City Lights [2 Discs] [DVD] [1931]

This comedy, both hilarious and poignant, is widely regarded as Charles Chaplin's masterpiece, and this DVD release treats the screen classic with the respect it deserves. City Lights has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The accompanying musical score appears in its original version in Dolby Digital Mono, as well as in remixed form for Dolby Digital 5.1. The film's title cards are in English, with optional subtitles in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai. A wealth of bonus material has been included for this release, including an introduction from Chaplin biographer David Robinson, a short documentary on the making and significance of the film, a screen test for actress Georgia Hale, outtakes and rehearsal footage, newsreels documenting visits to the set by Winston Churchill and several champion boxers, home movies of Chaplin's visit to Bali with his brother Sydney Chaplin, rare newsreel footage of an 1931 interview with Chaplin in Vienna, a clip from the film The Champion, and a gallery of still photos and promotional artwork.
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Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.75 out of 5 stars.
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

Special Features

  • All-new digital transfer from Chaplin family vault picture and audio elements
  • Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as original Mono
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene access
  • Subtitles: English, Français, Español, Português, Chinese, Thai & Korean
  • Introduction by David Robinson - Chaplin's biographer discusses the historical and cinematic context of the film
  • Chaplin Today: City Lights - documentary by Serge Bromberg with the participation of the animation artist and director Peter Lord
  • Outtake - Charlie tries to disengage a sliver of wood stuck in a sidewalk grating
  • The Champion (1915) excerpt - Charlie stages a balletic boxing match, 15 years before City Lights
  • Shooting - on the set of the famous scene in which Charlie and the flower girl first meet, filmed by Ralph Barton
  • Georgia Hale screen test - the screen test made by the actress of The Gold Rush when Chaplin thought of replacing Virginia Cherrill as the flower girl
  • The dream prince - a discarded idea for how the flower girl imagines her benefactor
  • Rehearsal - Chaplin works out the staging of a complicated scene
  • Chaplin and boxing stars - Chaplin playfully boxes with professional prizefighters visiting his studios
  • Winston Churchill's visit - Britain's future prime minister visits Chaplin during the shooting of City Lights
  • Chaplin speaks! - in 1931 Vienna during his triumphant European tour, Chaplin speaks for the first time on film
  • Trip to Bali - footage shot when Charlie and Sydney Chaplin visited Bali in 1932
  • Photo gallery - photos of the production and of the actors
  • Film posters
  • Trailers
  • The Chaplin Collection
  • Closed Captioned


City Lights
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 suicide. When drunk, the millionaire expansively treats the tramp as a friend and equal; when sober, he doesn't even recognize him. The two plots come together when the tramp attempts to raise enough money for the blind girl to have an eye operation. Highlights include an extended boxing sequence pitting scrawny Chaplin against muscle-bound Hank Mann, and the poignant final scene in which the now-sighted flower girl sees her impoverished benefactor for the first time. Chaplin's decision to release the silent City Lights three years into the talkie era was partially vindicated when more than one critic singled out this "comedy in pantomime" as the best picture of 1931. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Charles Chaplin
    Charles Chaplin - The Tramp
  • Virginia Cherrill
    Virginia Cherrill - The Blind Girl
  • Harry Myers
    Harry Myers - The Millionaire
  • Image coming soon
    Allan Garcia - The Millionaire's Butler
  • Image coming soon
    Hank Mann - The Boxer

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