I recently came across the 1995 film The Scarlet Letter. Knowing that this is a story that is required reading in most US high schools, I was honestly surprised I had never seen it before (nor known about it). It stars Demi Moore as Hester Prynne, Gary Oldman as Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale and Robert Duvall as Roger Chillingworth (aka, Prynne). Overall, I enjoyed the film. The sex and birth scenes were a bit long, and I wasn’t keen on Pearl narrating, but as a film on it’s own it was pretty good. It sure made me wonder how well I knew the book!
At first, I thought that this was more of a prequel to the book because it starts with Hester arriving in Massachusettes, and the credits said that the film was “freely based on the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne”, but by the end I saw that it was the book’s story, just unraveled in a different way.
CAUTION: The remainder of this article contains book and film spoilers!