Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1931. Charles Chaplin Productions. Screenplay by Charles Chaplin. Cinematography by Roland Totheroh, Gordon Pollock. Produced by Charles Chaplin. Music by Charles Chaplin. Production Design by Charles D. Hall. Film Editing by Charles Chaplin, Willard Nico.
Among the very best of all of Chaplin’s feature films, this one is definitely a masterpiece by any meaning of the word. Chaplin navigates life in the nasty metropolis as the Little Tramp, making friends with a drunk millionaire who keeps forgetting him every time he sobers up, and finding romance with a blind flower seller who thinks Chaplin is a rich man and grows to love him for his kindness to her. The blend of rich comedy and unsentimental pathos that marked all of Chaplin’s best work is notable here, plus the clever use of silent film three years after sound had become the industry standard. It’s unforgettable, and incredibly funny.