Tuesday, September 13, 2011

City Lights

I thought “City Lights” was an amazing film! The story is about a tramp that falls in love with a blind woman. Being that the woman is blind, it causes some confusion between the two, as she thinks that the tramp is a wealthy man because of what the circumstances were when they met, when in reality he is the complete opposite. His “home” is a bench in the city. On his way home, he comes along a man about to end his life. Being a good person, the tramp somehow talks this stranger out of committing suicide, and as a good man, the tramp gets promised to have a friend for life. His new friend takes him home and supplies him with money and a car. This comes off to the blind woman as imaging the tramp to have riches.
After a visit to his friend, the tramp is no longer being supplied with anymore money because the man seems to only be a loyal and friendly friend when he is drunk. The tramp gets a job, but is soon fired for being late most every time he works, the reason being for going to see the blind woman. He has discovered a surgery she can undergo to be able to see again. Finding out that the woman’s rent is soon due; he offers to pay for the surgery and the rent. In need of money and with no job, the tramp gets lucky to meet a man who offers him a deal that is too good to pass up; a boxing match between the two, with the winnings being split fifty-fifty.
Agreeing to the deal, the tramp shows up nervous as ever, only coming to find that his opponent must flee town because the police are in search of him. Another man is replaced for him and the fight is still on. Losing the fight, the tramp receives no money for his efforts in the ring.
Heading home once again, the tramp comes across his drunken friend who throws him into the car to take him to his home. When they arrive, the tramp’s friend says, “No worries, I will take care of the girl,” giving him one-thousand dollars to pay for her rent and eye surgery. While they are conversing about this on the couch, there are two burglars hiding behind a curtain. One sneaks behind the tramp’s wealthy friend and knocks him out. The tramp calls for the police and the thief’s flee. When the officer arrives he ends up trying to arrest the tramp judging him by his appearance. The tramp’s friend gains consciousness again and forgets how he knows him, accusing him of stealing, which leaves him to run from the police man. He goes to see the blind woman and gives her the one-thousand dollars. When he is leaving, she worries he will not return. As he is walking home he is finally captured and brought to jail.
Months later he is released from jail, looking even worse than he did before. He walks down the sidewalk of the city to soon realize the once blind woman has now opened a flower shop and has her eyesight. For these months she had been waiting for him to return. The tramp smiles continuously as he walks into the shop and tells her he is the one who paid for her surgery. She seems a little shocked at first, but then holds his hand close to her and admires him dearly.
Before watching the film I was a bit bummed that it would have no sound. But as the movie started, I was at the tip of my seat laughing through the whole thing. What grabs me about this silent, black and white movie is Charlie Chaplin’s ability to create humor with no dialogue. That says a lot about how great of an actor he is. Not only was this a comedy, but it was a romantic story as well. The message I got from it was looking past all the physical features. It’s about what’s in the heart that matters and most people of my age don’t buy into that saying, but I believe it is the truth. The film was amazing all around, it would not have given the same effect on me if it had been in color or with outspoken roles, because I would have already known what to expect if it had been.


  1. I agree with you, Dominique. I was anticipating it being in sound but when it wasn't, I thought it was more magical.
    Chaplin was a master at using his physical side as his role of humor. Kind of like Flubber.

  2. I thought the same thing about Chaplin. It says a lot about how good of an actor he is that he could be so funny and romantic all without the use of dialogue.

  3. That is a great comparison and i definetly agree with you on that! I think it makes it more interesting because then you are paying more attention to what they do, rather than focusing on what they are saying.

    Hope, to master what Chaplin does in this film is phenominal! How many actors today do you see that can keep a crowd interested without saying a thing. Not very many.