Saturday, August 3, 2013

City Lights: The Greatest Achievement for Chaplin

I have edited the movie, City lights, made in 1931, down to only the first and last scenes.  You must see the entire movie as it is heralded as his best work. It was made four years after talkies made their appearance on the movie scene and critics said Chaplin was crazy to make another silent movie.  He knew better and swore that the Tramp would never talk or the magic would be gone.  The movie was a smash hit.

The movie is basically about the Tramp meeting a blind girl, selling flowers on a street corner, who mistakes him for a rich man.  After the meeting, he spends 9 months working to raise enough money for her rent and to pay for an operation that will restore her sight. After her sight is restored, she sees him on the street and thinks he is just another bum.  In a scene that is, quite frankly, the finest bit of acting and conveyance of emotion ever put on screen, either in a silent film or talkie, she discovers that her savior is, in fact, the Tramp and not a rich man at all.

Click the link below to see this much shortened version of a full feature film.  The comedy between the beginning and ending scenes is some of the best ever filmed and must be seen to appreciate the genius that was Charlie Chaplin.  There were other funny and talented silent era comedians like Lloyd and Keaton, but none had the pathos of Chaplin where a laugh and a tear were so expertly combined.

City Lights Redux

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