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Criterion Release: City Lights

November 26, 2013

City Lights Blu-ray CoverBack on November 12th, the silent classic City Lights was released on Blu-ray & DVD, as part of the Criterion Collection.  Following the iconic Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) as he falls in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) who mistakes him for a millionaire, this is a timeless romance that was made without sound, despite the advent of the talkies.

Both as a filmmaker and an actor, Charlie Chaplin was one of the biggest stars of his generation, and this 1931 triumph is absolutely one of his greatest achievements.  Right through to that famous final scene, City Lights is a masterful blend of comedy and drama that holds up beautifully more than eighty years later, and the Blu-ray is highly recommended.

The Blu-ray includes commentary with biographer Jeffrey Vance, two lengthy featurettes and archival footage from the production, as well as an excerpt from the 1915 short film The Champion.  Along with a DVD, the package also includes a booklet with an essay by critic Gary Giddins and a 1966 interview with Charlie Chaplin.

-John C.

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