IMDb > Limelight (1952)
Limelight
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Limelight (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   10,095 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Charles Chaplin (original story and screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Limelight on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 October 1952 (Argentina) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It will move you to love, laughter and tears See more »
Plot:
A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the best movies by Chaplin See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Chaplin ... Calvero

Claire Bloom ... Thereza
Nigel Bruce ... Postant

Buster Keaton ... Calvero's Partner

Sydney Chaplin ... Neville

Norman Lloyd ... Bodalink
Andre Eglevsky ... Dancer
Melissa Hayden ... Dancer
Marjorie Bennett ... Mrs. Alsop
Wheeler Dryden ... Thereza's Doctor
Barry Bernard ... John Redfern
Stapleton Kent ... Claudius
Mollie Glessing ... Maid
Leonard Mudie ... Calvero's Doctor (as Leonard Mudi)
Loyal Underwood ... Street Musician
'Snub' Pollard ... Street Musician (as Snub Pollard)
Julian Ludwig ... Street Musician
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Lee Aimone ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Charles Chaplin Jr. ... Clown (uncredited)

Geraldine Chaplin ... Little Girl in Opening Scene (uncredited)
Josephine Chaplin ... Child in Opening Scene (uncredited)
Michael Chaplin ... Child in Opening Scene (uncredited)
Oona Chaplin ... Extra (uncredited)
Harry Crocker ... Music Hall Patron (uncredited)
Billy Curtis ... Midget in Agent's Office (uncredited)
Jack Deery ... Emissary - Dress Circle (uncredited)
Cyril Delevanti ... Griffin - a Clown (uncredited)
Tim Durant ... Music Hall Patron (uncredited)
Dorothy Ford ... Patrician Lady in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Old Fogey in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Pub Extra (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Music Hall Performer (uncredited)
Judy Landon ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Billy Lee ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Man in Music Hall Audience (uncredited)
Sherry Moreland ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Milicent Patrick ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)

Edna Purviance ... Mrs. Parker (uncredited)
Charley Rogers ... Man in Saloon (uncredited)
Elizabeth Root ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Gus Taillon ... Derelict (uncredited)
Valerie Vernon ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Eric Wilson ... Extra in Dress Circle (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Major Domo at Dinner (uncredited)
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Directed by
Charles Chaplin 
 
Writing credits
Charles Chaplin (original story and screenplay)

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin 
 
Cinematography by
Karl Struss (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Joe Inge (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Eugène Lourié  (as Eugene Lourie)
 
Costume Design by
Riley Thorne (wardrobe designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Ted Larsen .... makeup
Florence Avery .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Lonnie D'Orsa .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Aldrich .... assistant director
Jack Verne .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Dorothea Holt .... illustrator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... sound (as Hugh McDowell)
Harold E. McGhan .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Monroe P. Askins Jr. .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Wallace Chewning .... camera operator (uncredited)
George Hommel .... still photographer (uncredited)
Dick Johnson .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
W. Eugene Smith .... still photographer (uncredited)
Frank Testera .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elmer Ellsworth .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Drew Tetrick .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ted Tetrick .... tailor (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Edward Phillips .... assistant film editor
 
Music Department
Charles Chaplin .... music arranged by
Ray Rasch .... music arranged by
Keith Williams .... music conducted by
Larry Russell .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Charles Chaplin .... choreographer
Wheeler Dryden .... assistant: to Mr. Chaplin
Andre Eglevsky .... choreographer
Jerome Epstein .... assistant: to Mr. Chaplin (as Jerome L. Epstein)
Melissa Hayden .... choreographer
Carmelita Maracci .... Corps de Ballet
Roland Totheroh .... photographic consultant
Oona Chaplin .... double: Claire Bloom in extreme long-shot (uncredited)
Hal Court .... stand-in (uncredited)
Harry Crocker .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Alfred Lewin .... production accountant (uncredited)
Maurice Marks .... stand-in (uncredited)
Kathleen Pryor .... secretary (uncredited)
Lisl Valetti .... stand-in (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
137 min | USA:141 min (initial release) | UK:147 min (London premiere)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:S | Germany:6 (re-rating) | Japan:G (2010) | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:TV-G | USA:Approved (PCA #16080) | USA:G (re-rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Chaplin's theme from "Limelight" was a hit in the 1950s under the title "Eternally."See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: While Thereza is convalescing in Calvero's apartment, Calvero is shown removing a soiled towel and placing it in a large bowl on the bed. In the subsequent wider shot, the bowl is no longer there.See more »
Quotes:
Calvero:There's something about working the streets I like. It's the tramp in me I suppose.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Life of a SardineSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
One of the best movies by Chaplin, 14 July 2006

Charlie Chaplin was without a doubt one of the most important pioneers of film-making, and through his life he saw the development of the cinema and its progress. "Limelight" is probably not as well known as most of his silent feature, but it is a very important film to understand the vivacious mind of this genius. It is a very personal film that showcases Chaplin's feelings about his own brand of comedy and how it slowly lost the public's attention as he grew older.

"Limelight" is the story of an old comedian named Calvero (Chaplin), who one morning discovers that his young neighbor Thereza (Claire Bloom) attempted to commit suicide. He decides to take care of her and discovers that she is a dancer; knowing that both share a passion for performing he begins to cheer her up and prepares her to become a great dancer while at the same time he remembers his past glories.

When one watches "Limelight" is impossible not to see the many autobiographical aspects of the plot, as in many ways, Calvero represents how Chaplin feels at the modernization of comedy on stage. Like Chaplin, Calvero also played the character of an optimist tramp who always saw the good side of life, and like Chaplin, Calvero faced many times the urge to modernize his act. It's kind of frightening to think about how much of Calvero's story could be based on Chaplin's real experiences as it is a sharp criticism (for its time) to the way performers are treated by both their managers and their public.

As the last of his "talkies" made in America, "Limelight" is done with all the power Chaplin still had (although the film would be banned as Chaplin lost his power due to his political opinions) and it shows. The stage performances of the characters are sublime and in Calvero's memories Chaplin resurrects a way of comedy apparently dead by the early 50s and makes it fresh. The Keaton/Chaplin duo is a classic moment captured on film. However, "Limelight" is not a comedy in the strict sense of the word. Those expecting a laugh-riot like "Modern Times" or "The Great Dictator" will be disappointed, this is a very personal melodrama where Chaplin his emotions about his career.

The acting is very good, Chaplin may be more remembered for his parts in silent films, but he delivers his lines with ease and ability. His physical comedy is superb and his overall performance is memorable (mainly because it feels as if he was playing himself). Claire Bloom is at times a bit too melodramatic for the movie's sake, but for the most part is very effective and makes a good counterpart to Chaplin's Calvero. Among the supporting cast Nigel Bruce as always chews the scenery and Buster Keaton is simply fabulous in his small yet classic role.

Probably "Limelight"'s main problem is its excess of melodrama, and its at times, excessively preachy attitude. The fact that is not a comedy may turn off people not used to Chaplin's more serious side, as while the movie has its fair share of laughs, it is obvious that Chaplin wanted to be recognized as more than a mere clown. The movie's slow pace and rhythm also put it closer to the melodrama of the 40s than to the image we are all used to see when we think of Chaplin.

Despite all this, "Limelight" stands as a testament of Chaplin's enormous talent, and while not very well-known, it is one of the finest films he ever did. Fans of his work will definitely enjoy this film and fans of Keaton will appreciate his small yet terrific scene. 9/10

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Message Boards

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What nationality is Calvero? giona
question about Calvero's feelings lazysunbather4
Who Voiced the Songs? thurberdrawing
7.9? rosaalvarez1994
more than a perfect ten bwpbleak
A non-spoiler tip for fellow Keaton fans: prognathous
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