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.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.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.
- The Millionaire's Butleras The Millionaire's Butler
- (as Allan Garcia)
**** (out of 4)
Charlie Chaplin returns as The Tramp and this time he falls in love with a blind girl (Virginia Cherrill) and sets out to help her. The Tramp eventually meets a suicidal drunk (Harry Myers) and their friendship leads to what might eventually help the girl he loves.
Chaplin made great films before and after CITY LIGHTS but for my money this here is his greatest film as well as one of the greatest films ever made. Not only is it one of the funniest movies ever made but I'd also argue that it's one of the greatest love stories, if not the greatest. It really says a lot when a movie can conqueror two genres at one time but CITY LIGHTS is simply one of the greatest movies ever made.
I think it says a lot that you get one classic scene after another and there's really not a weak spot to be found here. Being 1931 it took some real guts for Chaplin to deliver a silent film and I think he knew that he had to deliver something special because people had moved onto sound. He certainly delivered something special as this here was easily the funniest film he had made up to this point. The opening sequence with the introduction of The Tramp was priceless and we got one hilarious scene after another from that point.
The scenes with the drunk are downright hilarious as is another scene where The Tramp is trying to eat but without much success. The cigar sequence is a masterpiece as is the by the water. In fact, the story between The Tramp and the drunk would have made a terrific movie on its own. Just like the stuff with The Tramp and the blind girl would have made a perfect film. What's so special is that you get both stories wrapped up in one and it really delivers.
Chaplin played The Tramp countless times but he was never better than he is here. Just check out the timing in countless scenes including the boxing match and you can't help but be impressed with the actor. Myers also deserves a lot of credit as the drunk as his timing has to match that of Chaplin throughout and the two men do a wonderful job together. Then you've got Cherrill who wasn't a professional actor but the director makes her shine throughout.
CITY LIGHTS contains one great scene after another and all of the laughs lead up to one of the most powerful endings in film history. There's really not enough great things that can be said about this film as it continues to get better with each passing year.
- Feb 26, 2008