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 »
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 <email@example.com>
Charles Chaplin sailed to London for the 16 Oct 1952 world premiere, but his re-entry permit was revoked after he left because of accusations that he was tied to the Communist party--a common charge in the "Red Scare" era in the US in the 1950s made against those--especially in the arts--who raised questions or objections to American foreign or domestic policies. After showings of "Limelight" in New York and other East Coast cities, an anti-Chaplin frenzy whipped up by ultra-conservative politicians and organizations caused cancellation of showings in other cities. See more »
During the final comedy act, the pianist's chair changes between shots. See more »
"The glamour of limelight, from which age must pass as youth enters." See more »
When the film was released in 1952, it 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. In the ending credits, there is still a billing for Stapleton Kent as Claudius, even though he is not seen in current versions of the film. The excellent Image/David Shepard DVD version is the 137 minute version, but it presents the deleted scene as an extra feature. See more »
Chaplin could do anything as well or better than anyone else in movies: acting, writing, directing, composing, producing, editing, even choreographing. He was world renown as a comedian, yet has placed some of the most poignant images on film that ever were. He was, even more than the great Orson Welles, a sort of one man band.
He was as successful worldwide as anyone ever was in movies. Somehow in all this, he got the idea that he had something worthwhile to say about life and art. Which he did with this film.. and I for one am extremely grateful.
The subjects of alcoholism... depression... aging... the fickle relationships of audiences and performers... these are all covered in a film that manages to fit in philosophical dialog, pantomime, dancing, and music. The multiple showings of the same comedy sequence (in a dream, in front of an unappreciative audience, in front of a wildly appreciative audience) gets one to thinking about the lemming-like nature of people in a way that someone like Chaplin would have had almost unique insight into.
It may take a while to become accustomed to the odd pacing and cadence of a Chaplin movie; once you are, you find yourself in the middle of an artistic experience like no other.
The music in this film is unusually haunting and deserving of the Academy award it belatedly received. 10 out of 10.
51 of 60 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this