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Limelight (1952) - Plot Summary Poster

(1952)

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • It's 1914 London. Smelling gas, a man named Calvero breaks down the door of an apartment in the building where he lives finding a young woman trying to commit suicide. She is Thereza 'Terry' Ambrose, a ballerina. On advice from the attending physician, Calvero decides not to report it to the police as attempted suicide is a criminal offense. As Terry is evicted from her apartment, Calvero allows her to stay with him for as long as she needs. As he nurses her back to physical health, he also deals with her emotional health and uncovering the reason for her attempted suicide. Although he is constantly telling her that life is worth living, he can understand the pressures and guilt she has faced in her life, as he himself is an ex-performer, a once famous stage comedian whose professional name was ruined by excessive alcohol consumption. He is trying to revive his professional career. They become each other's emotional support as they try to make it in the world of the performing arts, for Calvero the second time around. Through it all, Calvero tries to show Terry the difference between devotion and romantic love, especially as an old admirer of hers named Neville re-enters her life.

    - Written by Huggo
  • In 1914, in London, the former successful and presently decadent and alcoholic clown Calvero smells gas in the building where he lives and breaks in an apartment. He finds the suicidal Thereza 'Terry' Ambrose laying down on her bed and he brings a doctor that saves her. They do not report to the police and Calvero nurses her in his apartment. He leans that Terry was a ballet dancer that had a problem in her legs that are paralyzed. However, the doctor tells to Calvero that she has not a physical, but actually a psychological problem with her legs. He emotionally supports her and she recovers her health and becomes a successful ballerina. Meanwhile Calvero is also affected by Terry and quits drinking. Calvero tries to rebuild his career in the show business and while Terry falls in love with him but age must pass as youth enters.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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