Throwback Thursday: 'City Lights' Review

By Aidan Healy | 1 Comment | Published 6 years ago
Throwback Thursday: 'City Lights' Review

I have a confession to make; I have a bit of a fascination with Charles Chaplin. I’ve read up on him, even watched Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Chaplin (1992)’. And even now, the man is still a bit of enigma. Both on and off stage, the man is very warm and hilarious, but there is also always a hidden sadness in his eyes. Nevertheless, that just may be what makes The Tramp so riveting to watch. And so for today’s Throwback Thursday review, we’re throwing it back all the way to the 1930’s to Charlie Chaplin’s classic, ‘City Lights (1931)’.

The film tells the story of a tramp who falls in love with a blind girl who sells flowers to him. During his journey for love, the Tramp has an on-and-off friendship with a local eccentric millionaire; and so when the blind girl believes the Tramo to be rich as well, he must keep the illusion going whilst promising to help her pay her and her grandmother’s rent. If I had two words to describe this film, they would be hilarious and romantic. This very well may be one of, if not the first, romantic comedies of all time. And boy did they come out the gates swinging. Chaplin is a genius at staging comedy, in which the longer one of his physical gags goes on, the more you are moved to laughter. The boxing scene in particular builds beautifully to where I surprised myself with how much I was laughing.

'City Lights' Review

Meanwhile Chaplin also exceeds in a love story that sweeps you off your feet. Your smiling from ear-to-ear whenever he and Virginia Cherrill are on screen, because you just feel how lucky they are to have each other. And though the film is silent, the use of captions used amongst the action is used sparingly and only when most needed. Though no dialogue is said, you are unbelievably connected to these characters. And, I must admit, I did have a bit of a tear in my eye by the end.

In all honesty, if you have the attention span for a black-and-white film with no dialogue, this is a classic that I believe everyone should see. It’s a beautiful romantic comedy that feels so unconventional whilst creating clichés to come. I am going to give it a ‘10 out of 10’. So what do you guys think? Do you want to see this movie now? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: Reviews, Movies, throwback thursday

About The Author

I am a musical theatre student at an arts school and an aspiring film journalist.

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  • Chris

    I haven't seen this one. But I clearly need to check it out.