City Lights

Rated G 86 minutes 1931

Chaplin was never too strong on plot structure—his movies would wander all over the place, lingering here and lingering there—but more often than not he got something better than traditional dramatic unity. City Lights (1931), which wanders between episodes involving Charlie's love for a blind flower girl and his friendship with a drunken millionaire who doesn't know him when he's sober, is a beautiful example of Chaplin's ability to turn narrative fragments into emotional wholes. The two halves of the film are sentiment and slapstick. They are not blended but woven into a pattern as eccentric as it is sublime. With Virginia Cherrill.

Film Credits

Director: Charles Chaplin

Writer: Charles Chaplin

Producer: Charles Chaplin

Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers, Hank Mann, Allan Garcia, Florence Lee, Henry Bergman, Albert Austin, John Rand, James Donnelly, Robert Parish, Stanhope Wheatcroft and Jean Harlow

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