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Limelight

Limelight (1952)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 6,959

My Rating

Movie Info

London, 1914. Calvero (Charles Chaplin), a once-great music hall comedian, weaves drunkenly home to his shabby flat. As he arrives home, he is suddenly sobered by a bad smell. It isn't his shoes, as he originally assumes, but the smell of gas, emanating from behind a locked door. Calvero smashes his way in, finding the unconscious Terry (Claire Bloom). Carrying the girl to his attic apartment, Calvero revives Terry, then asks why she is so determined to kill herself. The girl explains that she

G,

Drama, Classics, Comedy

Charles Chaplin

Mar 28, 2011

Criterion Collection

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Cast

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All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (1) | DVD (13)

What comes through most clearly in Limelight, however, is that Chaplin had come to terms with his life.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Intended as a tragicomedy, if not a tearjerker, it is a two-thirds bore that comes to life in the last half-hour or so, when the old-master clown stops trying to be pathetic and reverts to his inimitable proper stuff.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (3)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Departing from most forms of Hollywood stereotype, the film has a flavor all its own in the sincere quality of the story anent the onetime great vaudemime and his rescue of a femme ballet student.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Neither comedy nor tragedy altogether, it is a brilliant weaving of comic and tragic strands, eloquent, tearful and beguiling with supreme virtuosity.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Few cinema artists have delved into their own lives and emotions with such ruthlessness and with such moving results.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Charles Chaplin's 1952 film is overlong, visually flat, episodically constructed, and a masterpiece.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chaplin, as usual, is the whole show, superb in this swansong statement about his own career and the old-style entertainment he best represented.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Elements of self parody from the master of slapstick leave you yearning for the early work that made his name. But it's worth a watch to see Chaplin and Keaton in one of few on-screen appearances together.

March 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Limelight seems stuck in time, even for 1952. The un-ironic pathos and sentimental humanism seems almost quaint in the post-Hitler world. But that's Chaplin for you - a man who lived by, and wrote, his own rules.

September 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Chaplin's least funny film.

April 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Premiering in 1952 when Chaplin was 63 years old, this melancholy reverie is a heartfelt expression of nostalgia for the Edwardian London music-halls of his youth, rich with deeply personal sentiment and warmly realized autobiographical fantasy.

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

Chaplin at his most melancholy. Not his best work, but the short time he and Keaton are on stage together is priceless.

January 27, 2006
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

The at-long-last meeting of Chaplin and Keaton makes this a must.

December 3, 2004
Las Vegas Review-Journal

One of the comedian's most revelatory works. It's Chaplin's most personal and painful film, and the only film to show his onscreen death.

June 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The emotional honesty of the film is what made it a masterpiece.

August 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Moving, sentimental and deeply sad, this is the greatest moment in Chaplin's late career, a powerful work of cinema that remains essential viewing for Chaplin fans and non-believers alike.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It is Chaplin's own control over himself that is remarkable. His two most intense close-ups in the film also show him most distanced from his comic mask, and his acting is totally internalised.

March 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema

Audience Reviews for Limelight

A deeply heartfelt story that doesn't need too much effort to make us feel for and care about the genuine connection that grows between the two central characters. Besides, it is more than a pleasure to see Chaplin and Buster Keaton sharing the final act together.
March 21, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Limelight is an incredibly beautiful, incredibly sad and at points incredibly funny movie. The cinematography is outstanding and the set design (namely during the Columbine sequence) was beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, Claire Bloom has never looked more lovely. Charles Chaplin's turn as Calvero is poignant and touching, almost as much as his script. Limelight is an all around great movie but the scene with Chaplin and Buster Keaton steals the show. The story starts bottoming out a little into the second hour but still a great movie. Proof that Chaplin was just as good after he started talking in his movies...
February 24, 2011
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

An interesting late Chaplin film, the highlight of Limelight for me was the scene with Keaton, other than that I found the movie pretty boring, but if you're a fan of his you should check this movie out.
November 3, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

bittersweet reflection on Chaplin's own career. full of his characteristic bonhomie and tenderness. Buster Keaton's appearance marked the first and only time the two greatest comedians of the twentieth century were in the same film.
November 6, 2007
pier007

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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  • Limelight (1952) (UK)
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