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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)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 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

Production Co:

Celebrated Productions See more »
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

Charles Chaplin worked for 2½ years on the screenplay and then devoted nine months to the score. 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

[as Terry dances, Calvero prays behind the stage]
Calvero: Whoever you are, whatever it is, keep it going. Keep it going until...
[sees someone staring at him]
Calvero: I've lost a button... one of those cheap outfits...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in The 44th Annual Academy Awards (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Spring Is Here
(1952) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Charles Chaplin
Performed by Charles Chaplin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perfect. Brilliant. Tocuhing. Chaplin
8 June 2009 | by dg-opSee all my reviews

All the terrible facts in his life during the 1940s made Chaplin realize he was a lucky artist, having for almost 3 decades both critics recognition as well as worldwide fame. His personal problems originated by his marriage with young Oona, added to the hate generated in the United States from the brilliant, anti-capitalism movie "Monsieur Verdoux" left him in a very dramatic situation, that made him look back at the past, only to realize how the art he made better was changing... characters, themes, directors and actors were now different. His eternal black and white pantomime was at the moment "useless", and colored motion pictures were appearing...

"Limelight" is the bittersweet movie that narrates the impossible love story between Calvero, the fading comedian, and Terry, the suicidal Dancer. Perhaps his final masterpiece, Limelight earns recognition and admiration for its philosophical thoughts about life, love, and the mix of comedy and drama. Considered as his will to artists and his homage to his three loves: London, arts and women, the movie reflects Chaplin's worries about his audience, his marriage, society. Almost every aspect of Chaplin's life is represented in this motion picture. Just the tittle evokes his theatrical debut, in the late XIXth Century, Calvero is just a variation of Chaplin's eternal character, The Little Tramp, the story of Therry is the same as his mother (her sister also prostituted to make a living), and it goes on...

There will be no movie that'll make me laugh and cry as much as Limelight. I consider it as the last Chaplin film. Enjoy the gag between Chaplin and Buster Keaton, long-time rival in the silent-film era, and the marvelous original score composed by Chaplin himself.

Limelight is a perfect, brilliant, touching movie that'll make you know the person that hid 30 years under the Little Tramp character: a great artist and unique man called Charles Spencer Chaplin.


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