September 26, 2019

Hawthorne in Hollywood! – The Scarlet Letter

by cns2020

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The 1926 silent film version of “The House of the Seven Gables,” starring Lillian Gish and directed by the acclaimed Swedish silent filmmaker Victor Sjöström, will be shown at The Gables Oct. 4 with live piano accompaniment and a group discussion.

See the 1926 silent film, ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ at The Gables Oct. 4, with live piano and discussion.

SALEM — The House of the Seven Gables’ has saved the best for last. The final movie in its Hawthorne in Hollywood film series, “The Scarlet Letter,” is considered by many to be a superlative silent film. See it on Friday night, October 4, with a special piano accompaniment by Peter Kransinski. To better appreciate this heralded film, Salem State University professor Nancy Schultz will talk about the film and the novel with those in attendance. This engaging evening, complete with popcorn and soft drinks, begins at 6:30 p.m. in The Gables Visitor Center, 115 Derby St., Salem. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for members. 

The great Swedish director Victor Sjöström premiered his silent film interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” in 1926, two years before his most celebrated film, “The Wind.” Movie Classics blog maintains that Sjöström’s “Scarlet Letter” is a silent film masterpiece. The director tapped the talents of Frances Marion, screenwriter, and Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson, starring actors, in both movies. 

The evening’s pianist, Peter Kransinski, is well known for his silent film accompaniments. He uses his creativity to improvise, and is appreciated by many for his devotion to bringing music and musical knowledge to diverse audiences. Nancy Schultz, a professor of English, has a keen interest in the intersection of literature, history and religion, and has done extensive work on the history of Salem. Her insights into Nathaniel Hawthorne’s bestselling novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” and its interpretation by Victor Sjöström, will supply interesting context for an audience discussion. 

Co-sponsors: Creative North Shore; Creative Collective MA, Cape Ann Cinema & Stage

About The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association and its mission

Vision: To preserve, share and continue the American Story.

Mission: To be a welcoming, thriving historic site and community resource that engages people of all backgrounds in our inclusive American story. For more information visit