nohway

HESTER PRYNNE THROUGH THE YEARS

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2010 at 4:34 am

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Emma Stone in EASY A, costumed by Mynka Draper

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great, wronged heroine of THE SCARLET LETTER has provided dramatic inspiration for literal decades. Her latest, snarkiest incarnation is in the film EASY A, which now ranks as America’s #1 BOXOFFICE COMEDY, if you believe the ads.

Here’s my review of it in FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL:

http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/reviews/major-releases/e3i776b1668d474ee363bccaf25290f3dc3

and here are some other actresses who’ve played Hester in the past, starting with the best of all, Lillian Gish, who brought her usual, uncanny mix of the fierce and heartbreaking to the role in Victor Seastrom’s wonderful 1925 MGM silent version.


Lillian Gish, costumed by the great Max Ree, 1926


Gene Gauntier, pioneering silent screen actress and screenwriter, played Hester in 1908


French actress Lucille Younge made a 1911 version with King Baggott as the Reverend Dimmesdale, written by Herbert Brenon


Linda Arvidson, first wife of D.W. Griffith was a 1913 Hester


the great Sybil Thorndike made a little-known British silent version in 1922


Colleen Moore, the fabulous flapper comedic enchantress of the Roaring ’20s, made this last talkie attempt in 1934 (a DVD of which is brandished by Emma Stone in EASY A) before retiring from the screen forever on her tax-free millions, to tend to one of the most lavish dollhouses of all time


Wim Wenders directed Senta Berger in a German 1973 version.


Meg Foster -anyone remember this Amy Irving lookalike? – in the 1979 TV miniseries.

In the greatest miscasting since Gregory Peck played Captain Ahab, Demi Moore, costumed by Gabriella Pescucci, in the 1995 version, one of the decade’s lowpoints, a Hester Prynne as envisioned by Bob Guccione.

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