The Law of Contact

The Scarlet Letter (September 18, 1934)

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic The Scarlet Letter
 

Released on September 18, 1934: (running time 1 hour and 10 minutes) Nathaniel Hawthorn's classic tale of adultery and revenge in puritan Massachusetts.

Produced by Larry Dormour

Directed by Robert G. Vignola

The Actors: Colleen Moore (Hester Prynne), Jardie Albright (Arthur Dimmesdale), Henry B. Walthall (Doctor Roger Chillingworth), Cora Sue Collins (Pearl, Hester's daughter), Alan Hale (Bartholomew Hockings), Virginia Howell (Abigail Clarkstone), William Kent (Sampson Goodfellow), William Farnum (Governor Bellingham), Betty Blythe (innkeeper), Al O. Henderson (Master Wilson), Jules Cowles (Beadle), Mickey Rentschler (Digerie Crakstone), Shirley Jean Rickert (Humility Crakstone), Tommy Bupp (marching boy), Iron Eyes Cody (Indian), Flora Finch (Faith Bartle, the gossip), Dorothea Wolbert (Mistress Allerton)

 
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The Dark Side of Romance, Ten Times Dark

As harvest season is upon us, it is natural to think of the Puritans who first settled in America to start a grand new life.

New authors are often advised to write about what they know best – The people that they know, the places that are familiar, and the stories that are typical of their universe. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804. He added a ‘w’ to his Hathorne last name, because his great-great-grandfather John Hathorne was one of the three Puritan judges that tried, convicted and put to death, several Salem citizens accused of witchcraft. He grew up in a strict Puritan lifestyle, often watching severe punishment administered quickly and harshly. Puritans believed that man was inherently bad, and must be punished severely to force them to become good.

Hawthorn was writing stories for magazines as a young adult, but none brought him any great fame. In 1846 Nathaniel Hawthorn was appointed to a government job at the Custom House in Boston, but when a U.S. President from the other party was elected in 1848, he was fired and a friend of the other political party was given his job. Without anything to take up his time, he began writing a longer story than he had ever written before. He called it, “The Scarlet Letter, A Romance,” and it was published in 1850 as one of the first mass produced books from newly designed printing presses. This story became famous around the world, making Nathanial Hawthorne one of the first great American authors.

The next year Herman Melville wrote “Moby-Dick,” and after reading some of Nathanial Hawthorne’s stories, he claimed that Hawthorne’s stories revealed the dark side of man, shrouded in blackness, ten times black. Melville dedicated Moby-Dick to Nathanial Hawthorne, “in token of my admiration for his genius.”

As our dark adventure opens, a woman is being tried for adultery. Her husband was a doctor, and was on a ship bound for America to join her, but the ship was lost at sea and she is now a widow. . . . But after two years without a husband, she suddenly has a brand-new baby girl. The three Puritan judges discuss whether the woman should be stoned to death as the Bible suggests. As they discuss her fate, a man and an Indian enter the village. The man is a doctor who was shipwrecked two years ago, and he has just now been able to make his way to their colony. The man watches as the lady with a baby is sentenced.

Yes, the stranger in town is her long-lost husband, and he vows to discover who the man is that gave his wife a baby, and he vows revenge that even God might find harsh. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Colleen Moore wears the Scarlet Letter
Colleen Moore wears the Scarlet Letter
Alan Hale
Alan Hale
Alan Hale and William Kent
Alan Hale and William Kent
Betty Blythe and Henry B. Walthall
Betty Blythe and Henry B. Walthall
Colleen Moore
Colleen Moore
Colleen Moore and Cora Sue Collins
Colleen Moore and Cora Sue Collins
Colleen Moore with her newborn
Colleen Moore with her newborn
Colleen Moore
Colleen Moore
Cora Sue Collins
Cora Sue Collins
Flora Finch
Flora Finch
Hardie Albright
Hardie Albright
Hardie Albright, Al O. Henderson and Henry B. Walthall
Hardie Albright, Al O. Henderson and Henry B. Walthall
Hardie Albright and Colleen Moore
Hardie Albright and Colleen Moore
Hardie Albright and Colleen Moore
Hardie Albright and Colleen Moore
Henry B. Walthall
Henry B. Walthall
Henry B. Walthall and Hardie Albright
Henry B. Walthall and Hardie Albright
Henry B. Walthall and Iron Eyes Cody
Henry B. Walthall and Iron Eyes Cody
Henry B. Walthall
Henry B. Walthall
Mickey Rentschler and Sirley Jean Rickert
Mickey Rentschler and Sirley Jean Rickert
Virginia Howell
Virginia Howell
Virginia Howell and Alan Hale
Virginia Howell and Alan Hale
Virginia Howell and Mickey Rentschler
Virginia Howell and Mickey Rentschler
Virginia Howell
Virginia Howell
Virginia Howell
Virginia Howell
William Farnum
William Farnum
William Kent
William Kent
William Kent and Alan Hale
William Kent and Alan Hale
William Kent
William Kent