Charles Chaplin

Limelight

Limelight

Charlie Chaplin’s masterful drama about the twilight of a former vaudeville star is among the writer-director’s most touching films. Chaplin plays Calvero, a once beloved musical-comedy performer, now a washed-up alcoholic who lives in a small London flat. A glimmer of hope arrives when he meets a beautiful but melancholy ballerina (Claire Bloom) who lives downstairs. An elegant mix of the comic and the tragic, this poignant movie also features Buster Keaton in an extended cameo, marking the only time the two silent comedy icons appeared in a film together. Made at a time when Chaplin was under attack by the American press and far right, Limelight was scarcely distributed in the United States upon its initial release, but it is now considered one of his essential and most personal works.

Film Info

  • Charles Chaplin
  • United States
  • 1952
  • 137 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #756

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Chaplin’s “Limelight”: Its Evolution and Intimacy, a new video essay by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson
  • New interviews with actors Claire Bloom and Norman Lloyd
  • Chaplin Today: “Limelight,” a 2002 documentary on the film
  • Archival audio recording of Chaplin reading two short excerpts from his novella Footlights
  • Two short films by Chaplin: A Night in the Show (1915) and the uncompleted The Professor (1919)
  • Outtake and two trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Peter von Bagh and excerpts from an on-set piece by journalist Henry Gris

New cover by Bill Nelson

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Chaplin’s “Limelight”: Its Evolution and Intimacy, a new video essay by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson
  • New interviews with actors Claire Bloom and Norman Lloyd
  • Chaplin Today: “Limelight,” a 2002 documentary on the film
  • Archival audio recording of Chaplin reading two short excerpts from his novella Footlights
  • Two short films by Chaplin: A Night in the Show (1915) and the uncompleted The Professor (1919)
  • Outtake and two trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Peter von Bagh and excerpts from an on-set piece by journalist Henry Gris

New cover by Bill Nelson

Limelight
Cast
Charles Chaplin
Calvero
Claire Bloom
Theresa
Nigel Bruce
Postant
Buster Keaton
Calvero’s partner
Sydney Chaplin
Neville
Norman Lloyd
Bodalink
André Eglevsky
Harlequin
Melissa Hayden
Columbine
Marjorie Bennett
Mrs. Alsop
Wheeler Dryden
Doctor/Clown
Barry Bernard
John Redfern
Stapleton Kent
Claudius
Mollie Glessing
Maid
Leonard Mudi
Calvero’s doctor
Charles Chaplin Jr.
Clown
Loyal Underwood
Street musicians
Harry “Snub” Pollard
Julian Ludwig
Harry Crocker
Music hall patrons
Tim Durant
Credits
Director
Charles Chaplin
Written by
Charles Chaplin
Producer
Charles Chaplin
Composer
Charles Chaplin
Musical arrangement
Ray Rasch
Musical arrangement
Charles Chaplin
Conductor
Keith Williams
Assistant producers
Wheeler Dryden
Assistant producers
Jerome Epstein
Assistant directors
Robert Aldrich
Assistant directors
Jack Verne
Director of photography
Karl Struss
Photographic consultant
Roland Totheroh
Art director
Eugène Lourié
Sound
Hugh McDowell Jr.
Production manager
Lonnie D’Orsa
Editor
Joe Inge
Costume design
Riley Thorne
Makeup
Ted Larsen
Hair
Florence Avery
Ballet choreographers
André Eglevsky
Ballet choreographers
Melissa Hayden
Ballet choreographers
Charles Chaplin
Corps de ballet
Carmelita Maracci
Still photographers
George Hommel
Still photographers
W. Eugene Smith

From The Current

Claire Bloom on Charlie Chaplin
Claire Bloom on Charlie Chaplin

Imagine being plucked from obscurity at age nineteen to star alongside Charlie Chaplin. That’s what happened to London stage actor Claire Bloom in 1951, when she was courted for the female leading role in Chaplin’s Limelight. We recently intervie…

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Three Reasons: Limelight
Limelight: Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man
Limelight: Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

Charlie Chaplin’s intensely emotional drama is a dream film about show business, history, and death.

By Peter von Bagh

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