8.6/10
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240 user 145 critic

City Lights (1931)

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... A Blind Girl
Florence Lee ... The Blind Girl's Grandmother
... An Eccentric Millionaire
... James - the Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
... A Prizefighter
... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Storyline

A tramp falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. Her family is in financial trouble. The tramp's on-and-off friendship with a wealthy man allows him to be the girl's benefactor and suitor. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Lights: A Comedy Romance in Pantomime  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,181, 6 July 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Chaplin began shooting the film in 1928. Convinced that sound was just a passing fad, he decided to stick with his trademark pantomimic style. However, halfway through production he realized that the talkies weren't going away, so he shut down the film and tried to figure out how to incorporate sound. He was further hindered by the Wall Street Crash. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 25 mins) During the film's final scene, The Tramp is seen holding the flower to his face when seen from the front; when seen from the rear, he is holding it to his lapel. See more »

Quotes

The Tramp: Tomorrow the birds will sing.
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Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.81 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Romance
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Chaplin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Amusing comedy sets up SPECTACULAR ending

This is my favorite Chaplin film, but I don't want that to diminish his other work, either. MODERN TIMES was an outstanding work of social satire, THE GOLD RUSH was great slapstick, and even the largely-neglected MONSIEUR VERDOUX strikes a certain unforgettable tone. Chaplin didn't make a bad movie, and I'm not even sure that CL is his best, exactly. But it IS my favorite, if only for the ending.

That ending has been the subject of much comment here. I think it's a masterpiece in a single scene. Chaplin's little tramp has never seemed less like a character and more like a living, breathing human being. It's a monument to understated sentimentality.

To me, the rest of the film exists largely to set the context for that one magnificent piece of celluloid. Yes, the boxing scene is great, and the scene where he rescues the millionaire is also wonderful, but it's that ending that makes us all love this movie.


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