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 <email@example.com>
Charlie Chaplin invited Albert Einstein and his wife Elsa to join him at the Los Angeles premier of City Lights on January 30, 1931. When the house lights came up, Chaplin was surprised to see Einstein's eyes tearing at the final scene. Chaplin said in his autobiography that he had not known Einstein to be so "sentimental." See more »
In the famous fight scene, several spectators in the back row(s) of the gallery are motionless, either painted on a matte painting, or cut-outs or mannequins. In the shot of The Tramp dreaming of the flower girl, and the following shot with the trainers again kneeling around him, we see a particularly obvious mannequin or statue, a man in a light gray suit, in the lower right corner of the screen. He also is visible in other scenes. See more »
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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