Review: City Lights (1931)

City Lights
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherill and Florence Lee
Genre: Silent Comedy
Released: January 30 1931
by United Artists
Running time: 87 minutes (1 hour, 27 minutes)
Cert: U (BBFC) G (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer

A tramp falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. Her family is in financial trouble. The tramp’s on-and-off friendship with a wealthy man allows him to be the girl’s benefactor and suitor.

I’ve been wanting to check out Chaplin’s movies for a long time, but I’d been put off by the most obvious thing about the majority of his movies: they’re silent. But, I found a two-disc copy of City Lights in my local second-hand shop for £1.50 and gave it a go!

If I could sum up the plot of City Lights in one adjective, it would be cute. The story is so adorable that it is like a fairy-tale in its own unique way. All the way through I was routing for the Tramp to get the Blind Girl. I loved the slapstick humour, the romance and the heart of the story, which is told fantastically by the cast.

I love how the none of the characters have names, it really shows how the story can take place anywhere. It also gives the audience the ability to identify themselves with the characters. The Tramp has joined my favourite movie characters, I loved Chaplin’s performance, it was just too cute.

Because there is no dialogue in this movie, there is only music and sound effects. The sound effects are quite simple, including whistles, cymbals and a kazoo. The music is enjoyable and really captures the emotion in the scenes.

I adored this movie, is was just so cute. I loved the humour, the heart and the romance and the fact that there is no speech emphasises it.

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