An exceptionally rare and beautiful linocut daybill for the first Australian release of the 1923 silent romantic drama A Woman of Paris, featuring the film's heroine Edna Purviance in a showstopping gown and headdress against the twinkling backdrop of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Written, directed and produced by Charlie Chaplin in a departure from his usual comedy roles, Chaplin informed the audience with an introductory title card that A Woman of Paris was "the first serious drama written and directed by myself." Inspired by the romantic European escapades of Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Chaplin wrote the tale of pampered mistress Marie St Clair for his longtime comedy collaborator Purviance in an effort to develop her career as a dramatic actress. Among the ecstatic reviews on release, film critic CA Lejeune noted A Woman of Paris is a remarkable film, an historic film, a film to see and consider, while actress Mary Pickford declared it a gripping human story throughout, later adding Charlie Chaplin is the greatest director of the screen... He's a pioneer... I do not cry easily when seeing a picture, but after seeing Charlie's A Woman of Paris I was all choked up — I wanted to go out in the garden and have it out by myself. Despite the critical acclaim, audiences were disappointed by the absence of Chaplin himself, who only appeared in a tiny cameo role as a railway porter, and consequently the film closed as a commercial failure, thereafter virtually forgotten for over fifty years. As the final work of his 75 year career, Chaplin re-scored and re-issued the film in 1976 to overwhelming praise as a lost masterpiece.
Very good (B+)
Unfolded, backed on linen in the European style with no restoration whatsoever. Minor nicks, creases and tears to margins, no greater than half an inch. Two closed punches to Charles Chaplin credit, which have been smoothed and diminished by backing and are not very noticeable or distracting. Two small bubbles to orange blank portion. Some light surface scuffs. Image and colours otherwise excellent.