Limelight

Limelight

Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1952 • United States

Charlie Chaplin's masterful drama about the twilight of a former vaudeville star is among the writer-director's most touching films. Chaplin plays Calvero, a once beloved musical-comedy performer, now a washed-up alcoholic who lives in a small London flat. A glimmer of hope arrives when he meets a beautiful but melancholy ballerina (Claire Bloom) who lives downstairs. An elegant mix of the comic and the tragic, this poignant movie also features Buster Keaton in an extended cameo, marking the only time the two silent comedy icons appeared in a film together. Made at a time when Chaplin was under attack by the American press and far right, Limelight was scarcely distributed in the United States upon its initial release, but it is now considered one of his essential and most personal works.

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Limelight
  • Limelight

    Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1952 • United States

    Charlie Chaplin's masterful drama about the twilight of a former vaudeville star is among the writer-director's most touching films. Chaplin plays Calvero, a once beloved musical-comedy performer, now a washed-up alcoholic who lives in a small L...

Extras

  • Chaplin’s LIMELIGHT

    In the following program, produced in 2015, Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson explores the evolution and personal nature of LIMELIGHT.

  • Claire Bloom on LIMELIGHT

    The following interview with LIMELIGHT actress Claire Bloom was conducted in 2015.

  • Norman Lloyd on LIMELIGHT

    The following interview with LIMELIGHT actor Norman Lloyd was conducted 2012.

  • Chaplin Today: LIMELIGHT

    This program from 2002, directed by Edgardo Cozarinsky, features interviews with filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci and two of LIMELIGHT’s actors, Claire Bloom and Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s son.

  • Outtake

    This scene, involving an old, armless friend of Calvero’s, was included in LIMELIGHT when it premiered in London in 1952, but Charlie Chaplin removed it before the film was distributed worldwide.

  • Charlie Chaplin Reads from “Footlights”

    In this brief archival audio recording, Charlie Chaplin reads two excerpts from his novella “Footlights,” which was the basis for LIMELIGHT.

  • A Night in the Show

    Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1915 • United States

    This 1915 short, the twelfth film Charlie Chaplin directed for the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, is based on the play “Mumming Birds,” which Chaplin performed first in London, from 1908 to 1909, and later the United States. In it, Chaplin ...

  • The Professor

    The following uncompleted 1919 short by Charlie Chaplin reveals his early interest in performing fleas.