A Woman (1915)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Slapstick  |   Run Time - 20 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Charlie Chaplin's ninth film for Essanay contains his third and last female impersonation. It begins, as so many of Chaplin's early films do, in a park. Edna Purviance is seated on a park bench with her parents (Charles Insley and Marta Golden). Mother has fallen asleep and is snoring loudly, much to Edna's disgust. Bored, Edna herself soon falls asleep and Father, spotting a fetching lady (Margie Reiger), chases after her. Charlie appears wandering through the park and, after Father departs to buy sodas, joins Margie and flirts with her. When Father returns, he is enraged and hits Charlie on the head with one of the soda bottles, escorting Margie away. A couple of dandies out for a stroll, Leo White and Billy Armstrong, sit down next to Charlie and when he's caught taking a sip out of one of their sodas, they fight. Leo runs away and Billy is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile Father and Margie are playing hide-and-seek and Margie has taken the opportunity of a blindfolded Father to escape. Charlie comes upon him and leads him around by the neck with his cane until they reach the lake into which Charlie throws Father. Charlie wanders off to discover Edna and Mother, still asleep. Awakened, they become acquainted, inviting Charlie home for tea. Father meets Billy and invites him home for a drink. When they show up at home, Charlie is recognized and when a fight breaks out, Charlie runs upstairs to hide. Hiding in Edna's room, he dons her dress and hat. Edna, finding Charlie in the hall, falls down laughing at Charlie's female impersonation, but suggests he shave his mustache and don a pair of her shoes. When this is done, the illusion is perfect. So perfect that both Father and Billy are totally fooled and flirt outrageously with Charlie, much to Edna's amusement and Mother's anger. Both men ask for a kiss and Charlie suggests that they kiss opposite cheeks at the count of three. Of course Charlie steps back at "three" and the men kiss each other. This starts another fracas during which Billy is ejected from the house. Still enamored, Father accidentally pulls off Charlie's dress, revealing his true identity. Edna intervenes and begs forgiveness for Charlie, but Father gives him the boot and he ends up on the sidewalk beside Billy, to whom he delivers a knockout slap as the film ends.

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Keywords

assumed-identity, father, female-impersonator, park