The rest of the film is more or less as I have described it, although longer, much longer. Lurid melodrama develops after Hester's husband arrives, played by Robert Duvall as if he'd never had sex in his life and didn't want anybody else to partake, either. The movie's morality boils down to: Why should this sourpuss stand between these two nice young people? The movie has removed the character's sense of guilt, and therefore the story's drama. ("Do you believe . . what we did was wrong?" asks Hester.) Hollywood has taken that troublesome old novel and made it cinematic, although I'm afraid it's still pretty dense.
His body refuses to do what his heart says is right. Dimmesdale instructs Hester to reveal the truth, but when she refuses he doesn’t have the willpower to confess himself. Therefore, his sin becomes even larger than hers, because while hers is an exposed sin. He continues to lie to himself and his followers by keeping his secret hidden, so his is a concealed sin. Here Hawthorne shows us just how strong Dimmesdale actually is, by allowing him to hide his sin and bear the weight of it, he creates an extremely interesting and tremendously strong character. The scaffold is the place that Dimmesdale shows the amount of pain and self-loathing he is truly capable of concealing. He realizes that he is as much at fault for Hester‘s torment as any common villager, if not even more so. Seven years prior, Hester stood in this place and took the punishment for both of them while he quietly stood aside and led people to believe that he also condemned her. During those long seven years he made no move to lessen her load or his own.