Cecil B. DeMille: Joan the Woman

Joan the Woman
R: Cecil B. DeMille. B: Jeanie Macpherson, William C. de Mille. K: Alvin Wyckoff. D: Geraldine Farrar, Raymond Hatton, Hobart Bosworth, Wallace Reid, Theodore Roberts, Tully Marshall, Walter Long, Cleo Ridgely, Horace B. Carpenter, Ernest Joy, William Elmer. P: Paramount Pictures. USA 1916
Print: George Eastman Museum

Cecil B. DeMille’s first feature-length epic is an exercise in equivocation. Joan the Woman (1916) attempts to tell the story of a woman whose chosen path in life is inherently defiant of the gender norms of both her time and that of the film’s audience, while at the same time using the Maid of Orleans to reinforce the value of feminine-patriotic virtues. Joan the Woman follows the popular story of Joan of Arc, portrayed here by Geraldine Farrar, from her departure from Domremy to her arrival at the court of Charles VII of France, where she convinces the dauphin to put her at the head of an army to oust the English from France. Her subsequent victory at Orleans comprises roughly twenty minutes of the two-and-a-half hour film. After Charles’s coronation at Reims, however, the film departs from the documented history dramatically. Joan is captured at Compiegne only because of the betrayal of her English suitor, Eric Trent. The Maid’s fictional love interest attempts to redeem himself through a daring rescue, but ultimately fails. Joan is led to her inevitable death at the stake in Rouen. Watching her burn, Trent laments, ‘We have killed a saint!’ and the villainous Cauchon is led away in disgust before she is dead.

Framing this version of Joan’s story is a prologue and epilogue that takes place in the trenches of World War I in France. English soldiers keep watch over the parapets for any signs of a German attack, though as the audience is introduced to the story all is fairly quiet. Here, Eric Trent has supposedly been reincarnated as an English officer. In the dugout, he pulls an ancient sword from the wall and wonders ‘what queer old chap’ once carried it into battle. Moments later, the armored apparition of Joan of Arc appears behind him to inform him that the time has come to expiate his sins against her. After Joan’s story is told, Trent goes on a suicide mission to destroy a German trench. His mission is a success, and as he lays dying Joan once more appears and all is seemingly forgiven.

While the film was met with generally positive reviews, it was a box office disappointment. DeMille had a $300,000 budget, partially as a result of the success of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915). Griffith’s film, which was an expensive but epic story, grossed at least $20 million. The Birth of a Nation emboldened fledgling studios to invest great amounts of capital into large film productions; audiences were willing to sit through multi-hour historical epics. Joan, bringing in only $600,000, was an unexpected failure. (…)

The film seemingly appealed to mostly those of the upper or middle classes. It is these people who were likely well-versed in Joan’s history, though perhaps more in folklore than the actual historical record detailing Joan’s deeds. Despite the medieval documentation we have detailing Joan’s post-Domremy life and her death, DeMille and screenwriter Jeannie MacPherson consulted only the Encyclopedia Britannica and biographies of Charles VII and Louis XI, as attested in the screenplay’s margins. The main source that served as inspiration for Joan the Woman was Friedrich Schiller’s 1801 play Maid of Orleans, in which Joan of Arc refrains from killing an English soldier when she falls in love with him. DeMille and MacPherson took Schiller’s soldier as inspiration for their character Eric Trent. (…)  By the time the film was released in the United States, the war had been raging for two years, leaving many millions dead. Releasing a film about the English occupation of France at a time when French and English men were fighting side-by-side was not feasible for the politics of wartime. By inspiring Trent to destroy the German trench, DeMille’s Joan demonstrates that old grievances are dead in the face of a new enemy.”
Patrick Duff
Medieval Hollywood

642-Joan the Woman
Commissioned by the United States Department of the Treasury, Haskell Coffin created this poster in 1918. Feeding off the popularization of Joan of Arc in American culture, Haskell uses the imagine of Joan of Arc to encourage women to buy War Savings Stamps in order to save their country, much as Joan of Arc saved France. (Nicole Powell: Joan of Arc Saved France, 2014)

 

Timeline of Historical Film Colors: Joan the Woman
Developed and curated by Prof. Barbara Flueckiger

Further reading:
Anthony L’Abbate (George Eastman Museum): Joan the Woman (1916), Restored

 

>>>  Georges Méliès: Jeanne d’Arc on this site

The ‘Clochards’ of Paris

Comment les pauvres mangent à Paris
R: Unknown. D: Unknown. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1910
Print: British Film Institute
German titles
Piano: Günter A. Buchwald

“Charitable organisations and dedicated journalists decried the misery of the slums in industrial cities. ‘Slumming’ was the term used to describe tourist outings or philanthropic day-trips to witness the poverty. Those who eschewed direct confrontation could visit magic lantern shows or the cinema: the photographic and film industries provided a constant supply of new material covering diverse issues of the ‘Social Question’. (…) Comment les pauvres mangent à Paris / How the Poor Dine in Paris (FR 1910) (…) is the first film reportage about the ‘clochards’ of Paris: it is difficult to distinguish the extras acting in the film from the real homeless people.”
Martin Loiperdinger / Ludwig Vogl-Bienek
The Bioscope

“These kinds of films were predecessors of documentary films proper and were, at that time, labelled as ‘actuality films’ (or, as the Lumière Brothers called them, les actualités). However, the argument that can be made for pre-cinematic magic lantern slum shows, can also be made for such early cinematic slum actualités because, as Gunning has emphasised, in this early period ‘actuality films constituted the main product of the cinema rather than fiction filmmaking, and the motion picture camera itself remained the focus of attention.'”
Igor Krstic: Slums on Screen: World Cinema and the Planet of Slums. Edinburgh University Press 2016, p. 62

>>> SOCIAL DRAMA

>>> EARLY DOCUMENTARY FILMS II (Urban Life)

Giant Trees of California, 22mm

Giant Trees of California
R: unknown. P: Thomas A. Edison Inc. USA 1912
Original Print: 22mm for Edison Home Kinetoscope projector

“In December of 2014, The MediaPreserve was tasked with the digital preservation of an unusual film. The California Audiovisual Preservation Project, a coordinated program which aims to preserve the rich heritage of that state through archival digitization of film, video and audio materials, sent us a film in the rare 22mm Edison Home Kinetoscope format. The film, titled Giant Trees of California, comes from the collection of the San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library.

The Edison Home Kinetoscope (EHK) was a film projector introduced by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1912 to the home and educational markets. The 35mm film used in commercial movie theaters in the first half of the twentieth century was made of highly-f lammable cellulose nitrate but like other home cinema systems of the time, EHK films were produced on a non-f lammable acetate base. Unlike competing systems (…), EHK films consisted of three rows of images on a single strip of film. This configuration was an attempt to squeeze more images onto the film which functionally maximized running time while economizing on film stock and space. Indeed, the shipping canister for Giant Trees of California is a miniscule 1.5 inches high with a diameter of 2.75 inches. The 22mm name by which this format is known describes the entire width of the film and all of its three rows of images. Each frame is less than 4mm by 6mm making it the smallest film gauge to ever find mainstream use.  (…)”
Diana Little: Digitizing Giant Trees of California, a  22mm Edison Home Kinetoscope Film
LBS/Archival Products

>>> EARLY DOCUMENTARY FILMS II (Nature / Science)

Pathé in Sweden

I lifvets vår
R: Paul Garbagni. B: August Blanche (novel), Paul Garbagni (adaptation). K: Julius Jaenzon. D: Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller, Georg af Klercker, Selma Wiklund af Klercker, Anna Norrie, Astrid Engelbrecht, Victor Arfvidson. P: Pathé Frères Filial (Sweden). Sw / Fr 1912
Print: Svenska Filminstitutet
Swedish titles, Engl. subtitles

“Svenska Bio started in 1907 as a small cinema chain in southern Sweden. In 1909 it expanded its ambitions from local views to feature films and hired the dynamic Charles Magnusson as general manager. However, its first films did not circulate much outsite Sweden. (…) Pathé changed Svenska Bio’s fortune. In 1910, Pathé opened a new branch in Stockholm and looked for local talent with whom to collaborate. Around this same time, Svenska Bio moved its base of operations to Stockholm and hired three young theater directors, Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller, and Georg af Klercker, to make its movies. Pathé helped finance a new studio for Svenska Bio in nearby Lidingö and agreed to train its employees. Magnusson and Sjöström visited Pathé’s studios in Paris and Pathé sent one of its directors, Paul Garbagni, to Stockholm to shoot a film with Sjöström, Stiller, and af Klercker. The film, ‘The Springtime of Life’ (I lifvets vår, Paul Garbagni, 1912), was an erotic melodrama typical of French and Danish productions of the period – it has a circuitous plot, a chain of outrageous coincidences, and intertwining unhappy love stories. (…) Pathé evidently taught the Svenska Bio team how to make the kind of film that had made its brand so popular. Pathé also made its own films in Sweden, but agreed to distribute selected Svenska Bio films. Svenska Bio sent the negatives to the Pathé laboratory in Paris and Pathé duplicated and distributed them. (…) Swedish films thus reached global audiences already in 1912, thanks to Pathé.”
Mette Hjort and Ursula Lindqvist: A Companion to Nordic Cinema. John Wiley & Sons 2016

“This fine three-part picture is notable not only for its good story, fine settings and excellent acting, but for the quality of its photography and its light effects. The latter factor is of so pronounced a value that it will be noticed by those who usually give little heed to anything but the story and its working out. The picture also is valuable as furnishing another answer to the question: Why multiple reels? It comes on a day when the regular program of the licensed companies is weak and colorless; it provides real entertainment. No one will deny that in a company producing single and multiple-reel pictures the standard of quality of the latter is higher. In ‘The Springtime of Life’ there is a well-staged theater fire.”
The Moving Picture World, August 16, 1913

Feuillade’s Bébé: Clément Mary

Bébé tire à la cible
R: Louis Feuillade. D: Renée Carl, Clément Mary, Paul Manson, Jeanne Saint-Bonnet. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1912

“Clément Mary (1905-1974) was the most celebrated of the European child stars of the silent period. At the age of five he was employed by the French Gaumont studios to star in a series of comedies under the name of Bébé. Bébé was a cheeky, resourceful character who was invariably far smarter than the adult world around him. Indeed, the common gag in the Bébé films was to place the child in adult situations, evidenced in such titles as Bébé apache (1910), Bébé millionaire (1911) and Bébé candidat au mariage (1911). In the first of those, Bébé’s ability to capture the mannerisms of the Parisian apache, and to play these convincingly and with deft coming timing amid an adult cast is extraordinary. He also played occasional non-Bébé roles. In 1912, Louis Feuillade at Gaumont introduced a new child character into the films, Bout-de-Zan, and won a court case against Mary’s father who had protested at the competition. The father won the right to keep using the Bébé name however, and they moved to Eclectic Films to continue the series until 1916. In adulthood, he changed his name to René Dary and enjoyed a successful career in film and television into the 1970s.”
The Bioscope

“Feuillade, like many of his peers, was sort of a renaissance man filmmaker, experimenting in every genre and setting the medium encompassed at the time. But his crossover from the trick and comedy films of the early 1900s to the complexities of feature length filmmaking in the middle of the 1910s (although his most famous ‘features’ are technically series of shorts) is unique and commendable. Feuillade, in hindsight, was really interested in creating series, and his Bébé shorts probably represent his first. The installments are little comedy sketches about a little boy up to some kind of mischief, and the enterprise was eventually replaced by the Bout de Zan character (essentially the same concept).”
Tristan Ettleman

>>> SERIALS
>>> LOUIS FEUILLADE

Between Naked and Nude

Le reveil de Chrysis
Dir. and actors unknown. P: Pathé frères. Fr 1897/99
From the Pathé series ‘Scènes grivoises d’un caractère piquant’ (6ème Série)

“Dans une atmosphère de parfums d’Orient, Chrysis s’éveille. Une négresse lui prodigue respectueusement les soins du lever, pendant que Chry sis soulève langoureusement son corps encore alangui par le sommeil.

Chrysis awakes in an atmosphere of oriental perfumes, and as she rises languidly from her couch, a negress attends respectfully to her wants.”
Filmographie Pathé

“[The] ambivalence between lustful voyeurism and artistic contemplation was later theorized as an opposition between the words naked and nude. While other languages, like French, make no distinction (using the word ‘le nu’ for both translations), English does. Kenneth Clark has theorized this dissimilarity in the following polarization: On the one hand he links ‘nakedness’ with ‘artless’, obscene exhibition and illicit voyeurism. On the other, he identifies ‘nudity’ as an artistic category that deals with ideal beauty and deserves legitimate contemplation. The attraction of living pictures precisely rested on this oscillation between nakedness and nudity, on the one hand de-idealizing the paint that takes shape in the flesh, on the other hand tranfiguring the actors’ bodies into works of art. The fact is too often overlooked, but thanks to this nude alibi, tableaux vivants were the means by which, historically, the naked body got on stage. And the same story occured on screen: the naked came into view under the guise of the nude, shaped by pictorial codes. Motion pictures became the direct heir of living pictures. (…) In the Pathé Catalogue, the film [ref. to La naissance de Vénus, Pathé 1899] appears in a series called ‘scènes grivoises d’un caractère piquant’, literally meaning ‘saucy scenes with a hot quality’. In addition to this title, a warning advises exhibitors to ‘exclude children from the exhibition of these pictures’. The tone is set. (…) The exhibition of flesh is the main selling point. (…)
The catalog summaries make constant reference to art, literature, mythology, and famous iconic nude figures in a lyrical literary style, with sophisticated adjectives, elaborated grammar, and a touch of poetry quelling any suspicion of vulgarity. And several surviving films of this ‘not-for-children’-list prove that the reference was visually significant. La naissance de Vénus (Pathé, ca. 1899) is inspired by William Bouguereau‘s painted Venus, (…) and Le Reveil de Chrysis (Pathé, ca. 1899) has much in common with Ferdinand Roybet‘s ‘Odalisque’.”
Valentine Robert: Nudity in Early Cinema; or, the Pictorial Transgression. In: Marina Dahlquist, Doron Galili, Jan Olsson, Valentine Robert (ed.): Corporeality in Early Cinema: Viscera, Skin, and Physical Form. Indiana University Press 2018, p. 157-159

BOO183493

Ferdinand Roybet (1840-1920): Odalisque (La Sultane)

Le bain des dames de la cour
Dir. and actors unknown. P: Pathé. Fr 1904
Print: Filmoteca de Zaragoza

>>> Herrenabendfilme

Stacia Napierkowska

Le pain des petits oiseaux
R: Albert Capellani. B: Georges Le Faure. D: Stacia Napierkowska, Edmond Duquesne, Lucien Callamand, Paule Andral. P: Pathé Frères (Société cinématographique des auteurs et gens de lettres SCAGL). Fr 1911
Print: Cinémathèque française

Stacia Napierkowska was a French actress and dancer, who worked during the silent film era. She appeared in 86 films between 1908 and 1926. She was born Renée Claire Angèle Élisabeth Napierkowski in Paris to a Polish father, Stanisław Artur Napierkowski, and a French mother. Napierkowska began her career with the Folies-Bergères, where she was noticed by the director of the Opera Comique who engaged her to perform in the Fêtes Romaines organized at the Théâtre d’Orange. She then acted in early silent films, becoming a star while playing opposite the celebrated Max Linder. In January 1913, she embarked for the United States to launch an international career: While sailing on the ocean liner ‘Lorraine’, she encountered the painter, Francis Picabia, who went on to produce a series of paintings inspired by her. In New York City, she was arrested during a dance performance when it was declared indecent. After returning to France, Napierkowska said,’Really, I have not brought away a single pleasant memory from the United States’ and ‘What a narrow-minded people they are – how utterly impervious to any beautiful impression!’ In 1917, Napierkowska directed the short film L’Héritière de la manade. She died in Paris on 11 May 1945.”
Wikipedia

>>> TRAUM UND EXZESS, p. 303-304

>>> Stacia Napierkowska in Feuillade’s Les Vampires on this site

Chaplin’s ‘Shanghaied’

Shanghaied
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Harry Ensign. D: Charles Chaplin, Billy Armstrong, Lawrence A. Bowes, Edna Purviance, Wesley Ruggles. P: The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1915

Print has been restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films in collaboration with Film Preservation Associates, from a nitrate fine grain preserved at The Museum of Modern Art. Intertitles have been reconstructed from re-release titles of 1920’s found in a Kodascope 16mm original element. (IMDb)

Shanghaied, Charlie Chaplin‘s 11th film for Essanay was shot largely on board the SS Vaquero, which Chaplin had rented for the film. Chaplin’s cameraman, Harry Ensign, devised a pivot for the camera which simulated the violent rocking of the ship as well as rockers for the stage, anticipating the shipboard shots in The Immigrant.”
Silent Hollywood.com

630-Shanghaied

“The majority of the action on Shanghaied takes place aboard ship. Roused by his new crew, the Tramp is put to work under threat of physical violence. He tangles with a cabin boy, grapples with a cargo hook, and finally — now in a sloppy sailor uniform — serves soup from the galley kitchen. Each of these sequences consists of well thought through and developed comedy slapstick, with Chaplin pushing the boat out (ahem) to make sure he doesn’t miss a comedy trick.”
Brian J. Robb
Chaplin: Film by Film

“We are getting used to seeing the style of editing Chaplin developed from Keystone and refined in his year at Essanay, and he is now comfortable using close-ups to emphasize reactions and promote sympathy in the audience. Charlie also does a funny bit where he ‘salutes’ the captain, but (seemingly by mistake) puts his thumb to his nose as he does so. This seems to represent his comedic rejection of authority even while bowing to it.”
Century Film Project

Censorship:

“This film was sent to the Ohio Board of Film Censorship by the distributors so that it could be played in the state of Ohio. They approved it with eliminations. The requested eliminations are: ‘Cut out sub-title about destroying boat to get insurance money. Cut out all scenes where man strike others over head with mallet. Cut out scene where men are lying unconscious on boat. Cut out scene where Chaplin knocks man down. Cut out scene of men placing explosive in ship and setting fire to fuse’. (Bulletin for October 2, 1915)”
The Obscene Moving Image

Charlie in Transition

The Rounders
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Phyllis Allen, Minta Durfee, Al St. John. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1914

“The impersonation of a drunk was a long-lived vaudeville standby, a staple of the live entertainment circuit that just as quickly became a staple of screen entertainment in the early days of silent comedy. This film was the only one to properly team Chaplin with Fatty Arbuckle (they’d appeared together, but had minimal interaction before), and Chaplin biographer David Thompson saw it as looking back over ‘Chaplin’s whole gallery of inebriates from Karno to Keystone, and forward to A Night Out (1915) and ultimately to the Tramp’s night on the town with the millionaire in City Lights (1931).’ The title of The Rounders supposedly derives from the buying of drinks in rounds, so those who participate are ’rounders’, but it is a phrase that has long since fallen into disuse (although another explanation for the term suggests it derives from a combination of ‘rogue’ and ‘bounder’).”
Brian J. Robb
Chaplin: Film-By-Film


Getting Acquainted
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Mabel Normand, Harry McCoy, Edgar Kennedy, Cecile Arnold. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1914

“Chaplin’s second-to-last short for Keystone came in early December of 1914 with the release of Getting Acquainted. Chaplin had been as happy as he could be with the confines of the studio because he was quite happy with the wage he was earning. However, when Chaplin became aware of his rising stardom and huge popularity, he began to realise Sennett was not really paying him his dues. For him to have stayed at Keystone for much longer would have meant not only a huge pay rise, but also free reign as a creative artist. (…) But it wasn’t to be and Sennett could no longer contain his star, the man who had been giving him a good living but knew would be leaving the nest for greater things. Getting Acquainted is the product of a man with a lot on his mind, namely his own future. It doesn’t exactly feel half hearted but it’s obvious that Charlie was putting on his running shoes. That said, no Chaplin fan couldn’t enjoy the opportunity of watching the great man goof off. And that is basically what he is doing here. It’s another Keystone park comedy, with Charlie suffering along with his wife, hilariously named Mrs Sniffels, who he can’t wait to get away from so he can try to woo Mabel, a pretty girl he has his eyes on. By no means a highlight but interesting for seeing a Chaplin just about to switch gears.”
Chris Wade: Charlie Chaplin – The Complete Film Guide. Wisdom Twins Books 2019, p. 90-91

Chaplin’s last short for Keystone:

His Prehistoric Past
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Frank D. Williams. D: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, May Wallace, Gene Marsh, Fritz Schade, Cecile Arnold, Al St. John. P: Keystone Film Company. USA 1914

Charlie and Edna

Work
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Harry Ensign, Roland Totheroh. D: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Billy Armstrong, Marta Golden, Charles Inslee, Paddy McGuire. P: The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1915
Print: Restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films in collaboration with Film Preservation Associates, from a nitrate fine grain preserved at The Museum of Modern Art and a nitrate print preserved at the British Film Institute. (IMDb)

Chaplin‘s career at Essanay began when negotiations between Keystone Studios’ impresario Mack Sennett and Chaplin stalled. Chaplin had been making $150 a week at the beginning of the year; now, he wanted $1,000 a week, an unheard of sum. That was more than he made himself, as head of the studio, protested a pained Sennett. But, said Chaplin, it was not Sennett, but Chaplin who brought the audiences to Sennett’s films. The dispute became public, and G.M. Anderson and George K. Spoor (their initials made up Essanay’s name) offered Chaplin an astounding $1200 a week, and the opportunity to make fewer films. (Chaplin had made 35 films in his hectic year at Keystone.) Chaplin’s Essanay career was brief; he made films there during 1915 and part of 1916, a total of 14 films, before he jumped to still more money — $10,000 a week and a $150,000 bonus, an astronomical sum — at Mutual.”
Kevin Hagopian
New York State Writers Institute

A Jitney Elopement
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Harry Ensign. D: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Lloyd Bacon, Ernest Van Pelt, Leo White. P: The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1915
Print: Restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films in collaboration with Film Preservation Associates, from a nitrate fine grain preserved at The Museum of Modern Art and a nitrate print preserved at the Cinemathèque Royale de Belgique. (IMDb)

“This was the first film that would focus on developing a romance between the characters played by Chaplin and Edna Purviance (reflecting their off-screen real lives), an area that many of the subsequent films would build further upon. The whole premise of the short develops from the Tramp’s attempts to save Edna from the arranged marriage her father (Ernest Van Pelt) has contracted with Leo White’s Count. (…)
Amid the action, Chaplin never forgets that it is character that counts. The opening of the film sees the Tramp holding a flower, suggesting the character’s softer and more emotional or caring side. This would be an image that Chaplin would repeat and develop as his filmmaking became more sophisticated, with the contrast between the freshness and vitality of a flower with the broken down aspect of the Tramp becoming one of the filmmaker’s favourite juxtapositions. Notice, also, in this sequence, Chaplin’s use, as director, of an iris out effect (a circular transition effect achieved in the film developing lab — a facility which Essanay lacked prior to Chaplin’s arrival) to emphasise the detail of the flower. Cinematic technique or clever direction or camerawork was never central to Chaplin’s comedy or Rollie Tothero’s cinematography, but they would develop the ‘iris out’ as a signature finale to many of their shorts beginning with The Tramp.”
Brian J. Robb
Chaplin: Film by Film

The Champion
R: Charles Chaplin. B: Charles Chaplin. K: Harry Ensign. D: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Bud Jamison, Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson, Billy Armstrong, Lloyd Bacon, Bud Jamison, Paddy McGuire, Leo White. P: The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1915
Print: Restored by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna and Lobster Films in collaboration with Film Preservation Associates, from a nitrate dupe negative preserved at the British Film Institute. (IMDb)

“In early 1915 Chaplin, who had recently signed a contract with the Essanay movie company located near San Francisco at Niles, California, began a search for a leading lady. After rejecting several chorus girls, Chaplin arranged a meeting with Purviance, who was working as a secretary and had become involved in San Francisco’s bohemian life. A Night Out (1915), made soon after that meeting, was the first collaboration of Purviance and Chaplin. Although her role varied from film to film, Purviance almost always appeared as Chaplin’s love interest, bringing a heartfelt gentleness and soft blonde beauty to her roles that sweetly complemented the chaos of Chaplin’s tramp character. In real life as in the films, Purviance and Chaplin were romantically involved, and they remained close friends even after their affair was over.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Read: How Chaplin Filmed The Champion – on Location in Niles

>>> From Keystone to Essanay: Chaplin 1914/15