The Scarlet Letter

by: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Movie Adaptations

Further study Movie Adaptations

The Scarlet Letter
1995
Directed by Roland Jaffe

The Scarlet Letter was adapted into a film in 1995, which was directed by Roland Jaffe, and stars Demi Moore, Gary Oldman, and Robert Duvall. The movie was a loose adaptation, with a plot that differs significantly from Hawthorne’s novel. In the movie, Roger Chillingworth’s efforts to uncover Hester’s lover lead him to accidentally start a widespread conflict between the Indians and the American colonists. He commits suicide, and amidst the chaos of the conflict, Dimmesdale reveals that he is the father of Hester’s child. She abandons her scarlet letter and the couple flees to Carolina with their daughter to start a new life together. This conclusion completely changes the outcome Hawthorne articulated in his novel. Perhaps because of these significant structural changes, the movie adaptation was very poorly received by critics. It grossed less than a quarter of its production budget, and won a number of satiric Golden Raspberry Awards.