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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Henry Clive was originally cast as the millionaire, but when he refused to fall into the water in a necessary scene, Charles Chaplin fired him and hired Harry Myers. Some sources say that Clive had a cold at the time and asked Chaplin if they could wait until the sun had warmed the water before getting in. Chaplin responded by promptly replacing him with a new actor. See more »
(at around 1h 12 mins) When the Tramp and the Millionaire are drinking champagne with the burglars in the house, the Tramp places the glasses on the table behind them. When one of the burglar come up behind them the glasses are gone. See more »
Available prints feature the original credits, although references to United Artists have been removed. Even though he was uncredited in the original versions, José Padilla's name was added to the credits See more »
Film has become a medium that is strongly influenced by nostalgia. Old films have become journeys to the past; ways to visit times and people that no longer are. Since film is an art that is based on the innovation of previous works, it has an element of nostalgia in its foundation. We look on the old to find what elements should make up the new. In City Lights, and other silent works of film, a passion emerges that is uniquely honest and sincere. While watching the film, I was impressed that Chaplin really did love the story, the sets, the crew; the whole project. While this may not have been the complete reality, it felt that way, and thus made the film more enjoyable. In silent films the audience is forced to be completely reliable on the visual elements of the film; there are no elaborate sound effects or dialogue to provoke an emotional response.
Since film is at its very core a visual medium, I find silent films to be the basic form of the medium. I don't use the word basic here in a demeaning sense, but I compare the beauty of silent films to the beauty of early European art, before the concept of perspective was developed in the Renaissance. Many books and tomes featured people as tall as the castles they stood in; these works of art were not technologically advanced, but they were, and are, beautiful. The same example is found when comparing early darreographs of wild animals to contemporary photographs found in National Geographic. There is a warmth found in City Lights, and other Chaplin films (The Kid, Modern Times) that would be lost in the sea of cinematic technology that floods films today. Maybe it's just that with simplicity comes honesty, and honesty is perhaps the most powerful emotion that can cross through the screen and be felt by the viewer.
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