The Wishing Ring | Chicago Reader

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Director Maurice Tourneur (father of Jacques) was far more than a cinematic pioneer; his pictorial and painterly genius (including his use of deep focus, his mastery of decor, and his refined feeling for light and shading) make him one of the creative giants of the silent era. Subtitled “An Idyll of Old England,” this lovely 1914 feature follows the adventures of an earl's flighty son (Chester Barnett) who gets expelled from college and, pretending to be a gardener, romances a parson's daughter (Vivian Martin in her screen debut, doing a nice spin on Mary Pickford). Tourneur and Owen Davis adapted this from Davis's stage comedy, and though the movie runs only 54 minutes, there's never any sense of rush.

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