A Woman of Paris

Watch A Woman of Paris

""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.""
  • Passed
  • 1923
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 6.9  (6,060)

A Woman of Paris, released in 1923, marks a significant departure in the pioneering career of Charles Chaplin from his usual slapstick comedies. Although Chaplin only makes a brief cameo appearance in the film, A Woman of Paris is a simple yet poignant drama that explores themes of love, heartbreak, and social mobility. The film revolves around the story of Marie St. Clair, played by Edna Purviance, a young woman who lives in a small village in France with her alcoholic father. Fed up with her mundane life, Marie decides to leave for Paris with her boyfriend, Jean Millet, played by Carl Miller, and start a new life. However, fate intervenes when the couple misses their train and Jean convinces Marie to go to Paris ahead of him.

Marie ventures to Paris alone and is initially enamored by the glitz and glamour of the city. She is met by her old flame, Pierre Revel, played by Adolphe Menjou, who is now a wealthy and successful businessman. Pierre offers to show Marie around the city and help her find a job. Marie eventually secures a job as a singer at a bar, where she becomes a success and impresses Pierre.

However, Pierre's affections for Marie quickly turn romantic, leading to a complicated love triangle between Pierre, Marie, and Jean. Marie is caught between her love for Jean and Pierre's extravagant lifestyle, which offers her a way out of poverty. As tensions between the three characters escalate, Marie is forced to make a difficult decision that will change the course of her life forever.

A Woman of Paris is a silent film, but it is notable for its sophisticated camera work, sobering realism, and captivating performances. The film's director, Charles Chaplin, rejects his usual slapstick humor in favor of a more mature and subdued tone, which is reflected in the film's stark black-and-white cinematography. Chaplin's use of shadows and lighting effectively conveys the darkness and tension of key scenes.

The film's ensemble cast also delivers powerful performances, with Edna Purviance standing out as the film's leading lady. Purviance, who had been Chaplin's leading lady in many of his films, proves her versatility as an actress by successfully conveying Marie's complex emotional journey. Adolphe Menjou is also noteworthy as Pierre Revel, exuding charm and arrogance as a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

Overall, A Woman of Paris is a significant and underrated contribution to early silent cinema. The film explores universal themes that remain relevant today, such as the search for love and the tension between social aspiration and personal values. While it deviates from Chaplin's typical humor, A Woman of Paris showcases his versatility and mastery of storytelling.

A Woman of Paris is a 1923 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

A Woman of Paris
Where to Watch A Woman of Paris
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (6,060)