Three years after the start of the sound era, Charlie Chaplin brought back his Little Tramp character for what he billed as a “comedy romance in pantomime.” Filming actually began in December 1927, when Chaplin thought talkies would amount to just a fad. When he finally realized sound was here to stay, he shut down production for a while but then continued to film a silent movie. In the simplest of plots, his Little Tramp meets a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill, who would become Cary Grant’s first wife) and resolves to raise funds so that her sight will be restored. Chaplin, who also wrote the score, considered City Lights the best of his many films, and other master filmmakers, including Stanley Kubrick and Orson Welles, included it among their favorites as well.
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