The Janus Collection
dir. Charlie Chaplin, United States, 1931, DCP, b/w, 86 min.
City Lights, the most
cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle.
The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy
and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for
a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia
Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash
was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for
the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his
art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.