IMDb > City Lights (1931)
City Lights
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City Lights (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.7/10   70,977 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Charles Chaplin (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for City Lights on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 March 1931 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Lady and the Tramp, before animation and at the start of talkies- one of the most wonderful films ever conceived and executed See more (187 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Virginia Cherrill ... A Blind Girl
Florence Lee ... Her Grandmother
Florence Lee ... The Blind Girl's Grandmother
Harry Myers ... An Eccentric Millionaire
Al Ernest Garcia ... The Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
Hank Mann ... A Prizefighter

Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Alexander ... Extra in Boxing Scene (uncredited)
T.S. Alexander ... Doctor (uncredited)
Victor Alexander ... Superstitious Boxer (uncredited)
Albert Austin ... Street Sweeper / Burglar (uncredited)
Harry Ayers ... Cop (uncredited)
Eddie Baker ... Boxing Fight Referee (uncredited)
Henry Bergman ... Mayor / Blind Girl's Downstairs Neighbor (uncredited)
Betty Blair ... Woman at Center of Table in Restaurant (uncredited)
Buster Brodie ... Bald Party Guest (uncredited)
Jeanne Carpenter ... Extra in Restaurant Scene (uncredited)
Marie Cooper ... Dancer (uncredited)
Tom Dempsey ... Boxer (uncredited)
Peter Diego ... Man in Mix-Up with Coat and Hat (uncredited)
James Donnelly ... Steet Sweepers' Foreman (uncredited)
Ray Erlenborn ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Mrs. Garcia ... Woman at Left of Table in Restaurant (uncredited)
Milton Gowman ... Extra in Street Scene (uncredited)
Robert Graves ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Charles Hammond ... Extra in Street Scene (uncredited)

Jean Harlow ... Extra in Restaurant Scene (uncredited)
Ad Herman ... Extra in Boxing Scene (uncredited)
Joseph Herrick ... Extra in Boxing Scene (uncredited)
Mrs. Hyams ... Flower Shop Assistant (uncredited)
Austen Jewell ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Willie Keeler ... Boxer (uncredited)
A.B. Lane ... Extra in Boxing Scene (uncredited)
Eddie McAuliffe ... Eddie Mason - Boxer (uncredited)
Margaret Oliver ... Extra in Street Scene (uncredited)
Robert Parrish ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Mrs. Pope ... Extra in Restaurant Scene (uncredited)
John Rand ... Tramp Who Dives for Cigar (uncredited)
Granville Redmond ... Sculptor (uncredited)
W.C. Robinson ... Man Who Throws Away Cigar (uncredited)
Cy Slocum ... Extra in Boxing Scene (uncredited)
Tony Stabenau ... Victorious Boxer - Later Knocked Out (uncredited)
Mark Strong ... Man in Restaurant (uncredited)
Jack Sutherland ... Tall Man at Party (uncredited)
Joe Van Meter ... Burglar (uncredited)
Emmett Wagner ... Second (uncredited)
Tiny Ward ... Man in Elevator in Front of the Art Shop (uncredited)
Stanhope Wheatcroft ... Distinguished Gentleman in Cafe (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Woman Who Sits on Cigar (uncredited)
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Directed by
Charles Chaplin 
 
Writing credits
Charles Chaplin (written by)

Harry Clive  uncredited
Harry Crocker  uncredited

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin (music composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Gordon Pollock (photographer)
Roland Totheroh (photographer) (as Rollie Totheroh)
 
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Willard Nico (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Al Ernest Garcia (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Charles D. Hall (settings)
 
Production Management
Alfred Reeves .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Albert Austin .... assistant director
Henry Bergman .... assistant director
Harry Crocker .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Theodore Reed .... sound supervisor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ralph Barton .... still photographer (uncredited)
Mark Marlatt .... camera operator (uncredited)
Frank Testera .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Peter Culverwell .... assistant editor (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
Tim Grover .... assistant editor (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
 
Music Department
Carl Davis .... musical director (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
Robert Hathaway .... music editor (1988 recording of Chaplin's score) (as Bob Hathaway)
John Hayward .... music dubbing mixer (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
Arthur Johnston .... musical arrangement
Dick Lewzey .... music recordist (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
Alfred Newman .... musical director
José Padilla .... composer: additional music
Paul Wing .... orchestral contractor (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
 
Transportation Department
Toraichi Kono .... driver: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Kevin Brownlow .... supervisor (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
David Gill .... supervisor (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
Harry Crocker .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Carlyle Robinson .... press representative (uncredited)
Della Steele .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Lansdowne Studios  recorded at (as C.T.S. Studios, London) (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
  • Pinewood Studios  re-recording at (1988 recording of Chaplin's score)
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"City Lights: A Comedy Romance in Pantomime" - USA (copyright title)
See more »
Runtime:
87 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Silent | Mono (musical score)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Chile:TE | Denmark:A (2003) | France:U | Germany:6 (re-rating) (1997) | Netherlands:14 (re-rating) (1954) | Netherlands:AL (re-rating) (1954) (slightly cut) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1931) | Netherlands:AL (re-rating) (1931) | Norway:7 | Portugal:M/6 (DVD rating) | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:G (1972) | West Germany:12 (1951)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Orson Welles said that this was his favorite movie of all time.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the Tramp takes the girl home, the birdcage outside the window is gone, but later reappears.See more »
Quotes:
The Tramp:Tomorrow the birds will sing.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
OrientaleSee more »

FAQ

What titles feature wacky boxing?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Why is it called "City Lights"?
See more »
65 out of 76 people found the following review useful.
Lady and the Tramp, before animation and at the start of talkies- one of the most wonderful films ever conceived and executed, 12 September 2004
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

If there is one Charlie Chaplin film to recommend, as others have pointed to in the past, City Lights is the one. Though Chaplin played his Tramp character superbly in other movies, like Modern Times and The Gold Rush, City Lights displays the Tramp at his funniest, his bravest, his most romantic, and his most sympathetic. It's tough for filmmakers in recent days to bring the audience so close emotionally with the characters, but it's pulled off.

The film centers on three characters- the Tramp, the quintessential, funny homeless man who blends into the crowd, but gets caught in predicaments. He helps a drunken businessman (Myers, a fine performance in his own right) from suicide, and becomes his on and off again friend (that is, when it suits him and doesn't notice his 'friend's' state). The other person in the Tramp's life is the Blind Flower Girl (Virginia Cherrill, one of the most absorbing, beautiful, and key female performances in silent film), who are quite fond of each other despite the lack of total perception. The emotional centerpiece comes in obtaining rent and eye surgery money, which leads to a (how else can I put it) magical boxing match where it's basically a 180 from the brutality and viscerality of a match in say Raging Bull.

Though there is no dialog, the film achieves a timelessness- it's essentially a tale of two loners who find each other, lose each other, and find each other again (the last scene, widely discussed by critics for decades, is moving if not tear-inducing). And it's never, ever boring- once you get along with the Tramp, you find the little things about him, the reaction shots, the little things he does after the usual big gag (look to the ballroom scene for examples of this, or when he gets a bottle of wine poured down his pants without the other guy noticing). Truth be told, if this film makes you indifferent, never watch Chaplin again. But if you give yourself to the film, you may find it's one of the most charming from the era, or perhaps any era.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for City Lights (1931)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Prohibition Era? xacdann
Just saw it for the 2nd time..... It's now in my top 20 favourite films! TwiZone
Is the ending the best in film history? laffalott1
Many dialogue cards are in this one? Easy to understand without reading? Arturo_Lugo
Your Top ten favorite silent films SakowskyBrothers
What is the best joke in the movie? nirvanasaneurysm
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