City Lights (1931) - Rotten Tomatoes

City Lights1931

City Lights (1931)



Critic Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.

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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.

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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
Al Ernest Garcia
as The Eccentric Millionaire's Butler
Jean Carpenter
as Extra in restaurant scene
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Critic Reviews for City Lights

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (18)

Chaplin and his cast have crafted a silent film that is drastically funny, extremely well-shot and still holds up today...this is a labor of love, for sure, but the end result is a classic that has held the test of time.

June 27, 2018 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

"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.

January 29, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

There's dignity and folly to The Tramp in City Lights, and everything in between.

November 19, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

This is one of those rare creatures, the work of a master craftsman in full control of his craft.

August 6, 2010 | Rating: 93/100 | Full Review…

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.

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.

January 4, 2008 | Rating: 4/4

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Lovely film, the ending is a killer.

jay nixon
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.

Super Reviewer

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