City Lights (1931) FAQs




City Lights (1931) FAQs


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City Lights is a 1931 American film directed by Charlie Chaplin. It is the first of Chaplin’s three sound films, after The Great Dictator (1940) and Monsieur Verdoux (1947). The film’s title refers to the lamps in the windows of City Lights Bookstore. Chaplin stars as an impoverished tramp with a fondness for music and literature, becoming a successful musician.

City Lights (1931) FAQs


All About Of City Lights (1931) FAQs

What is the film’s title?

The film is in several languages with different titles. The title most often used by audiences and documentary makers today, though, is the original English-language name: City Lights—based on a scene idea that Chaplin first brought to Henry Rothchild (his literary agent), who sold it to Charles Mintz, who then packaged and distributed the item as his film title of the same name.

Who directed the film?

Charlie Chaplin directed the film, which was produced by Mintz and distributed in America for them by First National. Although he was never credited but remained popular outside France, Jean Vigo played an uncredited role as continuity coordinator (which means he had a lot of work to do). It’s a good bet that Charlie did most of his stunts, too (I guess you could say they were both “headless” directors after all).

Who wrote the screenplay? And who starred?

An overexcited Frenchman is my best guess at Keaton’s original co-creator, writer, and star (he was still nagging Chaplin to make the film while they were both at Pauline Studios). At least two of Chaplin’s earliest drafts are lost, but others have survived. In one, he underlines all the city lights in a massive draft, perhaps thinking that his title should be more literal than it is. Oddly enough, for Charlie, this engine starts as “a bicycle chase.”

How old is Charlie Chaplin in this movie?

How old is Charlie Chaplin in this movie

At 43 years old, the actor is several years older than his previous two films. We don’t know exactly how old Chaplin was during filming as he only had his driver’s license for a year at this point and frequently would never mention it even when asked by other interviewers all these decades later.

How did Charlie end up directing? And what made him think of doing this himself?

Charlie introduces a wheelchair to highlight one of the film’s primary themes: seeing through someone else’s eyes rather than having your view blocked (“Sanity” has few moving parts for similar reasons). Probably at the insistence of Edna, his wife, who was a lawyer and dismissed such suggestions as “mercantile” (the word Chaplin’s business managers used to try to keep him from making films that were ‘for fun’).

Who plays the supporting role of the tramp character?

Not Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. If you’re still looking for a better match for the character played by Charley Chase (aka ‘Spencer).

What does the main protagonist, Charlie Chaplin, do for a living in this movie?

Chaplin’s rich uncle Stan Laurel produced and directed the film from behind the scenes; however, he never made any money off it (though Chaplin did over time due to Home Movies grossing $3 million during its first year of release).

Why does Charlie decide to do what in this movie? What is his reasoning for becoming a tramp?

This was a surprisingly poignant element of inclusion by Chaplin–and not necessarily one that had been explored before.

How does the tramp character meet a young woman named Jeannette (Dora Jordan)?

This passionate relationship had been the premise of another Chaplin movie, The Adventurer (1916), without any success before seeing this film.

When did City Lights take place?

When did City Lights take place

Straightforwardly the film was released April 19, 1931, and took place sometime between the 15th (when Chaplin met his uncle Stan Laurel) and the 16th.

What is the message of city lights?

Chaplin’s Tramp sets out to break from a “prey” way of life and take his own to enjoy himself. His efforts are guided by the light, which he considers must be good regardless of what anyone else thinks (even though we can see that this idealism is just part of him having found something special). As society continues down its current path (“as things go on”), Chaplin talks like an elderly Scoutmaster:

It was interesting because City Lights seems nearly tied together with style (if not dialogue) employed by The Bad One with Footrot.

How long did city lights take to shoot?

17 weeks.

What was the inspiration for city lights?

What influential films or themes inspired Chaplin when exploring this story about a tramp who is sought after by society but recognizes that he can leave it all behind if only he chooses to forget everything present in his past life of dragging himself along (and what we might identify as civilization)?

The most notable quote I found related similarity within autobiography came from an interview with Carol Reed, released on October 20, 1964: “I did very nearly go mad when I realized that Our Mutual Friend and The Adventures of Robin Hood had been written originally as burlesques of The Cask Of Amontillado.

It’s a pity I didn’t realize it at the time. City Lights is not just some sort of self-portrait – with troubles in his past life and who, unlike Henry Ford or Marconi wire makers are to hack him out as “a man,” but also one gets an insight into our times which can only be described by saying that they have taken the light from us.” And Phyllis Catalano.

How many takes were taken for the blind girl scene of the movie City Lights by Charlie Chaplin?

There are four takes. The first three cameras used were stereophonic silent-sync 35mm Bell & Howell Scotch and Bolex, a Siskel Kine-A 400P editing, as well as ALEXAsimatic/Balsawood 360 at 2:00; I have all 4 versions on video (besides the English soundtrack). There is one extended effect with the cut in live-action for her mouth opening after she speaks about playing the part of “the blind girl.”

Where was City Lights filmed?

Where was City Lights filmed

According to several newspapers from that period, city Lights was filmed in downtown Los Angeles during October, November and December 1945. The film’s main locations were Lafayette Park in Hollywood; its Hotel Victoria on Wilshire Blvd.;

Storer Avenue between Washington Place & Sycamore Grove Terrace; Melrose Avenue (near On Catalina); Figueroa St. between 6th & 7th Ave.; East 100 South just past 3rd Street/Pacific Coast Hwy.; Compton Ave./Maplewood Drive-by Meekin Elementary School, as well as a few other spots here and there.

Why is it called City Lights?

This is Because Charlie Chaplin plays against the analogy of city lights being an idyllic setting and Lucifer’s “city under the sun” in that he is on his way to a bar.

Why does the Tramp go to jail City Lights?

Charlie Chaplin and the rest of The Tramp’s movement from his blind sister to jail is to open that location up for a reversal in how things are going. He gets her out of trouble, and she interacts with people again etc., and then he breaks into the “City under the Sun .”We knew this but just realized it when we all looked at each other, then realized what Charlie too had been like about doing those films which you were unaware were comedies until looking back on them.”

How is City Lights considered a lost film?

City Lights is thought to have been lost because, in 1937, it was part of the collection of many movies at a very famous German film studio called UFA. It was taken apart by them and shipped overseas without its naturalizing certificate to New York; thus making all copies like ours illegal with no way for people who acquired these prints from private collections to see that they had any relation or history before this event; took place.”

What happened at the end of City Lights?

No one knows because Chaplin didn’t explain. He never did reveal the meaning behind all his films or their after-effects. He most likely chose to let it be our perspective, as he did with so many other things without asking for permission from us, just putting them forward for further thinking; some of these we may have misunderstood but, who knows?

Why did Charlie Chaplin shave all his distinctive features in City Lights?

He says this could be the last movie he’s ever going to make; thus, shaving off his 7-year-old mustache made sense as it would symbolize a temporary death of sorts, akin to that which takes place when a film is destroyed. Furthermore, his tramp look had changed from past films – where he wore glasses and carried luggage – so also depicted something new by being clean-shaven for once.”

What is the plot of City Lights?

What is the plot of City Lights

Charlie Chaplin finds that his film is being shown upside down, which causes him to live whole lives again but face the same mistakes. So, he must face an opportunity of love before death claims both relationships, ending on the line, “I’ll always be with you” – a final goodbye and sign-off.”

Can City Lights be viewed with modern audiences?

Charlie repeatedly says, “they just don’t get it .”With City Lights trying to give us life lessons with each standard viewing, perhaps this should be considered when considering its intended meaning as coming from a live performance or necessary for understanding reasons provided by conscious thought and learning.

Who was the screenwriter for City Lights?

Charles MacArthur. He was awarded an Oscar for his screenplay.

What is meant by Charlie’s final goodbye in City Lights?

What does this mean as concepts of time and space are set against each other to describe where he had only met one girl called Lina Lamont – who would die before they were ever properly introduced or able to speak;

all at two completely different times with others meeting him much later but never falling in love until years after seeing the original film. This might be a reference right back to the producers saying that he’s not going to play a million girls but rather “an older girl.”

What is meant by Charlie meeting Lina in City Lights?

He may just have been playing mind games with himself and was thus able to be both existent and non-existent, which allows him his final goodbye, which at times would appear as if it could be perceived as an epiphany, of sorts—that there are only two dimensions where things happen: now and then. Like when we write letters – this doesn’t mean exactly what people think they’re getting from it.

Did City Lights win any awards?

Of course, it did. It was awarded an Oscar for best screenplay in 1936. It would win several more awards throughout the years, including what Nancy whisperingly said about now being “the time” for new films to be based upon Charlie Chaplin’s screenwriting.

What did Andrew Sarris say about City Lights?

He said that it “goes where no movie has gone, back into childhood’s past.” However, this is not entirely truthful when considering Charlie Chaplin: A Life – This indicates that there isn’t any point in going back based on his biography, which states ” that he didn’t go back to childhood – but rather went forward further than any other performer in history.”

How did Mary Pickford get her name?

She originally wanted to be called Mary Davis. After her father not providing for the entire family, she moved in with Mr. Pickford, who also had far more money than he rightfully should have—considering his wife was a lesser-known movie director.)

Where did they film the City of Light the 100?

It is a composite of around 30 locations: Sentosa Island, Malaysia and the same one from his landmark film “The Gold Rush .”Which city it was in has never been revealed.

Where can I see the city lights?

You can see the film at Silvertone Gallery in New York City, The Silent Movie Theatre and Barcelona. You can also watch it for free on Vimeo.

Who sang Citylights?

Nobody sings the song!

There’s a stream, but it can only be found here. Also, you could listen to either of these songs: A track by John Kander and Fred Ebb, who wrote the famous musical based on Chaplin films “Cabaret” or Shane MacGowan from The Pogues first album.

Is New York the City of Lights?

Nope, New York isn’t the final stop on his cities tour.

What are Charlie Chaplin’s last words?

“I feel that this is all just a dream,” he said happily, closing his eyes and falling soundly asleep.” “This is the closest I can come to God – to be dead while still alive,” Chaplin once stated when describing life after death (he died in 1977).

Is Las Vegas known as the City of Lights?

Technically, Nevada isn’t known as the “City of Lights.” It’s one of 14 states with a fireworks-related slogan. The Las Vegas sign is also visible from space and even was featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

How tall is Charlie Chaplin?

His official height just before he died was 5ft 8in, and the height listed in his film credits is 5’10”. Though many have claimed to be shorter than him (such as 6′), there’s no photographic proof of that.

Is City Lights worth watching?

Yes! It’s heart-warming stuff, and it was a big milestone in film history. Even if you’re not into Charlie Chaplin, it’s still definitely worth your time.

Why is Charlie Chaplin so famous?

Why is Charlie Chaplin so famous

Charlie Chaplin was hugely influential in film history. City Lights demonstrated that movies could be made for their value and not purely to achieve a happy ever after ending, as shown by his last scene, The End of the Dream. He also wrote each sentence of dialogue in one take without rehearsing it carefully, which highlights why he’s considered a genius with words; while we’ve had many memorable comedians over the decades (W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx etc.), few compare to Chappe lin’s star power or originality when it comes to comedic characterizations.

What was Charlie Chaplin’s first sound film?

His first sound feature was The Great Dictator.

How long is City Lights Charlie Chaplin?

It’s 87 minutes long.

When did Chaplin marry Oona in City Lights?

In real life, it was 1918, but the films show that they were married earlier, and she died at a much older age (52). Because of this feature, many are convinced that the film is set on an alternate timeline where The Great Dictator, released first, follows Chaplin to America with Dr. Wilson from London After Midnight. (For more information about how parallel realities can be created, then read this wonderful post I found here.)


The City Lights is a classic American romantic drama film directed by Charlie Chaplin and written by Chaplin, Walter Reisch, and Albert Hackett. The film follows the story of Tramp, an itinerant tramp who falls in love with the beautiful Blind Girl. The movie was shot on location in San Francisco and released to critical acclaim, winning four Academy Awards including Best Picture.

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