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A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 4 November 1923 (USA)
A kept woman runs into her former fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.


Charles Chaplin


Charles Chaplin

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Complete credited cast:
Edna Purviance ... Marie St. Clair
Clarence Geldart ... Marie's Step-Father (as Clarence Geldert)
Carl Miller ... Jean Millet
Lydia Knott ... Jean's Mother
Charles K. French ... Jean's Father (as Charles French)
Adolphe Menjou ... Pierre Revel
Betty Morrissey Betty Morrissey ... Fifi
Malvina Polo Malvina Polo ... Paulette


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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"You Wouldn't Understand" said the erstwhile village girl whom fate has turned into a woman of Paris when the richest bachelor in the world's gayest city pointed to her glittering gems, asking, "What more do you want? You have everything." (Print Ad- Sunday Chronicle, ((Paterson, NJ)) 2 March 1924)


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

4 November 1923 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una mujer de París See more »


Box Office


$351,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (1976 release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (1978 re-release)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Charles Chaplin: a railroad worker. He is very easy to spot. He is carrying a huge box over his head, and he is alone. See more »


Jean Millet: Well.
Marie St. Clair: Well.
His Mother: Well.
See more »

Alternate Versions

During 1976, Chaplin was preparing a reissue of A Woman of Paris/Sunnyside but died before completion. The project was completed after his death, and the films were reissued in the United States by Kino International Corp. in 1978. This version, however, dispensed with an opening subtitle, as well as a few brief insert shots. See more »


Featured in Chaplin Today: Modern Times (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A Special And Remarkable Silent Film
12 November 2010 | by FerdinandVonGalitzienSee all my reviews

From the very start of the film "A Woman Of Paris" (1923), director, Herr Charles Chaplin, warns the audience by telling viewers that this is not a usual Herr Chaplin silent production (...probably in order to avoid misunderstandings and possible unreasonable conflicts from the audience later demanding their money back. Some revolutions have started in this way merely from commoners demanding such trifle things as a raise of their salaries or better conditions at their work… ) More precisely, in this film the tramp doesn't appear; instead viewers are going to watch a silent and sophisticated "serious" drama.

And certainly after so many years since its prémiere, "A Woman Of Paris" continues to be an unusual Herr Chaplin film. It's a very remarkable oeuvre that probably will astonish the new generation for its singularity, honesty and boldness.

There are two aspects that made "A Woman Of Paris" a special and remarkable silent film for this Herr Graf.

The first one is the audacity in showing Herr Chaplin in the story of a mistress in the merry Paris of the 20's, a woman who enjoy freely a luxurious life thanks to the money and the excellent social position of her "protégée".

In the film there is not a trace of false moral, hypocrisy or judgement. Frau Marie St. Clair ( Frau Edna Purviance ) knows perfectly where she is and how she lives and her particular condition and the advantages and inconveniences that she has for living in that way. When her protégée Herr Pierre Revel ( Herr Adolphe Menjou ) announce his marriage with a rich bourgeois fraulein, she consequently accepts the facts. After all, the three can continue with such a particular open-minded relationship if they want it and with Frau St. Clair as "the other" (obviously) without remorse and not overscrupulous.

It will be only change when Frau St. Clair accidentally meets again her old fiancée Herr Jean Millet ( Herr Carl Miller ). Herr Millet, now a humble painter, lives with his old mother in a modest apartment. Conscience begins to prick her with awareness of her particular life and the possibility of changing an easy and cosy life of luxury for a common one with a man that truly loves her. However, that's finally a transitional state of mind, choosing, as Frau St. Clair does (and after some troubles with her old fiancée) the Paris joyous life.

As this Herr Graf mentioned before, the way Herr Chaplin depicts Frau St. Clair having a clear conscience of her particular way of life is admirable nowadays. Few films of that time displayed such liberal, adult and honest relationships although they were a common issue in Paris not to mention in Berlin… The second remarkable aspect of "A Woman Of Paris" for this Herr Graf are the feminine characters of the picture. They are curious portraits of womanhood... powerful, varied and free minded. Women of Paris act and indistinctly do whatever they want, toying with men if necessary for their own interest ( Frau St. Clair's friends ), influential, over-protective and castrating ( Herr Millet's mother ) or, as always, making their own and fundamental decisions. Frau St. Clair does all of this and shows that women rule the world, as happened since the dawn of mankind, by the way… "A Woman Of Paris" has some of those slight sentimental Herr Chaplin touches that don't harm the film at all. One happens in the beginning of the film depicting the sorrowful and humble life of Frau St. Clair in her small town (while at the same time suffering the tyranny of her stepfather). Another is her frustrating trip to Paris that she finally must to do ...or another...alone when her fiancée's father death comes suddenly. The atonement at the film's end, probably the only Herr Chaplin renouncement for the sake of a moral and standard ending that after all and in spite of this, is balanced with a beautiful and at the same time bitter end.

This Herr Graf wants also to remark on the actors included in the film: especially the superb Herr Adolphe Menjou, elegant, cynic, sophisticated and charming as always and Frau Edna Purviance - inexpressive and nonchalant as a German old rich spinster. And who can forget the merry Paris flappers of the film madly enjoying the pleasures of Paris of the 20's? "A Woman Of Paris" is certainly an unusual Herr Chaplin film and certainly one of the better ones of his silent period which depicts an open-minded story in where adult human beings live their lives by accordingly deciding what it is the best for themselves without false moral attachments or social conventionalisms.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count has an appointment with a woman of Leipzig.

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