The Scarlet Letter

Synopsis: In 1666 in the Massachusetts Bay colony, Puritans and Algonquian have an uneasy truce. Hester arrives from England, seeking independence. Awaiting her husband, she establishes independence, fixing up a house, befriending Quakers and other outsiders. Passion draws her to a young pastor. He feels the same; when they learn her husband has probably died at the hands of Indians, they consummate their love. A child is born, and on the day Hester is publicly humiliated and made to wear a scarlet letter, her husband appears after a year with Indians. Calling himself Chillingworth, he seeks revenge, searching out Hester's lover and stirring fears of witchcraft. Will his murderous plot succeed?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Roland Joffé
Production: Buena Vista
  1 win & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
135 min

My brother Metacomet,

may the noble spirit

ofyourfather, Massasoit,

soar with the eagles.

Chief Metacomet.

Thanks to

the friendship of your father,

we have survived here.

My father should have let you


You are

the only one

who comes to us

with an open heart.

But your people have murdered

my father

with their lies!

My name is Pearl.

This is the story of

my mother, HesterPrynne.

It was the yearofourLord 1666,

when she arrived in the

Massachusetts Bay Colony

filled with the hope that at last,

in this new world

would come the freedom to worship

without fearofpersecution.

My esteemed colleague!

Thy years of toil become thee!

Thy fame preceeds thee, sir.

Governor Bellingham,

may l present

the Reverend Thomas Cheever.

Welcome, sir.

lt's a long voyage.

3 months at sea,

will either take away your faith,

or harden it to iron.

Allow me to introduce a woman

who's been travelling with us,


-Hester Prynne.

l apologize for the coarseness

of my hands, Mistress.

But here in the colonies,

everyone must work.

l look forward to the hard work.

lt says id Psalm 92: ''l will

triumph in the work of thy hands''.

Thou canst quote the Scriptures.

Aye, Reverendo, both Testaments.

My husband taught me.

You must rest.

Then l'll show you

what's been accomplished.

l thank thee.

-Then it's Goodwife Prynne.

-Yes, yes.

But l prefer to be called Hester.

Welcome, Hester.

l wish l could've seen it before,

when it was wild and untouched.


you should use less lace

in your dressmaking.

lndeed, Reverend.

Master of us all,

we give thanks for

another bountiful meal,

and for newly arrived disciples,

that share it with us this night.



So, Governor.

l am impatient to know

how you fared with Metacomet.

Well, Metacomet

isn't Massassoit, Major Dunsmuir.

But if we respect the agreements

we made with his father,

we've nothing to fear.

So we don't

grow complacent,

our wise God sends us a sign.

When we sailed,

your letters said we were

at peace with the savage.


l fear the days of ''peace''

with the Wampanoag is at an end.


we are frightening

our new arrival.

We hear much

of your success

with the praying lndians.

l'm very eager to meet

Reverend Dimmesdale

and his converts.

The runts of the litter.

Dimmesdale's little treasures!

Some of us

have other opinions.

Mistress Prynne,

l hope you'll stay with us

until your husband's arrival.

You're most kind,

but l intend to find

a house of my own

as soon as possible.

On thine own?

Why, yes.

lt's not considered fitting

for a young woman to live alone.

l've come first to prepare

a place for his arrival,

so that is what l intend to do.

Mistress Prynne.

The rules we live by may seem

arbitrary to a newcomer,

but we have learnt

the hard way

that without absolute order,

we cannot hope to survive here.

Rules, Mistress Prynne.



Would you have me

disobey my husband?


-Reverend, you might enjoy

the company of my son, Brewster.

He studied Divinity.

Harvard wasn't good enough

for him,

so he came home to

make his fortune as a...

Minister's sons all moaning

the Lord's Prayer

in their sleep.

Everyone must find his place.

-Morning, Mistress Prynne.

-Good morrow.

So you intend on scandalising

the town!

Get up!


l confess,

l feel alone in a

sea of conformists.

Where should we begin our search?

On the cliffs by the sea.

No, it's out of the question.


No one's lived

by the sea

since the lndians

wiped out Ballinger's Point.

l say we start there.

Well, if you've decided.

ls that it, Brewster?

lt's beautiful.

I tried to imagine

what herlife was like

before she came

to the new world.

Why did herhusband

send heron ahead,


Was it a test ofherloyalty,


Or was it in his nature

to set traps

forpeople in the hope

they would fall into them?

lt's perfect!

With a cart and a musket,

l could have a home here!

A cart, a horse,

a pitchfork, a plow.

l can think of better things

to do with these pretty hands

than grow calluses on them.

l'll need indentured labor,

at least two men.

-The land needs draining.

-You are headstrong.

Perhaps it runs in the blood.

l'm told your father was too.

ls it true

he was in debt to your husband

and you were the payment?

l've said something

to disturb you.

l'm sorry.

l'm truly sorry.

God, thou art wondrous fair!

That hurt!

Good. lt'll remind you

not to do it again.



Did you hear Mistress Prynne

has a bathing tub?

What is she, French?

2 Shillings.

Will you bid 2 shillings?

2 and a half?

Come on, gentlemen,

do l have a bid for 3 shillings?

3 shillings?

3 shillings?

Anyone else?

Anyone else?

Going for 3 shillings.

Any other bids?

Sold to the gentleman

for 3 shillings.

-Next we have this other one,

-Those two.

How much time left

on their indenture?

About 3 years, but,

shouldn't your husband or father

be doing business with me?

ls my money

no good to you, sir?

Your money's as fine as wine

in the sunshine, Mistress.

lf you buy them at a just price,

l'll throw in the girl in red.

She's a slave!

But she don't speak, if that

be a problem. Born that way.

Name your just price.

We'd best accompany you

if your going to the forest.

Don't worry Mr Bobbin.

l shan't go far.

Mistress Prynne?

Mistress Prynne?

Mistress Prynne?

Where are you?

Mistress Prynne, where are you?

l found her.

-You did not.

-l did to.

-You did not.

-l did to.

Mistress Prynne,

Have you forgotten

it is the Sabbath?

Of course not.

Forgive me.

We've come by especially

to bring you to church.

Thank you, so much.

Please, go on without me.

l will follow at once.

Make haste.

Yes, sir.

All right, girl,

Come on.

Oh goodnes!

Back up. Back up.

Come on now, back up.

Come on. Come on. Back up.

Good morrow.

May l be of assistance?

Not from up there.

Come on.

Come on.

Steady. Steady.

l can't make this horse

understand me.

Let me try.

Come on, girl.

Come on, back up!

Come on, girl.

Come on. Come on.

l'm afraid you're in too deep.

She'll not make it.

Let me try this.

l do hope you can get it free.

l'm already late for the service,

and everyone's talking about me.

l've been away and l'm quite

behind on local gossip.

l bought the old Newbury place

out on Ballinger's Point.


l owe you an apology.

l've been trespassing.

There's a place at the point

where l like to bath.

Really? Well, l shan't charge

too steep a tariff.

Come on, girl, back up!

-Back up.



Two. Three.

l'm afraid this cart will be

stuck here until Sabbath next

unless l gather hands to help.

Would you care to ride with me?

On your horse, with you?

Aye, unless you can ride.

l can ride.

You take my horse

and l'll take yours.

There's a shortcut

to the meeting house,

but it's a difficult road.

l shall manage, sir.

-Are you certain?

-Just you lead the way.

Come on! Come on!

Rate this script:5.0 / 2 votes

Douglas Day Stewart

Douglas Day Stewart is an American screenwriter and film director. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College. more…

All Douglas Day Stewart scripts | Douglas Day Stewart Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Scarlet Letter" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    Who directed the movie "The Matrix"?
    A Peter Jackson
    B James Cameron
    C The Wachowskis
    D Michael Bay