|A Woman of the Sea|
|Directed by||Josef von Sternberg|
|Written by||Josef von Sternberg|
|Produced by||Charlie Chaplin|
|Starring|| Edna Purviance |
|Cinematography|| Paul Ivano |
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Languages|| Silent film |
A Woman of the Sea, also known by its working title Sea Gulls, is an unreleased silent film produced in 1926 by the Chaplin Film Company. It is one of only two lost Charlie Chaplin films (the other being Her Friend the Bandit ), having been destroyed by Chaplin himself as a tax writeoff.
The now lost film starred Edna Purviance, Raymond Bloomer, Eve Southern and Charles French, and was directed by Josef von Sternberg.
Joan (Purviance) and Magdalen (Sothern) are the daughters of a fisherman in Monterey. Magdalen is engaged to Peter (Bloomer), a lowly fisher, until a writer (Whitman) comes to town. Both Joan and Magdalen fancy the writer, but Magdalen wins him over in the end and he takes her back to the big city. Joan and Peter then marry and stay in Monterey.  Many years later, Magdalen returns and attempts to break up her sister's marriage, only to fail. 
The Pacific Ocean was also credited by Josef von Sternberg since it was so heavily featured in the film. 
Assistant Directors: Charles Hammond, George Sims (Peter Ruric) and Riza Royce 
The film was in production for about six months, mainly in the Los Angeles area, including indoor scenes at Chaplin's studio. During a twelve-day period, outdoor scenes were filmed on location in the Monterey and Carmel coastal area in California. Principal photography began in January and concluded on June 2, 1926.  Post-production lasted for three weeks, with the final film being seven reels long with 160 intertitles.  The entire production cost $90,000 to make. 
Chaplin produced the film as a starring vehicle for his former leading lady Purviance, and to help establish Von Sternberg, whose 1924 experimental film The Salvation Hunters had greatly impressed Chaplin.  This was the only time Chaplin produced a film in which he neither starred nor directed.  His involvement in the production was minimal, as he was concurrently working on his problem-plagued film The Circus (released 1928).  This was Purviance's final American film, followed by a French feature film, Education of a Prince (1927), after which she retired from movies.
Von Sternberg held a preview in Beverly Hills in early July 1926 against Chaplin's wishes.  The general impression from the few that saw it was that it was a beautiful film, but with little substance. John Grierson called the film "extraordinarily beautiful- but empty."  Von Sternberg's secret screening, the lack of a plot and Purviance's poor performance caused Chaplin to decline to release it.  It went untouched until the U.S. Internal Revenue Service took an interest in Chaplin's finances. The negatives were burned on June 21, 1933 in front of five witnesses  as a total loss for tax purposes.  Some evidence suggests that a copy of the film survived at the Chaplin studio until at least late 1946, but no copy exists in the current Chaplin film archives.  [ citation needed ]
In 2005, over 50 previously unknown production stills were discovered in the private collection of Purviance's relatives. Except for a few images in print and a few words in books over the years, nearly nothing has been known about the film. The working title for A Woman of the Sea was Sea Gulls, as written in the shooting schedule that still survives. The original title list also has survived from the film. The information from the shooting schedule and title list has been combined with the production stills, and was published in 2008.
The film, and Chaplin himself, figure prominently in Tim Powers' fantasy novel Three Days to Never (Morrow, 2006). Though rooted in established facts, the fictionalized Chaplin is attributed motives—and the film attributed traits—that are largely invented by Powers.
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, the Tramp, and is considered one of the film industry's most important figures. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
The Docks of New York is a 1928 American silent drama film directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring George Bancroft, Betty Compson, and Olga Baclanova. The movie was adapted by Jules Furthman from the John Monk Saunders story The Dock Walloper.
Morocco is a 1930 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, and Adolphe Menjou. Based on the 1927 novel Amy Jolly by Benno Vigny and adapted by Jules Furthman, the film is about a cabaret singer and a Legionnaire who fall in love during the Rif War, and whose relationship is complicated by his womanizing and the appearance of a rich man who is also in love with her. The film is famous for a scene in which Dietrich performs a song dressed in a man's tailcoat and kisses another woman, both of which were considered scandalous for the period.
Chaplin is a 1992 biographical comedy-drama film about the life of English comedian Charlie Chaplin. It was produced and directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Dan Aykroyd, Penelope Ann Miller and Kevin Kline. It also features Charlie Chaplin's own daughter, Geraldine Chaplin, in the role of his mother, Hannah Chaplin.
The year 1916 in film involved some significant events.
Olga Edna Purviance was an American actress of the silent film era. She was the leading lady in many of Charlie Chaplin's early films and in a span of eight years, she appeared in over 30 films with him.
The decade of the 1920s in film involved many significant films.
Josef von Sternberg was an Austrian-American filmmaker whose career successfully spanned the transition from the silent to the sound era, during which he worked with most of the major Hollywood studios. He is best known for his film collaboration with actress Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s, including the highly regarded Paramount/UFA production, The Blue Angel (1930).
Underworld is a 1927 American silent crime film directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent and George Bancroft. The film launched Sternberg's eight-year collaboration with Paramount Pictures, with whom he would produce his seven films with actress Marlene Dietrich. Journalist and screenwriter Ben Hecht won an Academy Award for Best Original Story.
The Vagabond is a 1916 American silent romantic comedy film by Charlie Chaplin and his third film with Mutual Films. Released to theaters on July 10, 1916, it co-starred Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Leo White and Lloyd Bacon. This film echoed Chaplin's work on The Tramp, with more drama and pathos mixed in with the comedy.
The Idle Class is a 1921 American silent comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin for First National Pictures.
Easy Street is a 1917 short action-comedy film starring and directed by Charlie Chaplin.
The Adventurer is an American short comedy film made in 1917 written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, and is the last of the twelve films made under contract for the Mutual Film Corporation.
The Salvation Hunters is a 1925 American silent drama film which marked the directorial debut of the 30-year old Josef von Sternberg. The feature stars Georgia Hale and George K. Arthur, and would bring Sternberg, "a new talent", to the attention of the major movie studios, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures. Film Mercury included The Salvation Hunters in its ten-best list for the films of 1925.
Oona O'Neill, Lady Chaplin was an English-American actress who was the daughter of Irish-American playwright Eugene O'Neill and English-born writer Agnes Boulton, and the fourth and last wife of English actor and film-maker Charlie Chaplin.
Sergeant Madden is a 1939 film noir forerunner directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Wallace Beery. The supporting cast in this dark police crime drama, noted for its imaginative and evocative cinematography, includes Tom Brown, Laraine Day, Alan Curtis, and Marc Lawrence.
Her Friend the Bandit is a 1914 American comedy silent film made by Keystone Studios starring Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand, both of whom co-directed the movie. It is considered lost.
Anatahan (アナタハン), also known as The Saga of Anatahan, is a 1953 black-and-white Japanese film war drama directed by Josef von Sternberg. The World War II Japanese holdouts on Anatahan also inspired a 1998 novel, Cage on the Sea.
The Exquisite Sinner is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by Josef von Sternberg and adapted by Alice Duer Miller from the novel Escape by Alden Brooks. Starring Conrad Nagel and Renée Adorée, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) never given a general release. No known print of the film has been recovered to date. Later that same year a second feature film Heaven on Earth, directed by Phil Rosen was released with the same cast and same sets, but a different screenplay. Rosen's version performed poorly at the box office. Sternberg reported, "the result was two ineffective films instead of one.” The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute.
An American Tragedy (1931) is a pre-Code drama film directed by Josef von Sternberg. It was produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on Theodore Dreiser's 1925 novel An American Tragedy and the 1926 play adaptation. These were based on the historic 1906 murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette at Big Moose Lake in upstate New York.