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City Lights (1931)

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director:

Charles Chaplin

Writer:

Charles Chaplin
Reviews
Popularity
4,136 ( 71)

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Top Rated Movies #34 | 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Cherrill ... A Blind Girl
Florence Lee Florence Lee ... The Blind Girl's Grandmother
Harry Myers ... An Eccentric Millionaire
Al Ernest Garcia ... James - the Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
Hank Mann ... A Prizefighter
Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Storyline

A tramp falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. Her family is in financial trouble. The tramp's on-and-off friendship with a wealthy man allows him to be the girl's benefactor and suitor. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City Lights: A Comedy Romance in Pantomime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,181, 6 July 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though he had great confidence in the film, Charles Chaplin still couldn't help but worry that he would be seen as old-fashioned for making a silent picture. Now 40 years old, The Little Tramp, who had been one of the world's top box office stars for over a decade, could feel the public's interest in his career slowly waning, and it bothered him. "In the past my work had usually stimulated interest among producers," he said in his 1964 autobiography. "But now they were too preoccupied with the success of the talkies, and as time went on I began to feel outside of things; I guess I had been spoiled." See more »

Goofs

Some of Charlie's curls are darker than the others, caused by Chaplin applying dark hair dye on his gray curls, a luxury a tramp like Charlie could hardly afford. See more »

Quotes

The Tramp: Be careful how you're driving.
Eccentric Millionaire: Am I driving?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1989, Roy Export Company Establishment copyrighted a version with new opening credits, and with Chaplin's score musically directed by and conducted by . The original opening credit of as the musical director was replaced by "musical direction by ." In addition, end credits were added listing those filmmakers and companies involved in the new recording of Chaplin's score in 1988. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fantozzi alla riscossa (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Wonderful Eyes
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Chaplin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Amusing comedy sets up SPECTACULAR ending
6 December 2004 | by ThunderbuckSee all my reviews

This is my favorite Chaplin film, but I don't want that to diminish his other work, either. MODERN TIMES was an outstanding work of social satire, THE GOLD RUSH was great slapstick, and even the largely-neglected MONSIEUR VERDOUX strikes a certain unforgettable tone. Chaplin didn't make a bad movie, and I'm not even sure that CL is his best, exactly. But it IS my favorite, if only for the ending.

That ending has been the subject of much comment here. I think it's a masterpiece in a single scene. Chaplin's little tramp has never seemed less like a character and more like a living, breathing human being. It's a monument to understated sentimentality.

To me, the rest of the film exists largely to set the context for that one magnificent piece of celluloid. Yes, the boxing scene is great, and the scene where he rescues the millionaire is also wonderful, but it's that ending that makes us all love this movie.


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