City Lights Film Still

City Lights

Charles Chaplin

City Lights (Criterion Blu-Ray)


1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • United States
  • 1931
  • 86 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.19:1
  • English
  • Spine #680

City Lights, the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.


A blind girlVirginia Cherrill
Her grandmotherFlorence Lee
An eccentric millionaireHarry Myers
His butlerAllan Garcia
A prizefighter Hank Mann
A trampCharles Chaplin
Superstitious boxerVictor Alexander
The tramp’s opponent Tony Stabenau
Eddie Mason Eddie McAuliffe
Fight referee Eddie Baker
The tramp’s second Emmett Wagner
Other boxersTom Dempsey
Willie Keeler
Joe Herrick
A. B. Lane
Cy Slocum
Ad Herman
Jack Alexander
Street sweeper/BurglarAlbert Austin
Mayor/Blind girl’s neighborHenry Bergman
NewsboysRobert Parrish
Austen Jewell
BurglarJoe Van Meter
Man on street elevatorStanley "Tiny" Sandford
Extra in cabaretJean Harlow
Woman who sits on cigarFlorence Wicks
Man who throws away his cigarT. S. Alexander
CopHarry Ayers
Flower shop assistantMrs. Hyams


DirectorCharles Chaplin
Produced and written byCharles Chaplin
Assistant directorsHarry Crocker, Henry Bergman and Albert Austin
CinematographyRoland Totheroh
Second camera operatorsGordon Pollock, Mark Marlatt and Eddie Gheller
Production designCharles D. Hall
Music composed byCharles Chaplin
“La violetera” composed byJosé Padilla
Musical arrangementArthur Johnston
Musical directionAlfred Newman
EditorsCharles Chaplin and Willard Nico
SoundTheodore Reed
CastingAllan Garcia
Script supervisorDella Steele
Production managerAlfred Reeves
Press agentCarlyle Robinson

Disc Features

  • New digital restoration from a 4K film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Chaplin Today: “City Lights,” a 2003 documentary on the film, featuring Aardman Animations cofounder Peter Lord
  • Chaplin Studios: Creative Freedom by Design, a new interview program featuring visual effects expert Craig Barron
  • Archival footage from the production of City Lights, including film from the set, with audio commentary by Chaplin historian Hooman Mehran; a costume test; a rehearsal; and a complete scene not used in the film
  • Excerpt from Chaplin’s short film The Champion (1915), along with footage of the director with boxing stars at Chaplin Studios in 1918
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins and a 1966 interview with Chaplin

    New cover illustration by Seth

Film Essays


City Lights: The Immortal Tramp

By Gary Giddins November 11, 2013

A boldly silent film in the talkie era, Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece has a grace that has never been equaled. Read more »



Timothy Brock on Restoring Charlie Chaplin’s Sound

By Hillary Weston May 26, 2016

Last week, conductor and composer Timothy Brock led the New York Philharmonic in a live orchestral performance of the score to Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film City Lights. The next day, he stopped . . . Read more »


The Funniest Films Ever Written

November 12, 2015

The Writers Guild of America has just assembled a list of the “101 Funniest Screenplays” of all time, which pays tribute to comedy classics ranging from Buster Keaton's The General to James L. . . . Read more »

Photo Galleries

Movies in Bloom

May 05, 2015

Web Exclusives


A Smile and a Tear

By Stephen Winer December 30, 2013

Charlie Chaplin’s comedy has a secret ingredient that has bound us to him forever. Read more »


Film Essays


City Lights: The Immortal Tramp

By Gary Giddins November 11, 2013

A boldly silent film in the talkie era, Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece has a grace that has never been equaled. Read more »



Updated 05/17/2017



Updated 05/12/2017



Updated 05/13/2017


Richard S.

Updated 04/19/2017

Jay L.

Updated 05/21/2017


Adam Blanchard

Updated 04/17/2017

Jacob Smith

Updated 04/01/2017



Updated 04/28/2017


Edward Phinney

Updated 05/05/2017


Andrew Tremblay

Updated 05/16/2017

Other Editions

City Lights (Criterion DVD)


2 Discs

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

Available Online


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