City Lights – Criterion [Blu-ray, DVD] (1931) *NEW*

City Lights – Criterion [Blu-ray, DVD] (1931) *NEW*


The most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times) 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.

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A hapless but resilient tramp (Charlie Chaplin) falls in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) on the tough city streets. Upon learning that she and her grandmother are to be evicted from their home, the tramp undertakes a series of attempts to provide them with the money they need, all of which end in humiliating failure. But after a drunken millionaire (Harry Myers) lavishly rewards him for saving his life, the tramp can change the flower girl's life forever.
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City Lights
Chaplin City Lights still.jpg

The Tramp and the Flower Girl
Directed by Charlie Chaplin
Produced by Charlie Chaplin
Written by Charlie Chaplin
Starring Charlie Chaplin
Virginia Cherrill
Florence Lee
Harry Myers
Al Ernest Garcia
Music by Charlie Chaplin
Flower Girl's theme by José PadillaOrchestrated by Arthur Johnston and Alfred Newman
Cinematography Roland Totheroh
Gordon Pollock
Edited by Charlie Chaplin
Willard Nico
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • January 30, 1931
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.5 million
Box office $5 million

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Weight 0.8 lbs
Dimensions 5.3 × 0.5 × 6.75 in


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– New, restored 4K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
– Chaplin Today: City Lights, a 2003 documentary on the film s production, featuring Aardman Animations co-founder Peter Lord
– Chaplin Studios: Creative Freedom by Design, a new interview program featuring visual effects expert Craig Barron
– Archival footage from the production of City Lights, including film from the set, with audio commentary by Chaplin historian Hooman Mehran; a costume test; a rehearsal; and a complete scene not used in the film
– Excerpt from Chaplin s short film The Champion (1915), along with footage of the director with boxing stars at Chaplin Studios in 1918
– Trailers
– PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins and a 1966 interview with Chaplin