City Lights

City Lights

Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1931 • United States

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.

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City Lights
  • City Lights

    Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1931 • United States

    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 vagra...

Extras

  • CITY LIGHTS Commentary

    This audio commentary features Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance, author of “Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema,” and was recorded in 2013.

  • Chaplin Today: CITY LIGHTS

    This 27-minute documentary from 2003, directed by Serge Bromberg, examines CITY LIGHTS as a high point of Charlie Chaplin’s artistry and features observations by film producer and Aardman Animations cofounder Peter Lord.

  • Chaplin Studios: Creative Freedom by Design

    In this piece, visual effects expert Craig Barron takes a look at the set designs created by Charlie Chaplin and his team of artists and technicians—designs whose ingenuity, efficiency, and humor flowed from the unique creative process employed at Chaplin Studios.

  • CITY LIGHTS: The Tramp Meets the Flower Girl

    The following eight minutes of footage were captured by Charlie Chaplin’s friend Ralph Barton. We see the director orchestrate a scene that reveals the flower girl’s blindness and establishes her belief that the Tramp is a wealthy man. It is presented here with audio commentary by Chaplin histori...

  • CITY LIGHTS: Stick Stuck in the Grate

    The following seven-minute outtake shows a comic routine originally intended to follow the statue unveiling at the start of CITY LIGHTS.

  • CITY LIGHTS: The Duke

    This costume test for an unfilmed sequence shows Charlie Chaplin as a duke—the way the blind flower girl envisioned her supposedly wealthy benefactor.

  • CITY LIGHTS: Window Shopping Rehearsal

  • Chaplin the Boxer: THE CHAMPION

    This excerpt from the short film THE CHAMPION, directed by Charlie Chaplin in 1915 for the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, shows that some of the Tramp’s fancy footwork in CITY LIGHTS had a clear precedent.

  • Chaplin the Boxer: Boxing Stars Visit the Studio

    In this footage captured at the Chaplin Studios in 1918, Charlie Chaplin is seen first with British bantamweight boxer Harry Mansell and assistant director Chuck Reisner, and then with American lightweight boxer Benny Leonard, who is introduced by Chaplin’s half brother, Sydney.

  • Original and International Theatrical Trailers