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City Lights: The Chaplin Collection (Two-Disc Special Edition)

201 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Talkies were well entrenched when Charles Chaplin swam against the filmmaking tide with this forever classic that's silent except for music and sound effects. The story, involving the Tramp's attempts to get money for an operation that will restore sight to a blind flower girl, provides the star with an ideal framework for sentiment and laughs. The Tramp is variously a street sweeper, a boxer, a rich poseur, and a rescuer of a suicidal millionaire. His message is unspoken, but universally understood: love is blind

Special Features

  • Introduction by David Robinson, Chaplin biographer
  • 'Chaplin Today: City Lights,' Documentary by Serge Bromberg 'The Champion (1915),' excerpt Georgia Hale screen test: 'Gold Rush' actress who almost replaced Virginia Cherrill Rehearsal footage, outtakes, on-set footage of scene being shot Footage of Chaplin boxing with visiting prizefighters on the set Historical footage of Winston Churchill visit Footage shot on trip to Bali with brother Sydney 'Chaplin Speaks!' Chaplin speaks for the first time on film during a 1931 trip to Vienna Photo gallery, films posters, trailers, interactive menus, and scene access

Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers, Al Ernest Garcia
  • Directors: Charles Chaplin
  • Writers: Charles Chaplin, Harry Clive, Harry Crocker
  • Producers: Charles Chaplin
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Silent, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Warner Brothers
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00017LVN2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,605 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City Lights: The Chaplin Collection (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Hubert Vigilla on January 29, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Though some here and in other circles have remarked that they believe "City Lights" is overrated and over-sentimental, I still believe that one cannot deny how moving and beautiful the film becomes as it draws toward its conclusion. "City Lights" remains my favorite Chaplin movie with "Modern Times" coming in at a close second. Chaplin plays his classic Tramp character who falls for a blind flower girl and wants to help her earn money for an operation to cure blindness. The boxing scene in which the scrawny Chaplin takes on a seasoned prize fighter is the major comic highlight of the film featuring gags that have been imitated and recycled by countless other comedies. The finale is nothing short of touching, beautiful, and brilliant and shows perfectly the full emotion that can be conveyed in a silent picture. This is one of the few films that still, time and time again, can bring tears to my eyes. "City Lights" is a masterpiece.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Stresspuppy on February 16, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
a must for any movie collection. the dvd version is clean and provides two audio options, the original mono and a rich version re-recorded in stereo in 1989 for Chaplin's centennial. the stereo score adds quite a bit to the mood of the film.
of interest as well, is a brief collection of annotation/changes by Chaplin to the original concept of the film.
the movie itself is a great tribute to Chaplin's genius. there is the wonderful story line with great humorous moments like the 'audio' joke in the beginning, the whirlwind dance scene, the boxing match, then it ends... well, the end is acted simply but precisely and is compelling in its ambiguity. absolutely one of the greatest cinematic ending of all time.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2003
Format: DVD
A few years after the advent of "talkies", Charlie Chaplin, with his 1931 film *City Lights*, provided the much-needed reminder that cinema remained (remains) a VISUAL medium. Two people yapping at each other while sitting on a divan was simply not going to cut the mustard, a fact that a visionary like Chaplin saw from the beginning. Right at the outset he makes fun of the incessant jabber that had sprung up in the movies after the discovery of sound synchronization. In a public square, a politico squawks incoherently while dedicating a new statue. He sounds, in fact, rather like the teacher on the Peanuts Gang cartoons: "bwah bwah bwah". Later in the scene, Chaplin's Little Tramp squawks too . . . and that's the only concession to "talking" in *City Lights*. After that, it's back to basics, meaning: gags, drunken gags, slapstick gags in a boxing ring, and of course the vaunted Chaplinesque sentimentality, laid on thick here via a poor blind girl who sells flowers for a living. It can be argued that the gags and their set-ups might not be quite as inspired (or funny) as the ones in his earlier films. Chaplin was in his early forties here, and it shows: he's less physically agile; he looks a bit tired, occasionally (though not during that famous boxing scene). Even so, there's an almost defiant tinge to the stunts and the humor, an "I'm still here!" attitude that seems to say that even if the repertoire is getting tired, no one can do it better than the film's director and star. For me, what pushes the movie from 4 Stars to 5 Stars is the devastating and ambiguous last sequence, which will hit you in the solar plexus so hard that tears will be forced from your eyes. Somehow the astonishing climax rises above the typically sentimental set-up and attains the pinnacle of artistic sublimity. James Agee opined that the finale constituted the "highest moment in the history of the movies". He may be right.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Casey62 on November 12, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
When it comes to selecting a favorite among the sublime works of Charlie Chaplin, I can narrow it down to three features: THE GOLD RUSH (1925), CITY LIGHTS (1931), and MODERN TIMES (1936). Out of those, my favorite is whichever one I saw last, and for now the favor falls on CITY LIGHTS.

Released when talkies were already firmly grounded, Chaplin's last silent production was a staunch holdout in the face of the new technology and thankfully so, for CITY LIGHTS stands today as one of the most eloquent examples of pantomimed cinema ever made. The simple story about a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill in a beautiful performance) who falls in love with a tramp whom she mistakes for her benefactor, forms the backbone on which Chaplin constructs some of his funniest and most poignant moments. The film is both parts comedy and romance, and shows us most exquisitely that true love can indeed be blind.

Criterion's Blu-ray/DVD combo release of this ageless classic is glorious in image/audio quality. The film, scanned at 4K from two 35mm dupe negatives has never looked better, preserving a pleasing grain consistency and perfect tonal range. Details in textures and backgrounds are also flawlessly reproduced in HD. The audio is undistorted and completely hiss free; I especially like how dynamic the music sounds in the main title and boxing sequence.
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Any chance of City Lights being available at a lower price?
The latest price is about $39 for the DVD on Amazon. There is a region B blu-ray available at the UK Amazon, but it does not have the original score.
Feb 8, 2013 by Francis G. Lu |  See all 4 posts
Criterion blu-ray vs. Image DVD Be the first to reply
Purchase this DVD with original score! Be the first to reply
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