the fresh films reviews

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City Lights (1931)

Directed by:
Charles Chaplin
COUNTRY
USA
Genre
Comedy
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Byens lys

RUNNING TIME
86 minutes

Produced by:
Charles Chaplin
Written by:
Charles Chaplin


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
The Tramp Charles Chaplin
The Blind Girl Virginia Cherrill
The Millionaire Harry Myers
The Boxer Hank Mann -

 

Review

City Lights was Chaplin at his most romantic, and the film has a reputation as perhaps his best, which isn't quite deserved according to this reviewer. Still, the picture boasts abundances of wonderful scenes, not least the unforgettable boxing segment and the many interactions between Chaplin's The Tramp character and the blind girl, played by Virginia Cherrill. The idea that the millionaire (Harry Myers) always recognizes the tramp when he's drunk but not when he's sober, is both hilarious and ingenious, and thanks to a fine build-up and execution, this relation stands as the film's best asset. City Lights is first and foremost a love story, much more so than most of Chaplin's other films. And even though his trademark physical/slapstick comedy is well represented, this entry isn't quite as striking as the brilliantly satirical and timeless Modern Times released five years later.

Copyright 27.03.1998 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
(English version: 26.10.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang)