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City Lights (07 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In 1967, Charlie Chaplin told an interviewer, "I think I like City Lights the best of all my films." Speaking of the film's famous ending, James Agee wrote that "it is enough to shrivel the heart to see." Although City Lights had a long and extremely difficult production history, the final film, in Alistair Cooke's apt words, flows "like water over pebbles, smooth and simple for all to see with no hint of the groaning pressure that had gone into it." It could easily have been otherwise. Chaplin began the film in 1927, even before the release of The Circus, just months after a highly publicized divorce from his second wife and a tax dispute with the U.S. government, both of which cost him dearly. In addition, Chaplin's mother, with whom he had a close and complex relationship, died in August 1928. Besides the burden of these financial and emotional strains, Chaplin also had to contend with the transition of the American film industry to the talkies and the downward spiral of the depression following the Stock Market Crash in October 1929. He chose a novice actress, Virginia Cherrill, as the female lead for the film, and during production he fired the man originally cast as the millionaire and fired, then re-hired, Cherrill. Yet he pressed forward, releasing the film to much acclaim and box-office success in the first two months of 1931. Aesthetically, technologically, and culturally, City Lights is a key transitional film in Chaplin's body of work, as the director/writer/actor responded for the first time to sound films and stepped in the direction of the social commentary that would become more overt in Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). Based on extensive archival research of Chaplin's production records, Charles Maland's City Lights offers a careful history of the film's production and reception, as well as a close examination of the film itself, with special attention to the sources of the final scene's emotional power.

Synopsis:

Despite its long and difficult production history, in 1967 Charlie Chaplin told an interviewer, "I think I like City Lights the best of all my films."

Aesthetically, technologically, and culturally, City Lights is a key transitional film in Chaplin's body of work, as the director/writer/actor responded for the first time to sound films and stepped in the direction of the social commentary that would become more overt in Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). Based on extensive archival research of Chaplin's production records, Charles Maland's City Lights offers a careful history of the film's production and reception, as well as a close examination of the film itself, with special attention to the sources of the final scene's emotional power.

About the Author

Charles Maland is Professor of Cinema Studies, American Studies and English at the University of Tennessee.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781844571758
Author:
Maland, Charles
Publisher:
British Film Institute
Author:
Maland, Charles J.
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
Film - Guides & Reviews
Subject:
General Performing Arts
Subject:
Film - History & Criticism
Subject:
Film
Subject:
Video/Guides
Subject:
Reviews
Subject:
Film & Video - Guides & Reviews
Subject:
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Subject:
Film & Video/Guides & Rev
Subject:
iews
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series:
BFI Film Classics
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.51 x 5.43 x 0.33 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General
Transportation » Railroads » General
Young Adult » General

City Lights (07 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages British Film Institute - English 9781844571758 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Despite its long and difficult production history, in 1967 Charlie Chaplin told an interviewer, "I think I like City Lights the best of all my films."

Aesthetically, technologically, and culturally, City Lights is a key transitional film in Chaplin's body of work, as the director/writer/actor responded for the first time to sound films and stepped in the direction of the social commentary that would become more overt in Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). Based on extensive archival research of Chaplin's production records, Charles Maland's City Lights offers a careful history of the film's production and reception, as well as a close examination of the film itself, with special attention to the sources of the final scene's emotional power.

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