The Scarlet Letter

When intimacy is forbidden and passion is a sin, love is the most defiant crime of all.

Drama Romance Western
135 min     6.042     1995     USA


Set in puritanical Boston in the mid 1600s, the story of seamstress Hester Prynne, who is outcast after she becomes pregnant by a respected reverend. She refuses to divulge the name of the father, is "convicted" of adultery and forced to wear a scarlet "A" until an Indian attack unites the Puritans and leads to a reevaluation of their laws and morals.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Heavens, but this is heavy going. Demi Moore is "Hester", sent on to a Massachusetts colony ahead of her husband to set up their new home. Determined to stand on her own two feet, she invites the enmity of the community by insisting on living on her own. Her only ally seems to be the preacher "Dimmesdale" (Gary Oldman) and he becomes more crucial when it looks like her husband has been killed in a shipwreck and when, shortly thereafter, she becomes pregnant. Determined not to reveal the identity of the father, she endures the disdain from her somewhat puritanical neighbours and both her and her daughter are shunned. Suddenly, enter Robert Duvall ("Roger") her long lost, and not very likeable, husband who decides that vengeance shall be his - and a burning might soon be in the offing. Despite an half decent cast, with some very solid supporting characters from the likes of Edward Hardwicke and Joan Plowright, the story is stolid in it's delivery. The opportunities to illustrate and expose the superstitious and hypocritical standards of the day; of the population who lived in a male-dominated, god-fearing society are lost in a stodgy dialogue with repetitive scenarios that look good, but take the story forward with the speed of a rhino stuck in treacle. This suffered from too much resource, too long a filming schedule and a very weakly delivered narrative and at the end I may well have volunteered myself for the flames.