8.5/10
170,035
305 user 126 critic

City Lights (1931)

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director:

Charles Chaplin

Writer:

Charles Chaplin
Top Rated Movies #43 | 3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Cherrill ... A Blind Girl
Florence Lee Florence Lee ... The Blind Girl's Grandmother
Harry Myers ... An Eccentric Millionaire
Al Ernest Garcia ... James - the Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
Hank Mann ... A Prizefighter
Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Storyline

A tramp falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. Her family is in financial trouble. The tramp's on-and-off friendship with a wealthy man allows him to be the girl's benefactor and suitor. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His First Picture in Three Years! The KING is Himself AGAIN! The Whole Town Will Go Chaplin-Mad! (Print Ad-Lawrence Daily Journal-World, ((Lawrence, Kans.)) 21 March 1931) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Charles Chaplin's friends, the famous illustrator Ralph Barton, was on set one day during the filming of the scene where Charlie and the blind girl meet. His home movies, which appear in Unknown Chaplin (1983), are the only known behind the scenes footage of Chaplin at work in costume as the tramp. See more »

Goofs

When the Tramp washes his hands, the soap is beside him on a barrel. Another man places a napkin on the same barrel to eat his lunch. In the next shot, the napkin is gone and only the soap is visible. We can then see how the Tramp takes the soap to wash his face. Right after that the napkin is placed by the other man on top of the barrel again. See more »

Quotes

The Blind Girl's Grandmother: He must be wealthy.
A Blind Girl: Yes, but he's more than that.
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Alternate Versions

In 1989, Roy Export Company Establishment copyrighted a version with new opening credits, and with Charles Chaplin's score musically directed by and conducted by Carl Davis. The original opening credit of Alfred Newman as the musical director was replaced by "musical direction by Carl Davis." In addition, end credits were added listing those filmmakers and companies involved in the new recording of Chaplin's score in 1988. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Party (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

How Dry I Am
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

Amusing comedy sets up SPECTACULAR ending
6 December 2004 | by ThunderbuckSee all my reviews

This is my favorite Chaplin film, but I don't want that to diminish his other work, either. MODERN TIMES was an outstanding work of social satire, THE GOLD RUSH was great slapstick, and even the largely-neglected MONSIEUR VERDOUX strikes a certain unforgettable tone. Chaplin didn't make a bad movie, and I'm not even sure that CL is his best, exactly. But it IS my favorite, if only for the ending.

That ending has been the subject of much comment here. I think it's a masterpiece in a single scene. Chaplin's little tramp has never seemed less like a character and more like a living, breathing human being. It's a monument to understated sentimentality.

To me, the rest of the film exists largely to set the context for that one magnificent piece of celluloid. Yes, the boxing scene is great, and the scene where he rescues the millionaire is also wonderful, but it's that ending that makes us all love this movie.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City Lights: A Comedy Romance in Pantomime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,102, 8 July 2007

Gross USA:

$19,181

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,008
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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