in about 100 words or less
USA 87m, silent (B&W)
Directed: Charlie Chaplin; Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers
City Lights is a comedic love story that has a dramatic undercurrent which comes to the surface in a wonderful final scene during which the “blind girl” recognizes Chaplin’s character with her own eyes. As was one of the last silent films produced in the early sound age, it did well to bridge the gap with synchronized sound effects, music and with some of the finest performances in film to that date. The production values in City Lights were first-rate, and while the camera work was simple, the story was engaging in its own right. While it’s difficult to argue with the success of Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” persona, I wonder how much better this movie would have been if he had dropped the “gag” character for something more realistic. City Lights set the standard for romantic comedies, and is one of the most honest and heartfelt silent films of all time (Klaus Ming December 2008).