The Scarlet Letter

Puritan America in the 17th century: A small village on the East Coast surrounded by nothing but wilderness. A woman, Hester Prynne (Senta Berger), is pilloried because she is bearing an illegitimate child and refuses to reveal the father’s (Lou Castel) name. As a punishment, she is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adulteress”) on her chest. Her pride and her love let her endure the contempt of the puritan townspeople. She raises her daughter (for ther first time: Yella Rottländer) on her own.

When an old stranger comes to the village, Hester recognizes him as her long lost husband Chillingworth (Hans-Christian Blech). He pretends to be a doctor, lives in the town unrecognized and sets about uncovering the identity of Hester’s lover.

Originally planned in Salem, Massachusetts, this second larger production of the Filmverlag der Autoren was shot in Spain at the Galician coast and in a Western village near Madrid.


West Germany 1972

93 min, 2539 m

35mm Kodachrome

German (partly dubbed)

Cast and crew

Production: Produktion 1 in Filmverlag der Autoren (Munich) Director: Wim Wenders Producer: Thomas Schamoni, Wim Wenders Screenplay: Wim Wenders, Bernardo Fernandez, based on the novel The Scarlet Letter from Nathaniel Hawthorne and based on the Scenario Der Herr klagt über sein Volk in der Wildnis Amerika from Tankred Dorst and Ursula Ehler Director of Photography: Robby Müller Editor: Peter Przygodda Sound: Christian Schubert Cast: Senta Berger, Lou Castel, Hans-Christian Blech,Yelena Samarina, Rüdiger Vogler, Yella Rottländer, William Layton, Alfredo Mayo, Angel Alvarez, Rafael Albaicin, Laura Currie

Assistant Camera: Martin Schäfer Still Photographer: Heide M. Weis Assistant Editor: Barbara von Weitershausen Music: Jürgen Knieper Script: Astrid Gauke Set Design: Manfred Lütz Wardrobe: Adolfo Cofino Make-up/Hairstyle: Ingrid Thier Editorial Office: Volker Canaris Line Producer: Thomas Schamoni Production Manager: Peter Genée, Primitivo Alvaro Production Assistant: Pablo Martinez In Cooperation with: Elias Querejeta P.C. (Madrid), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) First Release (DE): 13.03.1973, ARD World Sales: HanWay Films

Blu-ray & DVD

Language: German (5.1 Dolby Digital)
Format: 1.78:1

Anchor Bay
Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: English
Format: 1.33:1

Wild Side Vidéo
Language: German (5.1 Dolby Digital), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: French
Format: 1.78:1

RHV – Ripley’s Home Video
Language: Italian (5.1 Dolby Digital), German (Dolby Digital 1.0), German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Language: German
Subtitles: Italian
Format: 1.78:1

Press Sheet (PDF)

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