David Thomson trashed Limelight for being a work of deep self-pity, and he's not wrong—by the end, Chaplin's taste for melodrama has turned his self-reflexive narrative into one of grotesquely mawkish martyrdom. But it is also an emotionally naked work, frequently offering us a sight we've not seen: Chaplin as an ordinary man, no comedy, no schtick, no makeup, no slapstick. Deeply personal, for better or worse.
A truly great movie. It's beautiful, incredibly sad and also hilarious. The story begins to flake into the second hour but a young Claire Bloom is a hell of a distraction. Any of Limelight's shortcomings are all forgiven with the Charles Chaplin/Buster Keaton scene.
Bittersweet reflection on Chaplin's own career. full of his characteristic bonhomie and tenderness. Buster Keaton's appearance marked the first and only time the two greatest comedians of the twentieth century were in the same film.
This is Chaplin's swan song. Heart-wrenching, and beautiful melancholy throughout the entire film. Chaplin sums it up nicely when he says, "To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it."