City Lights (1931) - Rotten Tomatoes

City Lights (1931)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A homeless tramp befriends a lovely blind flower seller and convinces her he is a millionaire while he secretly labors to pay for the restoration of her sight. One of Charlie Chaplin's masterpieces, this hilarious and heart-rending film was made and released as a silent with music track in the post-talkie era.more
Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Chaplin, Harry Crocker, Henry Bergman, Albert Austin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 8, 2000
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Charles Chaplin
as Little Tramp
Harry Myers
as Millionaire
Florence Lee
as Grandmother
Hank Mann
as Prizefighter
Albert Austin
as Street Cleaner
Jean Harlow
as An Extra
John Rand
as Tramp
Jack Sutherland
as Party Guest
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for City Lights

Critic Reviews for City Lights

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (12)

"City Lights" is excruciatingly funny and terribly, terribly sad. It makes you chuckle hysterically. You have the greatest time imaginable, and yet, occasionally you find little hurty lumps in your throat.

Full Review… | January 29, 2016
New York Daily News
Top Critic

That final scene. Last week, CNN asked -- in "The Screening Room's Top 10 Romantic Moments" -- whether this was the most touching film moment of all time. Could be. Either way, if it doesn't move you, you're beyond human reach.

Full Review… | March 4, 2008
Top Critic

With its themes of selflessness and grace, as well as its graceful intertwining of comedy and pathos, this is a fine time for a revisit.

Full Review… | January 4, 2008
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Is this film still funny after 76 years? I think and hope it is.

Full Review… | December 19, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

The British comic is still the consummate pantomimist, unquestionably one of the greatest the stage or screen has ever known.

Full Review… | June 27, 2007
Top Critic

A beautiful example of Chaplin's ability to turn narrative fragments into emotional wholes. The two halves of the film are sentiment and slapstick. They are not blended but woven into a pattern as eccentric as it is sublime.

Full Review… | June 27, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for City Lights


Chaplin's first sound film (but still with no voices, for he wanted it to be a universal tale) was this wonderful and funny movie of transition from the silents to the talkies, structured as a series of fantastic sketch-like scenes and with an incredibly moving, unforgettable last scene.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


Lovely film, the ending is a killer.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Ahh, Chaplin. Your charm is unequivocally attractive. There's a flow -- a dance I would say -- to your performance. "City Lights" is an absolutely entertaining silent picture that exudes a universal charm, all cultures, ages, and generations are able to be involved with.

Chaplin is a master entertainer. As the lead actor and director of "City Lights", everything, down to the slapstick comedy, or the quiet and delicate dramatic moments, "City Lights" is a blast. In an era where Slapstick comedy has worn out, "City Lights" revives it despite being one of the first of the genre. In an era where drama is delivered with heart-tugging dialogue that is bolstered with convincing emotional expressions, "City Lights" delivers simply through great acting capability. Yes, it takes a lot of coals to get "City Lights" running from the opening chapter, but at the end of the day, the "city lights" light up brightly and doesn't cease until the end. This film is an immaculate, timeless, silent movie masterpiece that is surprisingly engaging throughout.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

City Lights Quotes

The Tramp: tomorrow the birds will sing.
– Submitted by Ridho A (3 years ago)
The Tramp: You can see now?
The Blind Girl: Yes, I can see now.
– Submitted by Ridho A (3 years ago)
The Millionaire: Tell him I'm out!
– Submitted by Matthew D (3 years ago)
The Blind Girl: Flowers?
– Submitted by Matthew D (3 years ago)

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