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8.2
/10
1,156 Ratings

Limelight

Directed by Charlie Chaplin
United States, 1952
Drama, Comedy

Synopsis

Calvero, once a famous Music Hall star, now a washed-up old man, saves a neighbor from suicide. He nurtures the young ballerina with paralyzed legs back to health, and helps her regain her self-esteem, so that she may return to the stage.

Our take

Made during the height of McCarthyism and the Red Scare in the U.S., Limelight was Chaplin’s reaction to his own decreasing popularity. A return to the memories of his youth spent in London music halls, it depicts with sweet and nostalgic details the life of an entertainer, as well as fame’s blows.

Limelight Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1973 | Winner: Best Music, Original Dramatic Score

As Peter von Bagh notes, the film’s autobiographical component represents only one strand of its cumulative power. It is not just Chaplin’s testament to his own art, but to art in general and to the striving for love that brings meaning to any life.
February 24, 2017
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Calvero’s contact with the audience is remote, distracted and transitory. Chaplin’s, as he looks into the camera, is electrifyingly intimate, immediate and enduring, living on to this very day.
June 06, 2015
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Limelight’s opening, on-screen summation as a “story of a ballerina and a clown” may be the most modest commencement statement for what is certainly one of cinema’s great romantic tragedies.
June 04, 2015
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