Witchcraft (1916)

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Columbia University and the Lasky Company held a photoplay contest, and this was the winning scenario, written by college student R. Ralston Reed (oddly, he was also a New Jersey physician). It takes place in the Puritan days of the New England colonies and concerns a girl, Suzette (Fannie Ward), who weds a sinister old man, Makepeace Struble (Paul Weigel), in spite of her love for a young soldier (Jack Dean). Struble, who was lusting after her, threatened to accuse her mother of witchcraft, and she was only trying to appease him with the marriage. Struble is mean and abusive, and in the heat of anger, Suzette tells him she wishes he were dead. The old man does die shortly thereafter, and Suzette finds herself on trial for witchcraft. It is up to her young lover to save her life by having such trials outlawed.

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abuse, accusation, damsel-in-distress, love, marriage, Puritan, rescue, witchcraft