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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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Cast

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

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Lights: A Comedy Romance in Pantomime  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Chaplin's penchant for perfection carried over into all aspects of the production. He had a very clear vision as to how every scene should play. Robert Parrish, who had a small part as one of the newsboys who pelt The Tramp with peashooters, remembered in 1991: "Chaplin was a dervish. He would blow a pea from the peashooter, playing both my part and the part of Austen Jewell, the other newsboy. He then would run over and react as the Tramp being hit by it, then back to the newsboys and blow another pea. He would then play Virginia Cherrill's part of the Blind Girl. Then he was the Tramp. Then he would instruct what the background people should be doing. Everyone watched as he acted out all the parts for us. When he felt he had it all worked out, he reluctantly gave us back our parts...I believe he would have much rather played them all himself if he could." See more »

Goofs

When the tramp buys all of the flower girl's flowers, she wears black stockings, but when he brings her home immediately afterward, she wears tan stockings. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Chaplin (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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