Daily Archives: October 10, 1995

The Scarlet Letter

Freely adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the credits say cautiously. I’ll say. Demi Moore, clothed and occasionally nude, lends her body to Hester Prynne (her mind seems elsewhere), Robert Duvall plays Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s Simon Legree, and Gary Oldman plays Brad Pitt. Though the setting is Puritan New England, director Roland Joffe makes the New World landscapes and period details (both often handsome in their ‘Scope framings) resemble those in The Killing Fields and The Mission, as if to prove that an auteur, not an author, is in charge. (JR)… Read more »


Pretentious, boring, and consistently uninvolving, this effort by producer Robert Evans and director William Friedkin to make comebacks with an incoherent Joe Eszterhas script simply won’t wash. A San Francisco millionaire gets murdered to the strains of The Rite of Spring, the governor of California (Richard Crenna) is incriminated in a potential sex scandal, and thanks to the flaccid filmmaking and unappealing cast (David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri), it’s impossible to care. Friedkin includes a car chase to remind us of The French Connection and part of it is staged in Chinatown, presumably to remind us of Evans’s better days, but I kept looking at my watch; with Michael Biehn and Donna Murphy. (JR)… Read more »