Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

City Lights (1931)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

City Lights (1931)

In this memorable Charlie Chaplin silent film:

  • the Tramp's (Charlie Chaplin) mocking of talkies in the opening scene - his unsuccessful attempts to extricate himself from the lap of a large marble statue - with a giant sword catching the seat of his pants
  • the Tramp's encounters with a drunken millionaire (Harry Myers) who repeatedly attempted suicide
  • the scene of the Tramp admiring a store window - and just missing falling into a freight elevator hole behind him
  • the marvelous pantomime of the prize fight episode in which the Tramp tried to raise money for a beautiful blind flower girl's (Virginia Cherrill) operation by entering the boxing ring in a balletic bout that he believed had been fixed - danced around the ring to evade his opponent
  • the slapstick scene when the blind flower girl was knitting and she pulled a thread from the Tramp's vest and completely unraveled it
  • the hilarious spaghetti-confetti sequence in which the Tramp confused the spaghetti on his plate with strings of streamers
  • the tearful, sentimental ending when the down-and-out Tramp, now released from prison, saw the blind girl - with restored sight in the display window of the flower shop of her successful business; she said to her grandmother (Florence Lee): "I've made a conquest!"
  • the moment that she took pity on a trampish beggar (although she had been laughing when he was being teased by some teen newspaper boys) by offering him a fresh flower and a coin - and simultaneously realized, in a moment of hand-held recognition, that he was her unlikely benefactor-savior; she asked: "You?" and he shyly nodded positively; he pointed to his own eyes: "You can see now?" and she said that she could: "Yes, I can see now," and she held his hand to her chest
  • the film ended with a slow fade to black during a closeup of the Tramp's face and smile (with a rose stem in his mouth), both with uncertainty and joy, after she had identified him
The Flower Girl's Moment of Recognition

Opening Scene

The Tramp With Drunken Millionaire

Prize Fight

Knitting Scene


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