Charles Ashton and British Silent Films

British Silent Film Star – Charles Ashton

We Women (1925)

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Production Company: Stoll Film CompanyDirector: W.P. KellinoScript: Lydia HaywardPhotography: William Shenton.  Editor: Challis N. Sanderson.  Based on a story by Countess Helene Barcynska, pseudonym of Marguerite Florence Helene Jervis Evans, (1894-1964)

Duration: 50 mins.  Length: 5000 feet.  Viewing copy (DVD-R) at the BFI National Film Archive’s Research Viewing Service.

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Beatrice Ford ( Billie); Pauline Cartwright (Dollie); Cecil Du Gue (“Flash” Wheeler); John Stuart (Michael Rivven); Reginald Bach (Francis Badderly), Charles Ashton (Bert Simmons)

Plot Synopsis from BFI’s National Film Archive Catalogue:

The adventures of two girls who start housekeeping on £40. Rl.1. Beatrice and Pauline work at an ice-rink, Beatrice at the cash desk and Pauline in the orchestra. The manager works them both hard and Beatrice is delighted when she learns she has won £40 as the result of a competition. Pauline collapses and after resisting the improper advances of the manager, is dismissed. The infuriated Beatrice gives the manager a piece of her mind and is likewise dismissed, to the distress of her faithful admirer, Bert Simmons. Pauline, leaving the rink, falls into the arms of two young men who introduce themselves as Francis Badderley, an actor (Reginald Bach), and his friend, Michael Rivven (John Stuart). They find themselves greatly attracted to Pauline and take her to a cafe (826ft).

Rl.2. Beatrice returns home and anticipates her landlord by giving her notice; the landlady objects to Beatrice’s strange collection of pets. Francis brings Pauline home and offers to give her an introduction to a film studio. Michael confesses to his friend that he is deeply attracted by Pauline. Pauline, returning home one day after looking for work, finds the flat empty, but instructions from Beatrice to join her in a new flat she has found. Beatrice explains about the money she has won and the new flat is furnished on hire-purchase. Pauline receives Francis’s introduction to the film studio (1712ft).

Rl.3. Pauline decides to try her luck at the film studio. Meanwhile, Michael calls to see her at her old address. On the way to the studio Pauline’s dress is ruined by a car splash and its wealthy owner immediately takes her to a dress shop where she is re-fitted in a splendid new outfit. Beatrice sees an advertisement which she decides to answer. She is touched by the plight of an unmarried mother in a nearby flat and generously offers her money. She is shown a photograph of the deserting father by the girl, Kitty Pragnell. At the X.L. Picture Studio, Pauline is mistaken by the casting director for an acrobatic double and is forced to double for the star in a fire scene, during which a plank breaks and she is hurled to the ground (2714ft).

Rl.4. She faints and is caught by Michael, who has finally tracked her down. He puts her in a taxi and whilst he is finding her address Francis comes along and carries her off to his flat where he attempts to seduce her. She resists his advances, but when she leaves he gives her a signed photograph of himself which she hides in a cupboard when she gets home. Meanwhile Beatrice has answered the advertisement, but discovers she is a hostess in a dancing establishment whose proprietress also runs a gambling den on the premises. Whilst Beatrice is out dancing Pauline practices her violin playing and her performance so upsets an old musician in the vicinity that he gives her an introduction to an orchestra leader in order to rid himself of the noise (3725ft). Rl.5. Pauline gets the job, but promptly loses it when Michael arrives and tries to see her. His attempts to discover her address are fruitless. Bert Simmons (Charles Ashton), who is a ticket collector on the underground, is worried about Beatrice. He goes to the dancing establishment and discovers her gambling.

STILL 27: WE WOMEN (1925) WITH BILLIE (BEATRICE FORD) AND BERT SIMMONS (CHARLES ASHTON)

STILL 27: WE WOMEN (1925) WITH BILLIE (BEATRICE FORD) AND BERT SIMMONS (CHARLES ASHTON)

STILL 26: BILLIE (BEATRICE FORD) GAMBLING IN WE WOMEN (1925)

STILL 26: BILLIE (BEATRICE FORD) GAMBLING IN WE WOMEN (1925)

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Written by anneramsden

March 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

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