8.1/10
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98 user 47 critic

Limelight (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Romance | 29 October 1952 (Argentina)
A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Director:

Writer:

(original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Thereza
...
Postant
...
Calvero's Partner
...
...
Bodalink
Andre Eglevsky ...
Dancer
Melissa Hayden ...
Dancer
...
Mrs. Alsop
Wheeler Dryden ...
Thereza's Doctor
Barry Bernard ...
John Redfern
Stapleton Kent ...
Claudius
Molly Glessing ...
Maid (as Mollie Glessing)
...
Calvero's Doctor (as Leonard Mudi)
...
Street Musician
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Storyline

Chaplin's final American film tells the story of a fading music hall comedian's effort to help a despondent ballet dancer learn both to walk and feel confident about life again. The highlight of the film is the classic duet with Chaplin's only real artistic film comedy rival, Buster Keaton. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It will move you to love, laughter and tears See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1952 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Candilejas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial release) | (London premiere)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Edna Purviance. NOTE: She was Charles Chaplin's favorite co-star from the silent era, and remained close to Chaplin throughout her life. She rarely worked in films after the 1920s. Chaplin kept her on his payroll until her death in 1958. See more »

Goofs

When Calvero has returned to the flat after his failure to revive his career at the Middlesex Music Hall, Thereza is sitting in an armchair, which has a blanket draped over the back. For most of the scene, when you see her in close-up, the blanket is folded over the middle of the chair-back, and so part of the chair-back is visible. In the long shots, however, the blanket is unfolded and draped fully, covering the chair-back. Towards the end of the scene of Calvero and Thereza's conversation, this is fixed so that the blanket is always folded and draped over the middle. See more »

Quotes

Calvero: Time is the best author. It always writes the perfect ending.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The glamour of limelight, from which age must pass as youth enters." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bruce Almighty (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Death of Columbine
(1952) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Chaplin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Philosophy and Nostalgia
11 March 2004 | by (Columbus, GA) – See all my reviews

Chaplin could do anything as well or better than anyone else in movies: acting, writing, directing, composing, producing, editing, even choreographing. He was world renown as a comedian, yet has placed some of the most poignant images on film that ever were. He was, even more than the great Orson Welles, a sort of one man band.

He was as successful worldwide as anyone ever was in movies. Somehow in all this, he got the idea that he had something worthwhile to say about life and art. Which he did with this film.. and I for one am extremely grateful.

The subjects of alcoholism... depression... aging... the fickle relationships of audiences and performers... these are all covered in a film that manages to fit in philosophical dialog, pantomime, dancing, and music. The multiple showings of the same comedy sequence (in a dream, in front of an unappreciative audience, in front of a wildly appreciative audience) gets one to thinking about the lemming-like nature of people in a way that someone like Chaplin would have had almost unique insight into.

It may take a while to become accustomed to the odd pacing and cadence of a Chaplin movie; once you are, you find yourself in the middle of an artistic experience like no other.

The music in this film is unusually haunting and deserving of the Academy award it belatedly received. 10 out of 10.






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