6.5/10
194
5 user 2 critic

The Wishing Ring: An Idyll of Old England (1914)

After being expelled from college, Giles runs away from home and meets a young lady who he falls for.

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(play), (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Sally, The Parson's Daughter
...
The Earl Of Bateson
...
The Earl's Son, Giles
Gyp Williams ...
The Orphan
Simeon Wiltsie ...
The Parson
Walter Morton ...
Mr. Annesley
...
A Jolly Boy (as John Hines)
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Storyline

Giles Bateson is expelled from college for misconduct. His angry father, the Earl, sends him a message: "Never let me see you again until you have earned a half crown and proven yourself worthy of confidence." Giles meets Sally, the parson's daughter, who believes Giles to be the gardener. On a walk, they meet some gypsies, who show Sally a "magical ring." Giles buys it for her, and Sally comes to believe in its power when her wishes -- such as for a new dress and shoes to wear to the Earl's party for the villagers -- come true, although actually Giles is responsible. At the party, Sally accidentally discovers the note from the Earl and realizes who Giles really is. She determines to reconcile father and son, and begins visiting the Earl each day to play chess and distract him from the pain he suffers from gout. The gypsies tell her that she can find an herbal cure at Devil's Cliff, but when Sally doesn't return home, a search party finds her lying unconscious by the herb. The Earl is... Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

9 November 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wishing Ring  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Storytelling
31 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

The story is simple: boy meets girl. It's commendably light, however, and the plot is seemingly fortuitous (not to say unpredictable). Well, it is an idyll. Director Maurice Tourneur displays a film vocabulary to rival D.W. Griffith, at least at this point--before "The Birth of a Nation" and "Intolerance". Medium shots, with occasional close-ups, dominate rather than long shots. He uses intertitles sparingly and adopts iris shots from Billy Bitzer. The dolly shot across a dinner table is great.

Actually, Tourneur was a superior storyteller compared to Griffith in respect to a simple story; this film isn't drenched in melodrama and Victorian sentiments. Additionally, I like how it begins on a stage and ends there. The age of feature-length pictures were born via photographed plays by Italian studios and Pathé film d'art, but, soon, the cinematic films by Tourneur, Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and others, in addition to The Great War, prevailed over the movement to reduce cinema to a travesty of theatre. Yet, "The Wishing Ring" has its problems, as would other early films; for example, there is still the missing wall during indoor shooting and some obvious staging of actors for the camera's view.


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