Synopsis by Karl Williams
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.
America, bear, bishop, boycott, child, church, colonialism, confession [criminal], congregation, conscience, daughter, ethics, extramarital-affair, father, guilt, husband, illegitimacy, illegitimate-child, letter, life, love, love-triangle, marriage, paternity, Pilgrims, pregnancy, reputation, return, scandal, secrets, silence, sin, spiritual, townspeople, tragic-love, wife, woman
High Budget, High Historical Importance, High Production Values