City Lights

Charles Chaplin  Actor Virginia Cherrill  Actor Harry Myers  Actor Allan Garcia  Actor Hank Mann  Actor Florence Lee  Actor

G

MPAA Rating: G

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  • Overview
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City Lights

Theatrical Release Date: 1931 01 30 (USA)

UPC: 085393764821

Studio: Warner Home Video

MPAA Rating: G   Contains:null

Summary: Charles Chaplin was deep into production of his silent City Lights when Hollywood was overwhelmed by the talkie revolution. After months of anguished contemplation, Chaplin decided to finish the film as it began--in silence, save for a musical score and an occasional sound effect. Once again cast as the Little Tramp, Chaplin makes the acquaintance of a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill), who through a series of coincidences has gotten the impression that the shabby tramp is a millionaire. A second storyline begins when the tramp rescues a genuine millionaire (Harry Myers) from committing suicide. When drunk, the millionaire expansively treats the tramp as a friend and equal; when sober, he doesn't even recognize him. The two plots come together when the tramp attempts to raise enough money for the blind girl to have an eye operation. Highlights include an extended boxing sequence pitting scrawny Chaplin against muscle-bound Hank Mann, and the poignant final scene in which the now-sighted flower girl sees her impoverished benefactor for the first time. Chaplin's decision to release the silent City Lights three years into the talkie era was partially vindicated when more than one critic singled out this "comedy in pantomime" as the best picture of 1931. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Category: Comedy Drama

Awards: U.S. National Film Registry – Library of Congress 100 Greatest American Movies – American Film Institute Best Picture – National Board of Review

Features: ccAll-new digital transfer from Chaplin family vault picture and audio elements
Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as original Mono
Interactive menus
Scene access
Subtitles: English, Français, Español, Português, Chinese, Thai & Korean
Introduction by David Robinson - Chaplin's biographer discusses the historical and cinematic context of the film
Chaplin Today: City Lights - documentary by Serge Bromberg with the participation of the animation artist and director Peter Lord
Outtake - Charlie tries to disengage a sliver of wood stuck in a sidewalk grating
The Champion (1915) excerpt - Charlie stages a balletic boxing match, 15 years before City Lights
Shooting - on the set of the famous scene in which Charlie and the flower girl first meet, filmed by Ralph Barton
Georgia Hale screen test - the screen test made by the actress of The Gold Rush when Chaplin thought of replacing Virginia Cherrill as the flower girl
The dream prince - a discarded idea for how the flower girl imagines her benefactor
Rehearsal - Chaplin works out the staging of a complicated scene
Chaplin and boxing stars - Chaplin playfully boxes with professional prizefighters visiting his studios
Winston Churchill's visit - Britain's future prime minister visits Chaplin during the shooting of City Lights
Chaplin speaks! - in 1931 Vienna during his triumphant European tour, Chaplin speaks for the first time on film
Trip to Bali - footage shot when Charlie and Sydney Chaplin visited Bali in 1932
Photo gallery - photos of the production and of the actors
Film posters
Trailers
The Chaplin Collection

City Lights

Format: DVD

Release Date: 03/02/2004

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Pre-1954 Standard

Audio: DD5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1, DD1 Dolby Digital Mono

Runtime: 186 Minutes

Sides: 2

Number of Discs: 2

Language(s) English

Subtitles: English,French,Spanish,Portuguese

Region: USA & territories, Canada

Chapters: Side #1 -- The Film
1. Directed by Charles Chaplin [:53]
2. Peace and Prosperity [3:19]
3. Afternoon [2:04]
4. A Flower [2:53]
5. Evening [1:19]
6. Night [4:24]
7. I'll Live! [4:29]
8. The Night Club [6:02]
9. Early Morning [6:47]
10. The Sober Dawn [3:24]
11. The Party [4:10]
12. The Morning After [2:49]
13. Work [3:52]
14. Lunch Time [1:46]
15. To Play the Part of a Gentleman [4:20]
16. That Night [7:23]
17. The Ring [6:14]
18. Back From Europe [6:52]
19. For Your Eyes [3:19]
20. Autumn [6:07]

Dan Jardine

Many critics consider City Lights to be Charles Chaplin's finest film, no small accomplishment considering his long string of great films. The film is a Chaplin tour-de-force, as he has his hand in almost every aspect of its production. He co-wrote, produced, directed, scored and edited the film. Unwilling to bend to the winds of change, which saw the introduction of the spoken word in movies three years earlier, Chaplin's is a silent film. However, he does use music and sound effects cleverly throughout, even employing them pointedly to satirize "the talkies." Other familiar targets are the hypocrisy, prissiness, and arrogance of wealthy "polite society" and cruelty to society's less fortunate, lovable outcasts like The Little Tramp himself. Of course, Chaplin's physical comedy is riotously funny. He dances along the highwire between hilarity and disaster with aplomb. All the while, Chaplin's Little Tramp maintains his dignity and sense of fair play. City Lights's parallel plot lines unfold effectively, as the storyline involving The Little Tramp and the suicidal millionaire presages themes developed more fully in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. The pathos-ridden love story with the blind flower girl plays on universal themes, such as the intoxicating blindness of love and the rejuvenating power of selflessness. A graceful, athletic artist of pantomime, Chaplin's Little Tramp moves effortlessly between figures of destitution and wealth, aiding and abetting all around him. City Lights is a paean to our best impulses, a plea for humanitarianism and justice. Most important, it is the work of a master craftsman, in full control of his craft. ~ Dan Jardine, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Robert Parrish  Actor 
Jack Sutherland  Actor 
Stanhope Wheatcroft  Actor 
Henry Bergman  Actor 
Jean Harlow  Actor 
Eddie Baker  Actor 
Henry Bergman  Actor 
John Rand  Actor 
James Donnelly  Actor 
Albert Austin  Actor 
Henry Bergman  Screenwriter 
Charles Chaplin  Director 
Charles Chaplin  Composer (Music Score) 
Charles Chaplin  Producer 
Charles Chaplin  Screenwriter 
Harry Crocker  Screenwriter 
Albert Austin  Screenwriter 
Alfred Newman  Composer (Music Score) 
Charles Chaplin  Actor 
Virginia Cherrill  Actor 
Harry Myers  Actor 
Allan Garcia  Actor 
Hank Mann  Actor 
Florence Lee  Actor 

Country: USA