Marie St. Clair believes she has been jilted by her 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, and bounces back and forth between apparent security and true love.
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Actually an incredibly good drama/tragedy from Chaplin. I am amazed that he made this in 1923, at the height of his selling power as the biggest movie star on the planet. It's not as good as the comedies he starred in, but it is high quality stuff.
Charles Chaplin is not the star of this, his first serious drama. It's a silent film but Chaplin's direction of actors is so good that they don't overact, all seems very natural. the story is full of controversial or indecent themes for the time it was made (rebellious children, sex outside matrimony, women's lib). A very subtle novelty, as Chaplin said "it's all about how men and women tend to hide their emotions"
Programmed by Melbourne Cinematheque with a Lubitsch film, showing Chaplin under the influence. I may be haste in my derision, I found the milieu unpleasant and the compositions fairly rudimentary only to then be schooled by Liv Ullmann in my DVD extras. Perhaps I attributed a moral governance to the time rather than film, awakening to its levelled depictions of these complicated lives.
While intended as a centerpiece for Edna Purviance it ends up being the film's sleazy playboy villain that takes the limelight from her with his charming yet sly smile as he hunts down women for his nightly prey. It ends strong and show a dramatic side of Chaplin that he would use effectively in his comedies later on but never again in a melodramatic films like in this stand-alone box-office failure.
Chaplin shoots a drama not starring himself. The audience did not like it, and to be fair neither did I. Not because Chaplin and his humor are absent, but more because there's nothing new this melodrama had to offer.
Chaplin haciendo aviso de que es su primer drama (no risas, no protagonizándolo). Su discurso, sin embargo, está omnipresente. El director no abandona su cine comprometido, uno que, por ejemplo, no duda en burlarse de lo sofisticado o castiga la amoralidad de su protagonista principal. Eso último es tal vez el talón de Aquiles de la película; hay una sobrecarga de drama y un cierre redentor de cuento de hadas.