The Scarlet Letter (1926)

The Scarlet Letter (1926)





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Movie Info

Based on the classic American novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this silent period drama was put together by star Lillian Gish, who was forced by Louis B. Mayer to assure religious groups that the still-controversial material would not offend their sensibilities. Gish plays heroine Hester Prynne, who becomes the object of affection for Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale (Lars Hanson) in 17th century colonial Massachusetts. Hester is in a loveless marriage to Roger Prynne (Henry B. Walthall), who has not followed her to the colonies. After a trip home to England, Dimmesdale returns to discover that Hester has given birth to his daughter, Pearl, and has been branded with a scarlet letter "A" (for adultery) that she is forced to wear visibly on her person at all times. Hester forces the tortured Dimmesdale to keep the secret of Pearl's paternity, and the sudden appearance of Roger, who was shipwrecked and kidnapped by natives, further complicates matters.
Classics , Drama
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Lillian Gish
as Hester Prynne
Lars Hanson
as Arthur Dimmesdale
Henry B. Walthall
as Roger Chillingworth
Karl Dane
as Giles
William H. Tooker
as The Governor
Marcelle Corday
as Mistress Hibbins
Fred Herzog
as The Jailer
Jules Cowles
as The Beadle
Mary Hawes
as Patience
Joyce Coad
as Pearl
James A. Marcus
as Sea Captain
Polly Moran
as Townswoman
James Marcus
as A Sea Captain
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Critic Reviews for The Scarlet Letter

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Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Scarlet Letter


Granted, I wasn't a fan of the book when I read it, but I was curious to see this silent film version because I heard it was a great film, though I also saw it because it starred the late great Lillian Gish. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed by it because I think it is an excellent romance film and a wonderful silent classic waiting to get the proper treatment it deserves, because this film has never received an official DVD release or even so much as VHS release, which is shameful, considering the awful 1995 version will be allowed to live on for generations to come. If you enjoy silent films, you must see The Scarlet Letter because it is a wonderful film...and avoid the 1995 version at all costs.

Keenan Sullivan
Keenan Sullivan

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