The Christian (1923 film)

The Christian (1923) is a silent film drama, released by Goldwyn Pictures, directed by Maurice Tourneur, his first production for Goldwyn, and starring Richard Dix and Mae Busch.[2][3] The film is based on the novel The Christian by Hall Caine, published in 1897, the first British novel to reach the record of one million copies sold.[4] The novel was adapted for the stage, opening on Broadway at the Knickerbocker Theatre 10 October 1898.[5] This was the fourth film of the story; the first, The Christian (1911) was made in Australia.

The Christian
1923 theatrical poster
Directed byMaurice Tourneur
Produced bySamuel Goldwyn
Written byCharles Kenyon
Based onThe Christian
by Hall Caine
StarringRichard Dix
Mae Busch
CinematographyCharles Van Enger
Edited byPaul Bern[1]
Distributed byGoldwyn Pictures
Release date
  • January 28, 1923 (1923-01-28)
Running time
80+ minutes at 8 reels
8,333 feet
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
(English intertitles)


John Storm becomes a Christian Socialist, intending to live as Christ would live. He struggles to free himself from his love for Glory Quayle. John and Glory had been childhood sweethearts while growing up in the Isle of Man. As adults they travel to London where Glory becomes a nurse and finally a star on the stage. John enters the church. Later scenes show John's struggles, the meeting of the couple at the race track, his determination to kill Glory to save her from herself and his death in Glory's arms after a stoning by an infuriated mob.


Production background

The film is based on the novel and play by Hall Caine. On the Broadway stage Viola Allen, played Glory Quayle in 1899.[6] This was the fourth, and last, silent era filming of the story, with previous versions made in 1911 The Christian (Australian), 1914 and 1915. Some filming for this production was done in the United Kingdom.

After the screen version of The Christian was written by Charles Kenyon it was approved by Hall Caine.[7] J. G. Hawks prepared the continuity for the production.[8]

Maurice Tourneur, with the Goldwyn players, headed by Richard Dix and Mae Busch travelled to the Isle of Man for exterior filming where they were joined by Hall Caine who co-operated in the filming of his work and held daily conferences with Tourneur.[9]

Preservation status

The Christian is extant with copies at the George Eastman House, Museum of Modern Art and British Film Institute National Archive.[10] [11]


  1. Motion Picture News, Inc (1922). "Motion Picture News (May-Jun 1922)". New York, Motion Picture News, Inc.: 3054. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute c. 1971
  3. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:..The Christian
  4. Allen, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. League, The Broadway. "The Christian – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB".
  6. The Christian as produced on Broadway, October 10 1898, at the Knickerbocker Theatre;
  7. Motion Picture News, Inc (1922). "Motion Picture News (Jan-Feb 1922)". New York, Motion Picture News, Inc.: 1256. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. Motion Picture News, Inc (1922). "Motion Picture News (Mar-Apr 1922)". New York, Motion Picture News, Inc.: 1772. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. Motion Picture News, Inc (1922). "Motion Picture News (May-Jun 1922)". New York, Motion Picture News, Inc.: 3250. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. Progressive Silent Film List: The Christian at
  11. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: The Christian

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