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Scarlet Letter

By Larisa Lomacky Moore

In 1979, when most literary programs were being produced in the U.K., Boston public television station WGBH decided to produce a homegrown literary classic for its viewers. The result is this thoughtful four-episode adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter. Meg Foster brings a quiet strength to Hester Prynne, the adulteress condemned by 17th-century Puritan laws to wear a scarlet "A" for the rest of her life. As her partner in crime, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, John Heard writhes in private torment most convincingly. Kevin Conway completes this grim triangle as the mysterious, maleficent Roger Chillingworth.

The costumes and scenery are simple, so as not to detract from the dialogue as each character grapples with the meaning of sin, forgiveness, and redemption. Students who struggle with the novel may find this video to be a more palatable version of the story--and a more faithful adaptation than the 1995 film starring Demi Moore.

 

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TV TIDBITS

Aired: 1979

Cast: Josef Sommer, Meg Foster, Elisa Erali, John Heard, Ralph Drischell

Network: PBS

Genre: Miniseries

Theme song

Image courtesy of PBS


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Copyright 1994-2017, Super70s.com. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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