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Overview

The Scarlet Letter is a 1979 miniseries based on the novel of the same name that aired on WGBH from March 3, 1979 to March 24, 1979. The series is four episodes long, 60 minutes each. Part 2 won the 1979 Emmy Award for Outstanding Video Tape Editing for a Limited Series or Special for film editors Ken Denisoff, Janet McFadden, and Tucker Wiard.

In 1979, when most literary programs were being produced in the United Kingdom, Boston public television station WGBH decided to produce a homegrown literary classic of its own. The result is this epic version of Nathaniel Hawthorne's enduring novel of Puritan America in search of its soul. Hester Prynne overcomes the stigma of adultery to emerge as the first great heroine in American literature. Hawthorne's themes, the nature of sin, social hypocrisy, and community repression, still reverberate through American society.

Meg Foster brings a quiet strength to the role of Hester, the adulteress condemned 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.

Series Cast

  1. Josef Sommer

    Josef Sommer

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    4 Episodes

  2. Meg Foster

    Meg Foster

    Hester Prynne

    4 Episodes

  3. Elisa Erali

    Pearl

    4 Episodes

  4. John Heard

    John Heard

    Arthur Dimmesdale

    4 Episodes

  5. Penelope Allen

    Penelope Allen

    Mistress Hibbins

    4 Episodes

  6. Kevin Conway

    Kevin Conway

    Roger Chillingworth

    4 Episodes

Full Cast & Crew

Last Season

Miniseries

1979 | 4 Episodes

Season 1 of The Scarlet Letter premiered on March 3, 1979.

View All Seasons

The Scarlet Letter

Facts

Status Ended

Network

  • See more TV shows from PBS...

Type Miniseries

Original Language English

Keywords

Content Score

71

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