Study Help Film Versions of The Scarlet Letter


Here are some of the best or most noteworthy versions of The Scarlet Letter to help you study and better understand the work.

The Scarlet Letter

  • 1979
  • Director: Rich Hauser
  • Not Rated (Made for TV by PBS)

This is a truly well done adaptation of Hawthorne's work from the folks at PBS. While low on production values, it's high on adherence to the original story and features some great acting. Well worth the 4-hour running time.

The Scarlet Letter

  • 1995
  • Director: Roland Joffé
  • Rated R

Several reviewers have given this version a "thumbs-down." It's a free-wheeling and more modern take on Hawthorne's original work, with a terrible script that hardly follows the book at all. Of interest only if you'd like an alternate-reality view of the work.

Easy A

  • 2010
  • Director: Will Gluck
  • Rated PG-13

As adaptations go, Easy A takes a refreshing turn from the average remake. While it may be a teen rom-com version of Hawthorne's novel, it doesn't try to be the exact same story. Set in modern day California, the film's laced with similar themes and plot points as The Scarlet Letter, in a clear homage to the novel. It follows a high school student, Olive, who acts as a modern day Hester Prynne.