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City Lights (1931)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 7 March 1931 (USA)
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.



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Top Rated Movies #35 | 3 wins. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Virginia Cherrill ...
Florence Lee ...
James - the Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
A Prizefighter
A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Lights: A Comedy Romance in Pantomime  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the film opened on 31 January 1931, Albert Einstein joined Charles Chaplin at the theater. When the film opened in England, George Bernard Shaw joined him. See more »


In the very same scene, the Tramp tried to place a gun in the desk top table. The millionaire was lying back on the scene. The next shot, he was sitting upright. See more »


The Tramp: Tomorrow the birds will sing.
See more »


Referenced in Las últimas horas... (1966) See more »


The Star Spangled Banner
Music by John Stafford Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A one-man virtuoso performance …

Once again Chaplin plays his famous creation, the beloved Tramp… The noble Little Fellow meets and falls in love with a blind flower girl… She assumes he is wealthy man and offers him a flower, which he attentively accepts with his last penny…

One night by chance he rescues a drunken millionaire from drowning… The rich gentleman becomes a generous friend when drunk but doesn't recognize the tramp when sober… Chaplin takes the blind girl under his wing, and takes flight with the millionaire's money to cure her blindness…

"City Lights" engaged a true genius in a graceful and touching performance which arouses profound feelings and joy with great simplicity of style and tragic tale… Each scene was the result of hard-working detail and planning…

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