Up 76 this week

City Lights (1931)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  7 March 1931 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.6/10 from 95,727 users  
Reviews: 207 user | 135 critic

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.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 07 Apr 2011
a list of 40 titles
created 26 Apr 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
a list of 35 titles
created 26 Feb 2014
a list of 22 titles
created 28 Aug 2014

Related Items

Search for "City Lights" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: City Lights (1931)

City Lights (1931) on IMDb 8.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of City Lights.

User Polls

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Modern Times (1936)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
The Gold Rush (1925)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
The Circus (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia
Rear Window (1954)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set in Casablanca, Morocco during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Based on the 1935 novel of the same name, it tells the story of an ill-fated assault on German forces by French soldiers, and the grippling consequences those soldiers face when they refuse to follow through with it.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds


Complete credited cast:
Virginia Cherrill ...
Florence Lee ...
Harry Myers ...
Al Ernest Garcia ...
The Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
Hank Mann ...
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
See  »

Did You Know?


Though no footage of Georgia Hale appears in the finished film, the reconciliation scene she shot for him in Virginia Cherrill's absence, has survived. See more »


When the man swallows part of the Tramp's soap and starts spraying bubbles, the tube used to spray the bubbles is clearly visible behind him. See more »


The Tramp: You can see now?
A Blind Girl: Yes, I can see now.
See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.6 (2003) See more »


How Dry I Am
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A classic film made with love and precision
6 February 2001 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Film has become a medium that is strongly influenced by nostalgia. Old films have become journeys to the past; ways to visit times and people that no longer are. Since film is an art that is based on the innovation of previous works, it has an element of nostalgia in its foundation. We look on the old to find what elements should make up the new. In City Lights, and other silent works of film, a passion emerges that is uniquely honest and sincere. While watching the film, I was impressed that Chaplin really did love the story, the sets, the crew; the whole project. While this may not have been the complete reality, it felt that way, and thus made the film more enjoyable. In silent films the audience is forced to be completely reliable on the visual elements of the film; there are no elaborate sound effects or dialogue to provoke an emotional response.

Since film is at its very core a visual medium, I find silent films to be the basic form of the medium. I don't use the word basic here in a demeaning sense, but I compare the beauty of silent films to the beauty of early European art, before the concept of perspective was developed in the Renaissance. Many books and tomes featured people as tall as the castles they stood in; these works of art were not technologically advanced, but they were, and are, beautiful. The same example is found when comparing early darreographs of wild animals to contemporary photographs found in National Geographic. There is a warmth found in City Lights, and other Chaplin films (The Kid, Modern Times) that would be lost in the sea of cinematic technology that floods films today. Maybe it's just that with simplicity comes honesty, and honesty is perhaps the most powerful emotion that can cross through the screen and be felt by the viewer.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is the ending the best in film history? laffalott1
Your Top ten favorite silent films SakowskyBrothers
What is the best joke in the movie? nirvanasaneurysm
Don't know where to ask this help with identifying silent film. puzzle_queen
Why no Oscar nominations? laffalott1
The First Chaplin Movie I've Ever Seen... imaveggie
Discuss City Lights (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: