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Drama, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
Charles Chaplin


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Virginia Cherrill as A Blind Girl
Florence Lee as The Blind Girl's Grandmother
Harry Myers as An Eccentric Millionaire
Al Ernest Garcia as The Eccentric Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
Hank Mann as A Prizefighter
City Lights 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.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x480 px 1180 Mb mpeg4 1753 Kbps avi Download
DVD-rip 576x416 px 701 Mb h264 1184 Kbps avi Download
A great film, and I don't even like Chaplin movies
Unlike most of the other reviewers, I'm not really a huge Chaplin fan. In fact, to be perfectly honest, most of his movies bore me to tears. But this Chaplin film was different. It had a much warmer feel to it. There was something special about it. It's hard to describe, maybe because it isn't so much any specific part of the movie, but rather the feelings that the movie brings out. I watched it, as if I was hypnotized and when the movie was finished I found myself thinking "Now that's a nice movie!" I believe the mark of any truly great film is the emotion it's able to evoke. So this movie is nothing less than a huge success regardless if it makes it on any top ten lists or not. If you're looking to see Chaplin at his best I highly recommend you start with this warm, light-hearted film.
Innocence Can Make the Difference
I realize this review is a little late- I apologize. Saw the Chaplin flick "City Lights" last night, and I was really impressed. It was full of socialist commentary and beautiful women. The last scene made me cry (well OK, maybe just get a little maudlin). It was great, because it was all about good karma. I really enjoyed the scenes of Chaplin working on this film on the "Special Features" disc of the "Chaplin Collection". Especially enlightening was the story of Chaplin's conflict with his ingénue Virginia Cherrill. The outtakes of his replacement for her character, Georgia Hale, after he fired her (temporarily) show that as good as an actor/actress is, they are not perfect for every role. Sometimes you need someone totally outside of the game, as Cherill was, in order to create perfection on film, which the last scene is.
typical Chaplin
One of Charlie Chaplin's best films, 'City Lights' presents him at his best. It is funny - the scenes with the millionaire and at the boxing ring are priceless. It has that ending which is one of the best in cinema, and thus makes this film a great love story. It has a wonderful score by Chaplin himself with a number of themes which pinpoint the action and manipulate the audience into reacting to what they see in a particular way. And it is a silent film, alone is a sea of early sound features.

All of this adds up to make a special experience. If you are seeing this for the first time, you won't know what to expect and you'll probably laugh, cry, and every emotion in-between. If you're seeing it after many previous viewings, you'll spot things you haven't seen before. Such was Chaplin's inventiveness.
Blink once and you'll miss something funny!
The jokes and comical moments are all performed in such an incredible high pace and very well timed and choreographed. The comical moments follow each other very rapidly. Big over-the-top hilarious situations as well as small subtle ones. You have no time to think about the one joke, since the next one is already occurring at that very moment. The movie is that fast going. Blink once and you'll miss something funny. This is slapstick film-making at its very best.

Charles Chaplin performs his role with great charisma and agility, It's a quite psychical movie for him. The movie features jumping, falling and climbing, as you would obviously expect from a '30's slapstick movie.

I must admit that a few of the Chaplin movies don't live up to their reputations but this one on the other hand really does. It's certainly one of the best comedies of the '30's and of all time. A true timeless comedy classic!

But as you would expect from a Chaplin movie, it also is a movie with lots of heart and humanity. No matter how crazy the movie gets in parts, the movie never loses any of its credibility when it comes down to its drama and pureness. The movie is also made in a more realistic style, rather than a comical one that clearly and also predictably builds up toward a comical situations. This makes the movie all the more hilarious and strengthens the comical moments.

The movie just doesn't only rely on its jokes and Chaplin antics but also has a great and compelling story of its own. It's a quite well written story, that moves over to a lot of different places and locations throughout and is therefore also loaded with lots of characters and situations. It makes the movie also very original.

An absolute delightful movie!

City Lights: Or How To Make Famous Actors Weep
Making Jack Lemmon cry is a delight reserved for demented people, but---when he was alive---there WAS a way to make the man weep. Just show him the last scene of City Lights. If you can get hold of the American Film Institute's Top 100 Laughs TV special, you can see for yourself. Lemmon cries while describing the end of this movie. Then I cried. My wife laughed. She's such a little trooper.

I won't give away what that last scene is, but it's easy to see how it could make a person bust up just thinking about it. Charlie Chaplin was certainly not afraid to hit those maudlin notes. His Tramp character was lovable enough and Chaplin the artist was talented enough to get away with milking you for every emotion you've got. Funny how some people can mix tones in the same movie and make it work so well while others can't even get one tone right.

The story: the Tramp makes friends with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) and works various jobs to help support her. She doesn't know he's broke, instead thinking he's a rich benefactor. Along the way he tries his hand at a few different vocations, including a hilarious attempt at being a boxer. He also parties a lot with an actual rich man (Harry Myers) who spends most of the movie drunk as a monkey. Whenever he sobers up, out goes the Tramp. No one can ever see our hero for who he truly is.

City Lights is a short and pithy movie, as were most of CC's works. He knew how to tell a compact story with oodles of hijinks, a little drama, a message and plenty of feeling. The AFI definitely had l'amour for this picture, ranking it 76th and then 11th on their 1998 and then 2007 Top 100 lists. That's a remarkable leap in the span of 10 years. Do you feel that strongly about City Lights too? I'm not quite as enamoured with it as the AFI, but it's a wonderful picture. Jack Lemmon's sloppy tears are proof.

If you dug this snapshot review, check out the website I share with my wife ( and go to the "Podcasts" section for our 23-minute City Lights 'cast...and many others. Or find us on Itunes under "The Top 100 Project".
A masterpiece
The first movie I have seen. I was 5 years old, and this day I saw more than lights. I laughed I cried and more then that I discovered what I would love to do. To be an actor as Chaplin, make laugh and make weep.

Even today I feel same feeling and emotions about this masterpiece. A wonderful story, with beautiful values, and an amazing looks from Chaplin as a director. The scene of meeting between Chaplin and the sightless flower girl is THE scene of this movie. A genius idea for Chaplin to choose how his character will meet this girl and how this girl could be think that he was a rich man.

The musical score which Chaplin composed for City Lights stay still today one a the most beautiful.

I don't have enough words in English to say why you have to watch this movie ... but you have to. Enjoy!

Wrote by a french guy.
Lady and the Tramp, before animation and at the start of talkies- one of the most wonderful films ever conceived and executed
If there is one Charlie Chaplin film to recommend, as others have pointed to in the past, City Lights is the one. Though Chaplin played his Tramp character superbly in other movies, like Modern Times and The Gold Rush, City Lights displays the Tramp at his funniest, his bravest, his most romantic, and his most sympathetic. It's tough for filmmakers in recent days to bring the audience so close emotionally with the characters, but it's pulled off.

The film centers on three characters- the Tramp, the quintessential, funny homeless man who blends into the crowd, but gets caught in predicaments. He helps a drunken businessman (Myers, a fine performance in his own right) from suicide, and becomes his on and off again friend (that is, when it suits him and doesn't notice his 'friend's' state). The other person in the Tramp's life is the Blind Flower Girl (Virginia Cherrill, one of the most absorbing, beautiful, and key female performances in silent film), who are quite fond of each other despite the lack of total perception. The emotional centerpiece comes in obtaining rent and eye surgery money, which leads to a (how else can I put it) magical boxing match where it's basically a 180 from the brutality and viscerality of a match in say Raging Bull.

Though there is no dialog, the film achieves a timelessness- it's essentially a tale of two loners who find each other, lose each other, and find each other again (the last scene, widely discussed by critics for decades, is moving if not tear-inducing). And it's never, ever boring- once you get along with the Tramp, you find the little things about him, the reaction shots, the little things he does after the usual big gag (look to the ballroom scene for examples of this, or when he gets a bottle of wine poured down his pants without the other guy noticing). Truth be told, if this film makes you indifferent, never watch Chaplin again. But if you give yourself to the film, you may find it's one of the most charming from the era, or perhaps any era.
Ultimate Chaplin
(Do you really need to post a spoiler warning for a movie that as of tonight is 77 years old?)

I haven't read other reviews so forgive me if I repeat any previous postings. "City Lights" is, with nary a doubt, the greatest love story ever told. Forget "Casablanca". Forget "An Affair to Remember". Forget "Love Story". (For the love of Christ, forget "Love Story".) This is a movie about the purest love.

We have the simple, ubiquitous Tramp. He is smitten with a blind flower girl, who has mistaken him for a wealthy man. There is a new operation that "cures" blindness, and the Tramp will do anything to help Flower Girl regain her sight. He tries to win a boxing match in which he is clearly outclassed. In an era that is forgotten in modern times (pun gleefully intended), he cleans the streets of dung. (One of the best sight gags in screen history happens when the Tramp has to clean up after an elephant.) Finally he steals from a wealthy man to get the money he needs to pay for Flower Girl's operation.

And then, after he has spent many years in prison, the Tramp is reunited with Flower Girl.

My fellow males, this is a wonderful "Chick Flick." If your lady friend isn't reduced to tears by the last 4 minutes of this movie, you need to find a new lady. I've seen it a dozen times and it always gets to me.
Seventy years old and still a powerhouse
The infamous Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) befriends a sightless flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) and vows to cure her blindness. Every penny as poor as the girl is, he embarks on a series of misanthropic adventures that transport him from the center of a boxing ring to the house of an eccentric millionaire (Harry Myers), who shuns the Tramp when sober and treasures his company when drunk. All the while, the flower girl, unable to see his face, mistakes the Tramp for a rich philanthropist, unable to believe that one so destitute could care so deeply for the woes of another.

City Lights joins an embarrassingly long list of films that moved me to tears, though not, perhaps, for the typical reasons. On an absolute level, there's something profoundly touching in the Tramp's devotion to the blind girl, but I found myself even more caught up in what Chaplin seemed to be saying about class. That the rich characters are only capable of empathy when alcohol levels the playing field is only one part of the critique. That the Tramp exists in a moral vacuum, that the needs of others are a constant inspiration for everything he does, that his lack of attachments enables him to come to the rescue not only of the flower girl but of the millionaire himself, whose attempted suicide would have been successful if the Tramp hadn't intervened . . . these are just a few of the reasons for why Chaplin's hobo-protagonist is, ironically, the wealthiest character in the movie. Thematically speaking, it's a well-worn path (the charitable bum versus the miserly aristocrat) yet Chaplin attacks the subject in such a simple, exacting, and unobtrusive way that we forget we've encountered it before. We don't come away feeling like we've swallowed a sermon with characters attached to it. We feel like we've witnessed something fresh and new, something funny and tearful and void of baggage.

Rare is the movie that combines comedy and drama quite so fluently. While farcical sequences often distract from the film in question, Chaplin's slapstick actually underscores the drama, since the more ridiculous the Tramp's situation becomes, the more impressed we are at the lengths he'll go to in the service of his friend. And the performances in the final scene are about as good as any of seen, if only because they work with so little, and still say so much.
My first Charlie Chaplin film
This was my first Charlie Chaplin and first silent film. I wasn't sure what to expect and I was surprised that despite the lack of dialogue, it was easy to follow. The storyline wasn't particularly complicated or difficult to understand. The humour also worked well too. Charlie Chaplin is a great comedy performer and here his talents for physical comedy are showcased well.

That being said I did feel like the comedy was overdone at times. There were occasions where the same joke was repeated again and again and I got a little bored. I also didn't find the film entirely engaging. My interest did wander a little at times.

Read my full review here:
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