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Download City Lights 1931 Movie Legally
Drama, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
Charles Chaplin


          City Lights IMDb    City Lights Wikipedia    City Lights Soundtrack

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.
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HQ DVD-rip 720x480 px 1180 Mb mpeg4 1753 Kbps avi Download
DVD-rip 576x416 px 701 Mb h264 1184 Kbps avi Download
City Lights Themes and Thoughtrs
City Lights is a different film from what I am used to seeing. I have not watched a Silent film or pantomime in a few years. I really enjoyed the story that Charles Chaplin helped to create and produce for our enjoyment. The plot seems to be commonly used now, with a boy falling in love and trying to win the girl's love in return. In City Lights, there are a few twists to the plot. The girl is blind and poor, the Tramp—Chaplin—is poor, in love, and wants to help the blind girl. The Millionaire can help the tramp out by giving him money, but he is an on-again, off-again friend depending on whether or not he is drunk.

Being that this is a silent film, there is more importance on the use of props and the acting of the character. Since in a silent film they can't tell us how they are feeling, it is important that we can understand feelings through action. This may be through facial expressions, body language, dress, eye contact, kinds of touch, or the use of written statements, like title cards in a silent film. A prop that stood out to me was the use of flowers. From the flower girl selling her flowers, to how Chaplin was always holding or smelling one of the flowers from his special girl, the use of flowers helped show the emotions and feelings of the two characters. It symbolized the affection he had for her, because like the flowers she couldn't see, she couldn't see the true him or his true affections. Another prop that was used was money. From the millionaire's point of view, money was really of no matter. He threw a party just because he had been reunited with his friend, he went out to the dance club, and when Chaplin needed money in order to help the flower girl pay for rent and surgery he was willing to give him one thousand dollars. To the millionaire this money is nothing, but to Chaplin and the flower girl this is a showing forth of love and charity. When the movie was made in the 1930s, many people were poor and hopeless, but the portrayal of Chaplin as a poor but happy and hopeful man might have given hope to others who watched this movie during the Depression.

In the film I noticed the use of a repetition, or rather a parallelism, as was read in the Film Art book dealing with The Wizard of Oz. They show shots one way in Kansas and then reverse the shot in Oz, as I saw in City Lights. In City Lights, parallelism is done with sight, not necessarily with eyes, but with the mind. We see the reverse where the poor blind girl "sees" Chaplin as a millionaire, and then at the end, she sees him as the tramp he is with her new eyesight. The true reverse is emphasized because she is now working in a shop and making money. The two characters are somehow always at perceived opposite ends of the social class spectrum, yet he still has a desire for her to be happy because of his love. Another reverse is the happy friendly drunk millionaire who sees Chaplin as his friend and hero for stopping him from committing suicide. However, when he is sober he wants nothing to do with him, throws him out and even has him arrested.

In a way, this film is different then what our generation might be used to, but by watching these "classics" we can better learn where the movies we love today came from and gain a better appreciation for the art of film.
Chaplin at his finest!
I have loved Chaplin's work since childhood, and through the years have grown to appreciate his art and talent more and more. The plot is simple: the tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl, played by Virgnina Cherrill, and goes to great (and humorous) lengths to raise money for a surgery that is to restore her sight. This is the classic Tramp character at his finest. In City Lights, Chaplin brings such depth to the character, but never fails to amaze with his brilliant comic talent. Cherrill also does a magnificent job; it's almost as though she was really blind, without a hint of even seeing her surroundings.

This film was rated as one of the top 100 films of all time (AFI, 1998), within the top 20. At the time of production, nearly all filmmakers turned to films with sound. But of course Chaplin did not cave in, and produced a fantastic silent film, at a time when adding sound was all the rage. Thank goodness for that!

I recommend City Lights to absolutely anyone- it never fails to amaze.
Quintessentially Chaplin's Little Tramp
"City Lights" came out 3 years after the "talkies" took over -- which Chaplin didn't like, he much preferred silent films and his style of physical, visual comedy (and no wonder, he was a genius at it). "CL" takes a few shots at the talkies, as in speeches by politicians in which -- instead of spoken words, the sounds that match their speaking are much like kazoos imitating speech intonations, inflections. "CL" was snubbed by the Oscars committee possibly for this attitude but, since then, "CL" is widely considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time. It's on Ebert's Great Films list; it's #70 on IMDb's list of all time 250 greatest movies; AFI (American Film Institute) ranks it #1 among romantic comedies.

"CL" gives us the essential, iconic Little Tramp and a large heaping of Chaplin's gifts for physical comedy -- scenes of him impaling his pants on a statue's sword, as a street sweeper trying to avoid picking up after a group of horses only to run into an elephant, his boxing scene, getting in and out of cars, dance parties, etc.

It also gives us the poignancy that Chaplin's Little Tramp specialized in, probably more than any other movie he made. The LT is attracted to a blind flower girl (roughly 20? 23? years old) and, after determining that she's blind, resolves to help her. She thinks he's wealthy and the LT doesn't correct this misbelief.

The LT also runs into an alcoholic, suicidal millionaire and prevents him from committing suicide several times. Whenever he's drunk, this A$M calls the LT his best friend but, whenever he's sober, he has no memory of their relationship and orders him away from him.

So there are two central characters in the movie -- each blind in their own ways to the LT -- the girl recognizes his true compassion but not his lack of wealth or low status. The A$M recognizes the LT's value and compassion only when he's drunk, never when sober. A couple young newspaper boys never recognize his value and try to torment him whenever they see him.

The LT sees a newspaper article about a surgeon in Europe who's able to restore sight to those with the blind girl's condition. The LT, after many failed attempts, is finally able to get and give her the money to have the operation that restores her sight.

The final scene in the movie -- in which she, with her vision restored doesn't recognize the LT by sight but does so by feeling his hand -- has often been described as one of the most moving in all film history.

BTW, Chaplin also composed all the music for the film including the song, "Who will buy my pretty violets?", the theme played when the blind flower girl was on screen. Chaplin couldn't read or write music but he was an accomplished amateur pianist and violinist. He employed a musician to listen to his playing and transcribe it into musical notation.
City Lights
Sound was quickly taking over the film industry, and there was a lot of worry as to whether the star of such great silent classics like The Gold Rush and Modern Times could still make people sit through it, of course the answer was yes. Basically the Tramp (Sir Charlie Chaplin, also directing), broke and homeless, stops a drunk and Eccentric Millionaire (Harry Myers) committing suicide, and they become friends, well, at least until he sobers up. The two of them go drinking and partying together, the Millionaire even gives the Tramp his Rolls Royce, and one day walking the streets he meets a poor blind Flower Girl (Virginia Cherrill), and she believes him to be a millionaire, so he just goes along with this. To earn some money and help out his new love interest pay her overdue rent money, or face eviction from her apartment, the Tramp gets a job sweeping the streets, which he quickly loses. He is then approached by a man who offers him a high sum if he can beat another man in a boxing match, which of course the Tramp fails to win, and it looks like the poor Girl is to be evicted. However, the Tramp meets up with the Millionaire who cheerfully gives him a $1000, which can pay for both the rent, and an advertised eye operation for the Girl to gain her sight back. He is accused of stealing this money from the Millionaire and goes to jail, and months later when he released he searches for the Girl, who is looking for the Millioanire who has been so good to her. In the end the pair find each other, the Girl with her eye sight restored runs a flower shop with her Grandmother (Florence Lee), and seeing him she knows the Tramp isn't rich, but it doesn't matter, it is a happy ending as they both hold back tears. Also starring Allan 'Al' Ernest Garcia as the Butler and Hank Mann as A Prizefighter. Chaplin is still wonderful as the lovable Tramp with his slapstick comedy moments, great facial expressions and the famous waddle walk, and Cherrill makes a marvellous love interest. It is a beautifully told story with both very funny moments, but also surprisingly emotional scenes involving the tragic blindness using depths of pathos, a magnificent silent comedy romance. Sir Charlie Chaplin was number 50 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, he was number 24 on The 50 Greatest British Actors, he was number 10 on 100 Years, 100 Stars - Men, he was number 38 on The World's Greatest Actor, and he was number 67 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, the film was number 76 on 100 Years, 100 Movies, it was number 38 on 100 Years, 100 Laughs, and it was number 10 on 100 Years, 100 Passions. Very good!
No one can fail to see just how inspiring and uplifting "City Lights" is
For centuries, we've been living in a world that mostly consists of people trying to fend for themselves and obtain whatever necessary resources they can in order to survive. This mindset of how the world works results in the rich being prosperous and entitled while the poor are miserable and shunned. In short, various developments (whether it's the invention of new technologies or events that make us question the unity of humanity) have made us more selfish and isolated from one another. I'm saying this since I believe the primary reason that silent film legend Charlie Chaplin had a lasting impact is because while he confirms that we live in this kind of world, he pulls off something in his films that's very difficult to do. He somehow reassures us that everything will be okay no matter how hard you fall and that there are still people out there who help out other people. And very few films of Chaplin's have proved this more effectively than his 1931 silent masterpiece, "City Lights".

This silent romantic comedy follows Chaplin's famous Tramp character as he meets a pretty but blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) who mistakes him for a millionaire. That night, the Tramp also meets a drunken millionaire (Harry Myers) and saves him from suicide. As a way of thanking the Tramp for saving him from himself, this millionaire immediately considers him a friend and welcomes the Tramp to his mansion. After they go for a chaotic night on the town, the millionaire sobers up the next day unable to recognize the Tramp in the slightest and kicks him out. So, the Tramp runs into the blind flower girl again and starts initiating a special relationship with her. He also runs into the same millionaire a second time and in his drunken state invites him back to his mansion. From there, certain events eventually ensue in which the Tramp does whatever he can to help pay for the blind girl's eye operation by taking advantage of his unusual friendship with this millionaire.

To write, direct or star in a film with or without sound is one thing. But to write, direct AND star in a film that is technically silent yet has a few bits of sound and a musical score is another thing. With "City Lights", Charlie Chaplin had successfully pulled off an intensely strenuous task. On top of the fact that he decided to make a silent picture in the midst of the "talking pictures" becoming the talk of the town, he had to write, direct AND act in this film. Anyone can tell you that it's a monumental responsibility to pull off all three of these tasks and still produce a high quality film. And the reason that Chaplin had rightfully become a major influence on the film industry isn't just because he's written, directed and starred in excellent pictures, but because these pictures are still being enjoyed by modern audiences today even if they are silent. That's the true sign of a timeless piece of filmmaking.

What I particularly loved about "City Lights", as well as with "Modern Times" (1936), is that its direction is emotionally equivalent to an efficient and smooth roller coaster ride. In other words, Chaplin does a fantastic job at switching back and forth between comedic and dramatic moments seamlessly. One moment you're genuinely laughing at the trouble that the Tramp gets into, the other moment you're feeling pity for the troubles he's experiencing. One moment you feel like your hopes are crushed and nothing's going to be okay, the other you feel like all hope is restored and everything will turn out fine. The bottom line is that this is the kind of experience you can expect from "City Lights" throughout.

An example of a scene that demonstrates this emotional experience in action is the boxing scene. The scenario is this. The Tramp has to fight in a "fake" boxing match to win money that will help with the blind girl's financial troubles. A fellow boxer agrees to split the prize 50- 50, so that they both technically would win. Unfortunately, this boxer has to bail out of the match since the police are on to him and the boxer that the Tramp has to contend with now says that the "winner takes all". And throughout the match, the Tramp uses a hilarious strategy to try and win the match by hiding behind the referee as much as he can. I won't reveal anything else at this point to those who haven't seen the film yet and want to. All I can say is that this entire scene is representative of the film as a whole: a film that walks steadily on a fine line between comedy and drama and pulls it off perfectly.

What's even more admirable is that it's all done solely through visuals and background music. Seeing that this is a silent film, it makes sense to incorporate some over exaggerated actions namely Chaplin's clumsiness in the restaurant with the millionaire. Like animated films, silent pictures depend heavily on their visuals in able to help the film express itself more strongly since of course there's no sound to assist the visuals. And most of the time, the only way it can pull off such a thing is by over exaggerating certain actions. By doing so, we can get more of an idea visually of what our main character is experiencing and therefore be able to relate to him more. And Chaplin hits just the right note as far as that's concerned.

Chaplin's silent pictures, especially "City Lights", have lasted more than any other films from the silent era and for good reason. Their stories about persevering to the best of your ability no matter what harsh circumstances you're under have been nothing short of inspiring and uplifting. And no one can fail at seeing that.
"Tomorrow the birds will sing"
The victory of the sound picture over the silent was a speedy and decisive one. The first full-length talkies were released in 1928. By 1929 theatres were being forced to convert to sound in order to stay in business. By 1930 silent film production by the major studios was completely discontinued and the medium became generally viewed as an anachronism. But in 1931 a new silent picture was released that, far from being an embarrassing failure, became the fourth-highest grossing picture of the year, being even more popular than such classics as the Bela Lugosi Dracula and The Public Enemy. The picture was City Lights and its producer, writer, director, editor, composer and star was Mr Charlie Chaplin.

Chaplin was of course primarily a comedian, and his humour was of broad appeal, but audiences of the time were not exactly starved of easy comedy. The Marx Brothers were making great strides on the verbal quipping front, and the ever-popular Laurel and Hardy had made a successful transition to sound. What makes Charlie stand out, and what gave him a level of accessibility that allowed him to continue with his slapstick antics well into the sound era, is his equal devotion to story which allowed him a scope for social commentary, empathetic characterisation and deep poignancy. Of all Chaplin's silent pictures, City Lights is probably his least memorable in the funny stakes. The number of classic gags here is fairly small. Not since The Kid a decade earlier has Chaplin given story so much precedence. City Lights is riddled with coincidence and plot contrivance, but it's a tale of such beauty and sincerity that this does not matter. Within this story, the comedy becomes functional, often serving to puncture a schmaltzy moment before it becomes overdone. Ironically it is the occasional forays into slapstick that help keep City Lights real.

As if to snub the talkie, City Lights is a remarkable achievement in complex visual narrative, even only occasionally relying upon title cards and then often only as an embellishment to the more comedy-driven moments. Most plot points and character traits are implied rather than stated, which gives the picture a continual smoothness – another thing that would have gone down well with audiences glad to see the back of the intrusive title card. Out of necessity Chaplin's technical approach is more overt than his usual. He often cuts to a close-up to give us a necessary reaction, and there are even some whip-pans in the scene where he and the flower girl first meet, but all of this is in keeping with the rhythm and tone of the picture. Those whip pans after all reflect an abrupt emotional moment, and are in no way a blatant or showy manoeuvre.

But what really makes City Lights work, what makes it connect, is the man himself on the screen. Those additional close-ups, once a rarity for a man who acted mainly with his body, now show off a capability for intense facial acting. An older, more meditative Chaplin may have been keeping the traditions of silent cinema alive, but his own career trajectory was entering new ground, where emotional expression was increasingly intimate and personal. The result is profoundly moving.
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".
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.
Both Hilarious and Touching
One of my biggest movie-related regrets that I hadn't seen a single Charlie Chaplin film. The director and actor has received massive acclaim, and is still considered today to be one of the world's greatest directors. And yet, I had not seen any of his films. In fact, I had seen relatively few silent films at all. However, if Chaplin's other work is even nearly as good as City Lights, I will not hesitate to see his many other films.

Often considered one of Chaplin's best films, City Lights is the story of a young tramp (portrayed by Charlie Chaplin), who befriends a drunk millionaire. The tramp uses resources provided by the millionaire to give gifts to a young, blind girl, whom the tramp has fallen in love with. Things are a bit complicated, though, as when the millionaire is sober, he does not remember ever befriending the tramp.

Due to my limited exposure to films of this era, this review may seem a bit more pointed towards the art of silent film in general, as opposed to this specific film.

At times, City Lights plays like a big cartoon. Slap stick and quirky situations saturate this film, insuring that there is never a dull moment. This is not sophisticated comedy, and it does not take a sophisticated mind to enjoy. In fact, this is likely one of the reasons for City Light's success; it's accessibility.

Chaplin arranges a large number of very elaborate humorous sketches. A masterpiece in comic timing, City Lights is an absolute delight to watch. There are dozens of memorable scenes. If you're not smiling at any given point during the film, you're probably laughing.

Actually, I take back what I just said. For even though City Lights is a comedy, it's also a romance. Very touching, and even tear-jerking at times, City Lights proves that it's just as effective as pulling heart strings as it is at tickling funny bones.

The romance succeeds for a number of reasons. For one, we feel invested in the characters and their story. The film is only 82 minutes, which doesn't leave much time for the characters to be developed, and because City Lights is a silent film, only important lines are shown as subtitles. Everything else is silent. And yet, the characters are defined and layered, some more subtly than others.

The romance also works due to the excellent acting. Charlie Chaplin quite literally makes this movie. His both hilarious and touching performance as the tramp is sincere and humorous. Virginia Cherrill portraying the blind girl is another great performance, and Harry Myers effectively portrays the eccentric millionaire.

I also believe the romance actually benefits from not having dialogue. I say this dialogue is the number one thing that kills a good romance in a film. You could have the best actors and actresses in the world, but with bad dialogue, comes bad romance. By eliminating dialogue, City Lights also eliminates this common issue in modern film that's not just limited to romantic flicks.

The score (also composed by Charlie Chaplin, as well as Arthur Johnston) is delightful. Boasting a large number of catchy and clever tunes, the score is both diverse and entertaining. Music has a much more important role in silent films than in today's "talkies," but Chaplin and Johnston have no problem here.

Not all the sketches work as well as others, and the heavy slapstick may not meet everyone's tastes, but City Lights is a brilliant film that succeeds on both an emotional level, and a comedic one. Funnier and touching than most of today's films, City Lights isn't perfection, nor is it without flaw, but the sincerity and simplicity in which the story is presented is simply beautiful. I look forward to watching more of Chaplin's films in the near future.
The best silent film out there
You're probably deciding to watch this because it's in the Top 250 movies of all time. Let me tell you that it totally deserves its spot at #25 for Top Rated English Movies. I'm not a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin or silent movies in general, but this one surprised me. It was funny, but yet had a serious tone at the same time. My only wish is that the ending would've had more to it. It wasn't a bad ending by any means, I think it's just me wanting to see more since the movie was so good. Just do yourself a favor and watch it already!
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