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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:

Charles Chaplin

Writers:

Charles Chaplin (original story by), Charles Chaplin (screenplay by)
Reviews

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Chaplin ... Calvero
Claire Bloom ... Thereza
Nigel Bruce ... Postant
Buster Keaton ... Calvero's Partner
Sydney Chaplin ... Neville
Norman Lloyd ... Bodalink
Andre Eglevsky Andre Eglevsky ... Dancer
Melissa Hayden Melissa Hayden ... Dancer: Columbine
Marjorie Bennett ... Mrs. Alsop
Wheeler Dryden Wheeler Dryden ... Thereza's Doctor
Barry Bernard Barry Bernard ... John Redfern
Stapleton Kent Stapleton Kent ... Claudius
Molly Glessing Molly Glessing ... Maid (as Mollie Glessing)
Leonard Mudie ... Calvero's Doctor (as Leonard Mudi)
Loyal Underwood ... Street Musician
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1952 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Candilejas See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial release) | (London premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final film that Charles Chaplin produced in America. See more »

Goofs

In the dressing room scene with his partner, Calvero is darkening his left eyebrow. When a visitor enters the room, a quick shot of Calvero reveals both eyebrows darkened. As the conversation continues with his partner, Calvero's right eyebrow remains untouched. See more »

Quotes

Calvero: You could be Mrs Calvero, in name only of course.
Terry: Won't it inconvenience you?
Calvero: Not at all! I've had five wives, one more or less won't make any difference! And I've reached the point where a relationship can be maintained on the most platonic level.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The version of the film that premiered in London in 1952 ran 141 minutes. It had been in distribution for several months, when Chaplin recalled film prints and deleted a scene in which Calvero leaves the sleeping Thereza, and goes to a bar, where he meets his old friend, Claudius, the armless violin player, who gives Calvero money. The film ran 137 minutes after this scene was edited out for worldwide distribution. In the ending credits, there is still a billing for Stapleton Kent as Claudius, even though he is no longer seen in the film. The DVD includes the deleted scene as an extra feature. See more »

Connections

Edited into Chaplin Today: Limelight (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

A fantastic movie about an old and washed-up clown who meets a young and troubled ballerina.
14 January 1999 | by benbenben1See all my reviews

This was the first and only Chaplin film I have ever seen -- and it wasn't at all what I was expecting.

I was completely surprised that such a simple film could have so many layers of depth. In fact it kept me thinking days afterwards!

At it's core, I would say this movie is about the love of one's art, and the love that a couple share.

The Ballerina loves to perform but is impeded by a psychosis that makes her legs inoperable. I interpret success to be the root of the psychosis.

The Clown loves to perform but is impeded by his fear of becoming a B or C-list star. He is a legendary comedian and now that he's no longer in demand, he's convinced himself that he has to drink to be funny.

There you have it; a clown afraid of failure and a ballerina afraid of success. Together they help each other love their art more by removing those things that impede them.

The best thing about the film is that the obviousness of the plot is completely lost in the depth of the film. Chaplin uses such simple and common devices to draw the audience into his world. I know it's hard to belive, but this is a "must-see" movie!


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