In 1666 in the Massachusetts Bay colony, Puritans and the Algonquian have an uneasy truce. Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) arrives from England, seeking independence. Awaiting her husband, she establishes independence, fixing up a house, befriending Quakers and other outsiders. Passion draws her to the young pastor, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale (Gary Oldman). 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 (Robert Duvall), he seeks revenge, searching out Hester's lover and stirring fears of witchcraft. Will his murderous plot succeed?Written by
Demi Moore reportedly said she was fine with changing the ending, because not many people have read the book. (She wasn't aware that millions of students are assigned to read this in their high school English class, apparently). See more »
Nicholas Rice is credited as playing the clerk, but the role was actually played by someone else. See more »
(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 »
"Who is to say what is a sin in God's eyes?"
For my point of view "The Scarlet Letter" is a good film with great performances All the actors do a superb job I was worried that Demi Moore might not have the range to handle the role of Mistress Prynne, but she is excellent... She is strong, passionate, intelligent and damaged In another place and time she might have been a leader; in this movie she is quite believable as the woman who defends her love at all costs Gary Oldman looks perfect as Reverend Dimmesdale He projects force and sexual magnetism along with the guilt for his sin
The film opens in 1666 when Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony filled with hope that here, at last, in this new World, would come the freedom to worship without fear or persecution She didn't suspect that beyond the trees there is a savage land of savage passions dark and untamed, and that soon she will face a scornful community in which she will forever be shamed by the scarlet letter
Mistress Prynne rejected the idea of staying in the congregation until her husband's arrival and looked for a house of her own She finds a beautiful and frightening place, just as 'Eden must have been so untouched '
On one Sabbath morning, Hester met Reverend Dimmesdale (Gary Oldman) who helps her when her cart got stuck in the woods She truly enjoyed, few minutes later, his sermon It was rare, for her, to find a man so young and fiery who could speak with such force of passion She was moved by his passion
Dimmesdale thought that comprehending God was going to be his greatest challenge, butafter he met Hesterhe was not the man he seems to be He lost his power before this seductress beautiful woman He lived in this township his whole life and his purpose was clear But now he would risk everythinghis life, his ministry, his souljust to spend a few moments alone with her After he asked her why that morning in the forest, she didn't say that she is married, he wondered how she were able to see so deeply into his nature
From that moment, two hearts were there struggling against a love that grew stronger with each passing day
Hester was courteous enough but her tongue knew no rules She earned more than a few reprimands in her life for speaking too bluntly With a frightening strength, she challenged her persecutors and stood up to their hypocrisy, refusing to reveal her lover's identity
"The Scarlet Letter" compels us to recognize the shadow side of our lives, including this passion that pushes us beyond our limits... The climax also compels us to contemplate about whether there is anything that we would be willing to die for
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