In December 1914, Charlie Chaplin began his one-year contract with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, shooting films in both their Chicago and California studios. In that one year he made fifteen films, earned an unprecedented salary and established himself as a firm box-office favourite. Audiences around the world clamoured to see his latest Essanay picture. Unlike other artists, Chaplin had full control over his Essanay films from writing the scripts and directing through to choosing his cast members. Having trouble finding a leading lady, on one occasion he tested a rising young Essanay actress, and then promptly dismissed her. Her name was Gloria Swanson. The films in this collection include one of the highlights of his early career The Bank, the cross-dressing farce A Woman and Charlie Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen. Carmen was Chaplin's final Essanay film, scandalously re-cut and extended to four-reels after he left the company. The restored version on this disc is a chance to see Chaplin's own two-reel version as he intended it.