City Lights
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Charles Chaplin was deep into production of his silent City Lights when Hollywood was overwhelmed by the talkie revolution. After months of anguished contemplation, Chaplin decided to finish the film as it began--in silence, save for a musical score and an occasional sound effect. Once again cast as the Little Tramp, Chaplin makes the acquaintance of a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill), who through a series of coincidences has gotten the impression that the shabby tramp is a millionaire. A second storyline begins when the tramp rescues a genuine millionaire (Harry Myers) from committing… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"That final scene. Last week, CNN asked -- in "The Screening Room's Top 10 Romantic Moments" -- whether this was the most touching film moment of all time. Could be. Either way, if it doesn't move you, you're beyond human reach."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Is this film still funny after 76 years? I think and hope it is."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"No filmmaker has ever been as successful as Chaplin in tugging at our heartstrings while simultaneously leaving us helpless in laughter, and this gem finds him operating at the peak of his abilities, even throwing his usual social critique into the mix."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"City Lights gets to the heart of the Tramp. It is a beautiful romance about loving someone for who they are and not their social or economic status - and it features one of the most tear inducing and iconic endings in Hollywood history."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"An enduring masterpiece."
‑ , Film4
"Only someone with slow-drying cement in their veins wouldn't be moved."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"The British comic is still the consummate pantomimist, unquestionably one of the greatest the stage or screen has ever known."
‑ Sid Silverman, Variety
"There's dignity and folly to The Tramp in City Lights, and everything in between."
‑ Scott Tobias, The Dissolve
"A screen gem. Youngsters and up."
‑ Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
‑ Cole Smithey,
"With its themes of selflessness and grace, as well as its graceful intertwining of comedy and pathos, this is a fine time for a revisit."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"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."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Chaplin's growing seriousness, his desire to be more than a mere comedian have deceived him into holding sentiment more precious than fun."
‑ Alexander Bakshy, The Nation
"This is one of those rare creatures, the work of a master craftsman in full control of his craft."
‑ Dan Jardine, Slant Magazine
"City Lights is a great gift to all of us by a filmmaker at a latter-day peak of his genius"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
More reviews for City Lights on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This

The Artist
The Artist (2011)
Modern Times
Modern Times (1936)
Limelight (1952)
The Gold Rush