This latest MGM production [from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel] starring Lillian Gish is gripping. Gish makes of Hester Prynne – the little English Puritan maid who married before coming to America, through the wishes of her father, a man she did not love expecting him to follow after – a really sympathetic character.
Hester and the Rev Dimmesdale receive all the sympathy of the audience, but particularly through the toll that the little heroine is compelled to pay for loving. Lars Hanson, who plays the lead opposite the star, handles the role with a great deal of finesse. Others standing out are Karl Dane as Giles, and Marceline Corday as Mistress Hibbins. Henry B. Walthall plays the husband with a make-up suggestive of Shylock and mannerism much the same, though the reason for this is far from explained.