Adam Gopnik’s Adventures in Moviegoing
Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1931 • United States
Starring Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers
CITY LIGHTS, the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.
Up Next in Adam Gopnik’s Adventures in Moviegoing
Adam Gopnik on L’ATALANTE
Directed by Jean Vigo • 1934 • France
In Jean Vigo's hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean (Jean Dasté), a barge captain, marries Juliette (Dita Parlo), an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean's boat, the L'Atalan...
Adam Gopnik on GRAND ILLUSION