The Wishing Ring Man

The Wishing Ring Man is a 1919 American silent drama film produced by Vitagraph Studios[2] and directed by David Smith.[4] It was based on the novel by Margaret Widdemer,[4][5] and stars Bessie Love, with J. Frank Glendon in the title role.[4]

The Wishing Ring Man
Directed byDavid Smith
Based onThe Wishing Ring Man
by Margaret Widdemer
StarringBessie Love
J. Frank Glendon
CinematographyCharles R. Seeling[1]
Release date
  • March 10, 1919 (1919-03-10) (United States)[3]
Running time
50 minutes;[2] 5 reels[3]
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The film is presumed lost.[6]


Joy Havenith (Love) is kept away from other young people so that she can inspire her grandfather's poetry. She is unhappy with her situation, and believes the "wishing ring man" (Glendon) when he says that, if she wishes hard enough, she will get everything she wants.

When she is given the opportunity to go to the city, her grandfather refuses to let her go because she is not engaged. Joy claims to be engaged to the doctor, and the doctor is forced to play along.[2][4][7]


  • Bessie Love as Joy Havenith[4]
  • J. Frank Glendon as Dr. John Hewitt, The Wishing Ring Man
  • Jean Hathaway as Mrs. Hewitt
  • Claire Du Brey as Gale Maddox
  • Truman Van Dyke as Clarence Rutherford
  • Willie Marks as Grandfather Havenith
  • Alberta Lee as Grandmother Havenith
  • Dorothy Hagan as Phyllis Harrington
  • Colin Kenny as Allen Harrington


On its release, it was shown with various serials and shorts, including Terror of the Range,[8] the Pathé/Harold Lloyd comedy Billy Blazes, Esq.,[9] Mutt and Jeff, or Outing Chester pictures.[10]


The film received positive reviews,[11][12] and it was noted that Love wore seventeen different costumes throughout the film.[13]


  1. Love, Bessie (1977). From Hollywood with Love: An Autobiography of Bessie Love. London: Elm Tree Books. p. 150. OCLC 734075937.
  2. "The Wishing Ring Man is Excellent Attraction". Exhibitor's Trade Review. Vol. 5 no. 14. March 8, 1919. p. 1067.
  3. "Calendar of Program Publications". Exhibitors Herald and Motography. Vol. 8 no. 13. March 22, 1919. p. 54.
  4. Reilly, William J. (March 8, 1919). "The Wishing Ring Man". The Moving Picture World. p. 1388.
  5. Goble, Alan, ed. (September 8, 2011). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. p. 500. ISBN 978-3-11-095194-3.
  6. "The Wishing Ring Man / David Smith [motion picture]". Library of Congress.
  7. R.W.B. (March 8, 1919). "The Wishing Ring Man is Excellent Attraction". Exhibitor's Trade Review. Vol. 5 no. 14. p. 1067. A sweet, charming little story. Entertainment of the wholesome kind. A play that is refreshing. Acting that is delightful. A production of the best.
  8. "Sheer's Victoria" (PDF). The Newtown Register. March 27, 1919. p. 8.
  9. "The Wishing Ring Man". Daily Leader. Grand Rapids, Wisconsin. October 11, 1919. p. 3.
  10. "Alvarado". Camera!. Vol. 2 no. 7. p. 10.
  11. "Bessie Love at Her Best". The Moving Picture World. March 8, 1919. p. 1380. Miss Love, in this production, sets for herself a mark which it will not be easy for her to surpass.
  12. "Strand Theatre". Shelby Beacon. Vol. 6 no. 3. Ellwood City, PA. April 25, 1919. p. 22. rare charm and talent …wonderfully interesting
  13. Winn, Jack (February 1919). "Screen Stories with Black Face Comedy". Photo-Play Journal.
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