AFI #11 – City Lights

City Lights - PosterCity Lights


Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Netflix says… Charlie Chaplin makes the acquaintance of a blind girl who, because she can’t see him, believes he is a millionaire. The Little Tramp tries to raise money for the girl to have an eye operation, knowing she’ll eventually discover his true identity.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, as there have been other silent movies on this AFI list. But I’m just not a huge fan of the silent movies.

I mean, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. If anything, I think my dislike of silent pictures is simply that I’m spoiled by the ability to listen to dialogue as it happens.

In spite of my personal preference for talkies, I am impressed at the ability of a silent filmmaker to convey a coherent story without the use of words. And it isn’t as if City Lights is entirely unentertaining. There were a number of moments in which I found myself grinning or even laughing out loud at the action on screen.

But would I place this in my personal top 100? No… And I admit, that’s mostly, I assume, due to my personal prejudice against a silent film.

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