Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »
Marie St. Clair believes she has been jilted by her artist fiance Jean when he fails to meet her at the railway station. She goes off to Paris alone. A year later, mistress of wealthy Pierre Revel, she meets Jean again. Misinterpreting events she bounces back and forth between apparent security and true love. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Michael Powell said in a 1977 interview that the film had such an impact on him that he'd carried it with him throughout his career. Its themes are visible in various Powell films, and the amazing thing is that, from 1923-1976, he had only seen the film once. See more »
1923's "A Woman of Paris is probably not what you'd expect in a Chaplin film based on the totality of his body of work, both in features and in shorts. However, that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile viewing. It just means if you are new to Chaplin, you might not want to start here.
"A Woman of Paris" showed Chaplin's talent behind the camera without him appearing in front of it, except for a lone cameo in which he quickly appears and then disappears acting as a luggage boy. He made it for two reasons, to do some pioneering in cinematic technique and to help give his long time costar and companion Edna Purviance a career boost. The film is actually quite good with great performances by Purviance and by Adolphe Menjou as a carefree playboy. The film did make a star out of Menjou. It didn't really help Purviance that much. The film is about a pair of star-crossed lovers that circumstance drives apart and then brings back together and the eventual tragedy that occurs due to the weakness of will of Purviance's character's one time fiancé, played by Carl Miller.
The film was a failure at the box office, not because it was bad, but because audiences expected to see Chaplin when they went to a Chaplin film. After the failure of this film, Chaplin went back to formulas that were tried and true for him and never really went out on a limb experimenting again, which is too bad for all of us.
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