Giles
William H. Tooker William H. Tooker ... The Governor
Marcelle Corday ... Mistress Hibbins
Fred Herzog Fred Herzog ... The Jailer
Jules Cowles ... The Beadle
Mary Hawes Mary Hawes ... Patience
Joyce Coad Joyce Coad ... Pearl
James A. Marcus ... A Sea Captain
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Storyline

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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On her breast the brand of shame, in her heart undying love! (Print Ad- Truth, ((Sydney, NSW)) 29 January 1928)

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Letra Escarlate See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$430,290 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2000 restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lillian Gish played her scenes in English, while Lars Hanson played his in Swedish. See more »

Quotes

The Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale: Hester Prynne, thou hast profaned God's holy day! Take heed, therefore! If ye sin, ye must pay - there is no escape!
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in The 43rd Annual Academy Awards (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

See it for what it is.
27 December 2002 | by KanterTheKatSee all my reviews

MGM's 1926 adaption of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" is, quite possibly, the best motion picture to have been released in the silent screen era's latter days. It can, undoubtedly, be looked upon as the best that two of that era's best actors-Lillian Gish & Lars Hanson-were paired up in. And, too, one very talented child actress, by the name of Joyce Coads, deserves to be given big credit. (She made only 10 more films before taking a final bow from the limelight; in her 2nd to last-"Devotion" 1931-she didn't get billing.) "The Scarlet Letter" should also be noted as, perhaps, the very best that Victor Seastrom- whom Charlie Chaplain had called "the best director in all the world" ever delivered. Just don't make the mistake of seeing this film as a good adaption of Hawthorne's novel. Because it's not. The film is a total of an hour and 20 minutes. Had it been really true to the novel, it just might have been longer than "Gone With The Wind." (And, speaking of the wind, as fate would have it, Seastrom directed only one more film in the US, which also teamed up Gish and Hanson: namely, "The Wind" (1928). MGM gave Seastrom his walking papers because he'd refused to give "The Wind" a happy ending. "The Scarlet Letter" of 1926 should also be seen by anyone who just might be under the mistaken impression that silent films can't leave a lasting impression.


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