8.1/10
15,285
101 user 48 critic

Limelight (1952)

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

Director:

Writer:

(original story and screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde
The Circus (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In Hong Kong, the ambassador returning to America meets the Russian countess, a refugee without a passport, who decides to hide in his cabin.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Sydney Chaplin
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Albert Austin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A kept woman runs into her former fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller
A Dog's Life (1918)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Dave Anderson
The Pilgrim (1923)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Tramp is an escaped convict who is mistaken as a pastor in a small town church.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Syd Chaplin
Shoulder Arms (1918)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin
City Lights (1931)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee
The Immigrant (1917)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Calvero
... Thereza
... Postant
... Calvero's Partner
... Neville
... Bodalink
Andre Eglevsky ... Dancer
Melissa Hayden ... Dancer: Columbine
... Mrs. Alsop
Wheeler Dryden ... Thereza's Doctor
Barry Bernard ... John Redfern
Stapleton Kent ... Claudius
Molly Glessing ... Maid (as Mollie Glessing)
... Calvero's Doctor (as Leonard Mudi)
... Street Musician
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The masterpiece of laughter and tears from the master of comedy! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1952 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Candilejas  »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial release) | (London premiere)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

While Thereza is convalescing in Calvero's apartment, Calvero is shown removing a soiled towel and placing it in a large bowl on the bed. In the subsequent wider shot, the bowl is no longer there. See more »

Quotes

Calvero: How do I look?
Terry: [can see he was drinking] Funny.
Calvero: I know what you're thinking, my health and all that. But there's a creamy white light going on and off inside.
Terry: Is it really worth it?
Calvero: Not that I care for success, but I don't want another failure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The glamour of limelight, from which age must pass as youth enters." See more »

Connections

Featured in Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Life of a Sardine
(1952) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Charles Chaplin
Performed by Charles Chaplin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Spotlight Unfortunately Cannot Shine Forever.
7 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

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.


62 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 101 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial