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A Woman of Paris (Silent)

Charles Chaplin directs his first feature-length drama, a tale of love and betrayal set in 1920s France. An unfairly overlooked masterpiece.
5.6K ratings
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8330D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 23 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: June 23, 2020
  • Originally Released: 1923
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Directed by

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 12


User Ratings: 926
It is not pretty. Chaplin never meant it to be. But it is horribly true. Full Review
Mar 1, 2017
For some years great groups of the illuminati have been proclaiming Charles S. Chaplin an artist. Yet our good old uncles and funny old aunts, who really knew about custard pies, demurred. Full Review
TIME Magazine
Apr 2, 2013
Chaplin's "drama of fate" is really a drama of coincidence and irony, as befits the crossroads of Victorian and Jazz Age Europe Full Review
Mar 4, 2010
Despite its wealth of detail and sharp observations about morality, the film remains curiously insubstantial with its refined dabbling in the elements of satire, sentiment and melodrama exploited with such panache in Chaplin's starring comedies. Full Review
Time Out
Jan 26, 2006
Rating: B- -- The soap opera love triangle story takes the form of a morality play and is well-constructed but hardly substantial. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Aug 4, 2008
An important milestone in Chaplin's career, this simple melodrama overcomes the limits of its story to offer a fascinating example of the writer-director's understanding of the constraints of cinematic form. Full Review
Apr 24, 2004
A moving and entertaining work, executed with high finesse by a master cineast. Full Review
Chicago Reader
Apr 2, 2013

Description by

Marie St. Clair and her starving artist boyfriend, Jean Millet, plan to elope in Paris. On the night they are to wed, Jean's father dies, and he is unable to meet Marie at the rendezvous. Embittered because she believes she was left at the altar, Marie becomes a high-paid courtesan, and eventually the kept woman of Pierre Revel, a wealthy financier. A year after their failed wedding attempt, Marie runs into Jean at a party. Despite her current betrothment, they resume their romance, and once again Jean proposes marriage. Marie is unable to choose between a life of luxury and the man she loves...and in that moment of hesitation, an unthinkable tragedy occurs...

Subtitled "A Drama of Fate," A Woman of Paris was Charles Chaplin's only attempt to make a serious film without him as the star. Chaplin had recently become a founding member of United Artists. His colleagues - D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks - expected his first production for UA to be one of those comedies he was so well known for. Instead, he gave them a drama in which he insisted he would not appear. A Woman of Paris was meant to prove that Charlie's frequent co-star, Edna Purviance, could stand on her own apart from Chaplin. Though critically acclaimed upon its release, the film was not a hit with audiences, who, despite advance warnings in the press, were expecting a "Chaplin comedy." Purviance's career was effectively ruined, and the performer who made the most impression on moviegoers was instead Adolphe Menjou. Looking here much like he did in the sound era, Menjou would go on to have a long career with scene-stealing roles in classics like The Front Page (1931), A Farewell to Arms (1932), A Star is Born (1937) and Paths of Glory (1957). Chaplin, stung by the film's box-office failure, would return to comedy with his next feature The Gold Rush (1925). Critical esteem for A Woman of Paris has never waned, however. Along with the work of Ernst Lubitsch, its believable characterizations are credited with moving the cinema away from heavy-handed melodrama and into naturalism and realism.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 323
  • UPC: 089218833099
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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