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

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Limelight -- A fading comedian and a suicidal despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   11,946 votes »
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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 6 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(65 articles)
Daily | Hou, Maddin, Martinez
 (From Keyframe. 7 June 2015, 5:56 AM, PDT)

Daily | DVD/Blu-ray | Costa-Gavras, Visconti, Ozu
 (From Keyframe. 3 June 2015, 6:43 AM, PDT)

The Movie That Exiled Charlie Chaplin
 (From FilmSchoolRejects. 29 May 2015, 11:08 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Spotlight Unfortunately Cannot Shine Forever. See more (88 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
Molly Glessing ... Maid (as Mollie Glessing)
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)
Maurice Marks ... Stagehand (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)

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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
In once scene, Calvero (Charles Chaplin) quips, "It's the tramp in me", which is a nod to his Little Tramp character, which propelled him to fame and fortune in a series of silent films.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The film begins in the summer of 1914, as the First World War began, but less than a year passes before a newsboy shows a headline "United States Enters War", which didn't happen until April, 1917, and Neville is drafted, though the draft did not begin until 1916. Curiously, only one person appears in uniform, despite England being on a war footing.See more »
Quotes:
Calvero:I'm an old sinner, nothing shocks me.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Charlie Chaplin: The Forgotten Years (2003) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Animal TrainerSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
55 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
The Spotlight Unfortunately Cannot Shine Forever., 7 November 2003
Author: tfrizzell from United States

Haunting and unforgettable piece from Charles Chaplin that was nearly lost in the American cinema all together. It played in very few cities within the U.S. in 1952 and was never shown in Los Angeles due to the suspicion that the House of Un-American Acts Committee had concerning Chaplin (making no sense to me as Chaplin, who was British, was the polar opposite of a Communist from all indications). The film disappeared from U.S. soil and did not re-surface until some 20 years later in 1972 and Chaplin actually won an Oscar, with fellow scorers Raymond Rasch and Larry Russell, for this movie's original dramatic score (this was the only competitive Oscar Chaplin ever won). Chaplin stars as a washed-up vaudeville performer. He is now an elderly man (in his 60s when the film was made) and the spotlight is gone forever, even though he still secretly yearns for it. Chaplin discovers a very young ballet dancer (Claire Bloom) who has attempted suicide because she cannot handle being a performer. Naturally Chaplin cannot believe that this young, beautiful and talented woman would rather take her life than be a ballet performer (the fact that Chaplin yearns for her youth and the ability to be an entertainer again makes him bound and determined to get her back on her feet). He tries with all his might to get her performance-ready again, all the while he is also trying to resurrect the career that he lost long ago. Chaplin has a dream of a stunning performance he has on the stage, but when his act ends there is no one there to acknowledge him (one of, if not the saddest sequences I have ever seen on film). Soon it becomes obvious that Chaplin's time is running out and his desperation to have that one last piece of action engulfs his mind, body, heart and soul. "Limelight" is one of the most dramatic and intense pictures I have ever encountered. Chaplin's life and career had changed dramatically by 1952. The Little Tramp was no more, all movies had sound, some films were being made in color and the subject matter of motion pictures was slowly starting to change. In many ways Chaplin was trying to show the viewing public his life in celluloid form and "Limelight" would be the vehicle used. This is a stunning work that once again shows the humanity and overall sensitivity that Chaplin had with his movies. Chaplin's long-time rival in real-life (Buster Keaton) even shows up late and acts as a partner in the duo's stage routine. The pairing is usually the most memorable part of this production to most, but the story and the deep emotional part that Chaplin plays are the things that make "Limelight" quite possibly Chaplin's greatest cinematic masterpiece. 5 stars out of 5.

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Message Boards

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7.9? rosaalvarez1994
Keaton and Chaplin KobraX14
Can anyone explain this scene? disinterested_spectator
What nationality is Calvero? giona
more than a perfect ten bwpbleak
Favorite Move of All Time timandkeely
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