Set in 18th-century Italy, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” is the tale of a young scholar named Giovanni (Kristopher Tabori) who falls in love with a beautiful, yet forbidden, girl who tends her father’s poison garden.
However, the strange and unearthly beauty of Beatrice (Kathleen Beller) masks a tarrying curse which Giovanni must tragically discover. Her father, the mysterious Dr. Rappaccini, has made her the subject of a diabolical experiment. In Giovanni’s attempt to free Beatrice from the control of her father and escape the poisonous effect she begins to have on him, he unwittingly destroys her.
Based on the short story of master American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, two quintessential Hawthorne themes are explored: the sins of interfering with another’s soul and the futility of trying to tamper with nature.
This story is one of mystery and romance. Giovanni is a scholar who wants to write great things, but when his rented room faces a wonderful garden, he becomes inquisitive about not only the garden but also the beautiful young woman who takes care of it. Love blossoms between Beatrice, the young lady of the garden, and Giovanni. Little does he know the danger that their love presents or the terrible outcome.The American Short Story Collection was seen on PBS in 1976 and captured tales written by great authors. Although younger children will not be interested in this story, we award this tale with the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for all ages.