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City Lights (1931)

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director:

Charles Chaplin

Writer:

Charles Chaplin
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Popularity
4,416 ( 171)
Top Rated Movies #34 | 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Cherrill ... A Blind Girl
Florence Lee Florence Lee ... The Blind Girl's Grandmother
Harry Myers ... An Eccentric Millionaire
Al Ernest Garcia ... James - the Millionaire's Butler (as Allan Garcia)
Hank Mann ... A Prizefighter
Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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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. Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1931 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Luces de la ciudad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,181, 6 July 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For a subplot, Charles Chaplin first considered a character even lower on the social scale, a black newsboy. The millionaire plot was based on an old idea Chaplin had for a short, where two millionaires pick up the Little Tramp from the city dump and show him a good time in expensive clubs, and then drop him back off at the dump, so when he woke up the Tramp would not know if it was real or a dream. This was rewritten into a millionaire who is a friend of the Tramp when drunk, but does not recognize him when sober. See more »

Goofs

(at around 39 mins) When the Tramp accidentally swallows the whistle, his real eyebrows are visible beneath his fake ones. This was done intentionally to give him a lopsided, intoxicated facial expression. See more »

Quotes

The Tramp: Tomorrow the birds will sing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

About seven minutes of footage of Georgia Hale playing the flower girl exists and is included in the 2003 DVD release. The footage was shot during a brief period when the actress originally cast to play the character had been fired and replaced with Hale, but Chaplin was forced to resume filming with the original actress due to the amount of film already shot. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Kevin Bishop Show: Episode #1.4 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Orientale
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Chaplin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A one-man virtuoso performance …
19 April 2008 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Once again Chaplin plays his famous creation, the beloved Tramp… The noble Little Fellow meets and falls in love with a blind flower girl… She assumes he is wealthy man and offers him a flower, which he attentively accepts with his last penny…

One night by chance he rescues a drunken millionaire from drowning… The rich gentleman becomes a generous friend when drunk but doesn't recognize the tramp when sober… Chaplin takes the blind girl under his wing, and takes flight with the millionaire's money to cure her blindness…

"City Lights" engaged a true genius in a graceful and touching performance which arouses profound feelings and joy with great simplicity of style and tragic tale… Each scene was the result of hard-working detail and planning…


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