Puritan Passions

Puritan Passions is a 1923 silent film directed by Frank Tuttle, based on Percy MacKaye's 1908 play The Scarecrow, which was itself based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Feathertop". The film stars Glenn Hunter, Mary Astor, and stage actor Osgood Perkins. It follows the play faithfully, except that Osgood Perkins' character is called Dickon in the play and Dr. Nicholas in the movie, and Justice Gilead Merton is renamed Justice Gilead Wingate in the film. It is the only theatrical film version – so far – of Percy MacKaye's play, though there were previously two silent film versions of Hawthorne's original story.[2]

Puritan Passions
Lobby card
Directed byFrank Tuttle
Written byFrank Tuttle
James Ashmore Creelman [1]
StarringMaude Hill
Glenn Hunter
Osgood Perkins
Thomas Chalmers
Mary Astor
CinematographyFred Waller
Distributed byW.W. Hodkinson Distribution
Release date
  • September 9, 1923 (1923-09-09)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States


Goody Rickby is impregnated by the wealthy Gilead Wingate, after which he refuses to accept the responsibility of fatherhood. Goody decides to use black magic to get revenge on Wingate. She succeeds in summoning Satan before her, and together they concoct a scheme to punish the man who wronged her. Satan creates a living being from a scarecrow and the creature adopts the human identity of "Lord Ravensbane" so that he can function unsuspected in society. Satan instructs his creature to seduce Wingate's niece Rachel and fool the villagers into believing the Wingates are all witches. Ravensbane develops emotions and a soul, however, and genuinely falls in love with the young lady, foiling the Devil's plans.


Preservation status


  1. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 266. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  2. Puritan Passions at silentera.com
  3. The Library of Congress/FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:Puritan Passions

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