At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into the city, where he meets a beautiful, blind flower girl, and buys a flower with his last coin. That night, he stops a drunken man from drowning himself. Gratefully, the man invites him to his mansion, which is presided over by a snobby butler named James and they begin to drink. The millionaire and the tramp continue their revels at a nightclub. –AFI
Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular “Little Tramp” character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk. Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in Walworth, London, England on April 26th, 1889 to Charles and Hannah (Hill) Chaplin, both music hall performers, who were married on June 22nd, 1885. After Charles Sr. separated from Hannah to perform in New York City, Hannah then tried to resurrect her stage career. Unfortunately, her singing voice had a tendency to break at unexpected moments. When this happened, the stage manager spotted young Charlie standing in the wings and led him on stage, where five-year-old Charlie began to sing a popular tune. Charlie and his half-brother, Syd Chaplin (born Sydney Hawkes), spent their lives in and out… read more
I imagine Chaplin's original audience had an absolute blast every time they watched one of his films. His antics are timeless, and it's easy to see his influence on film comedy for the next century. He epitomized the idea of the accidental hero, the clumsy romantic, and the loveable klutz that I've seen in Peter Sellers, John Candy, and dozens of others. A classic.
City Lights may feel like a small film compared to the rest of Charlie Chaplin's silent comedic features, but it still packs a punch like them, too. Some parts of the film didn't turn out the way I expected them to, but I guess that's part of what makes this film so special. Now I REALLY can't wait for Criterion to put out their combo pack.
Some MGM B-listers are forced, possibly at gunpoint, to pretend to watch a circus show. It’s all very strange.
Tracing Bresson’s audio-visual sensibility back to the formally-ambitious film comedies of the early 1930s.
The occasional sound effects work fairly well, but aren’t as integral as the ones in Modern Times. As others have said, this Chaplin comedy is a bit more episodic. The Tramp falls for a blind flower… read review
What can be said about this film that hasn’t already been said? It may not be as well structured of a film as “The Gold Rush” or as intellectually stimulating as “Monsieur Verdoux” but there’s no… read review