Drama / Music / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 15354


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May 26, 2017 at 06:11 PM


Charles Chaplin as Calvero
Buster Keaton as Calvero's Partner
Geraldine Chaplin as Little Girl in Opening Scene
Norman Lloyd as Bodalink
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
964.42 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 5 / 7
2.05 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 7 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 4 / 10

Alas, I didn't like it!

Associate director: Robert Aldrich. Art director: Eugene Lourié. Choreography: Charles Chaplin, André Eglevsky, Melissa Hayden. Music: Charles Chaplin. Music director: Keith Williams. Music orchestrations: Ray Rasch. Songs: Charles Chaplin, Ray Rasch. Celebrated — United Artists. Producer: Charles Chaplin.

Copyright 23 October 1952 (in notice: 1951) by Celebrated Films Corp. Released through United Artists. New York opening simultaneously at the Astor and Trans-Lux Sixtieth Street: 23 October 1952. U.S. release: 6 February 1953. London opening at the Odeon, Leicester Square: 23 October 1952. U.K. release: 2 February 1953. Australian release: 18 June 1953. Sydney opening at the Regent. Copyright length: 102 minutes. U.S. length: 143 minutes. U.K. length: 140 minutes. 12,636 feet. Australian length: 137 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: London in 1914: A once-famous but now passé, music-hall comedian befriends a young but discouraged, aspiring ballerina.

NOTES: A Prestigious Hollywood Award went to Charles Chaplin, Ray Rasch and Larry Russell (a mystery nominee who doesn't figure in the above credits at all) for the Best Original Dramatic Score of 1972 (yes, 1972 for "Limelight" was not released in the Los Angeles area until that year), defeating Images, Napoleon and Samantha, The Poseidon Adventure, and Sleuth.

The music includes a concerto, a ballet called "The Death of Columbine", "The Sardine Song", "The Animal Trainer", "Spring Is Here" and the top-of-the-hit-parade "Terry's Theme" which Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra turned into the best-selling record of 1953 in England and Australia.

"Limelight" was number twelve at Australian ticket-windows for 1953. Oddly, it's the Australian version (plus a 4-minute segment) rather than the British or American version that both Image and Warner Home Video have released on DVD.

COMMENT: Like his immediately previous feature, "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947), "Limelight" finds Chaplin in an extremely self-indulgent mood. Even in its slightly abbreviated Australian version, I found the film far too slow, too sentimental, too heavy, and the climactic pantomime sadly unfunny. What's more the film has another big negative for me. I can't stand Claire Bloom in her self-pitying mood.

I don't mind sentiment, so long as the characters are attractive. But Limelight's people did not arouse my sympathy. Maybe I'm hard- hearted. Everyone else loved the movie. I found it a dull drag.

Indifferent photography and direction, added to minuscule production values, didn't help either. I suffered it through to the end, but I was mighty glad when it was all over.

OTHER VIEWS: A very moving film. One of the Top Ten Pictures of 1952. — Bosley Crowther in The New York Times. -

Reviewed by bluekarma06 10 / 10

The man was simply a GENIUS

Watched this very obscure but compelling movie made by the immortal Charlie Chaplin. A talkie, although he is widely more known for his silent movie career as the lovable hapless clown The Tramp. In this movie, he shows the man underneath the facade of the happy but ultimately sad clown. Slow at first but like a good novel, gradually brings you in as Chaplin masterfully lays the groundwork of background and character for a fuller appreciation which ultimately leaves you in awe of his enormous story-telling genius. Great cast, great dialogue(witty and philosophical at times), great great musical score(that Chaplin wrote and won an Oscar for 20 years later). Claire Bloom was perfectly cast as the suicidal ballerina that Chaplin saves and gives new hope too. Buster Keaton, Chaplin's comedic adversary all thru his silent career, makes a wonderful appearance at the end in a musical duet with Chaplin, a must-see. All in all, this movie was a sort of auto- biographical of both the Chaplin Tramp character he played to great success and his real life persona, which gradually suffered in contrast as cinema changed from silent to talking, black and white to color(movie is B&W) and his public disgracing as a Communist- sympathizer(untrue) in the early 1950's, when this movie was made but not released in America for that reason. It was finally released in 1972 and thus was awarded Best Oscar for the musical score, which strangely was one of the most popular instrumental songs of the 1950's!(it was called "'Eternally" on the pop-charts.) I highly recommend this masterpiece although it is a tough find. Try the torrent sites.

Reviewed by oOoBarracuda 5 / 10


A giant of silent cinema, Charles Chaplin was a skilled director, as well. Chaplin's prolific film career included his 1952 feature Limelight. Starring in the film, as well as writing and directing it, Chaplin also elicited the help of Buster Keaton to tell his story of a comedian at the end of his career helping to council his suicidal neighbor and fledgling ballerina. The kinship developed between the two was mutually beneficial, as they both struggled to find meaning in their lives. One performer at the end of his career, another at the beginning--yet crippled by self-doubt, the two forge a bond that becomes just as necessary for one as it does the other.

Living in London in 1914, Calvero (Charles Chaplin) lives in the shadow2 of his former self. He was once an extremely successful stage clown but was now experiencing problems filling concert halls. Turning to alcohol to drown his woes, he stumbles home one day to smell gas in the hallway. Upon further investigation, he realizes the smell is coming from within his downstairs neighbor, Thereza's (Claire Bloom) apartment. He breaks the door in to save her, taking her upstairs to his apartment so he can call a doctor. After she awakes, she becomes angry with Calvero revealing that she was intending on ending her life, distraught that she foiled her plan. Calvero takes it upon himself to try to show Thereza the endless gifts that life has to offer. In order to ease her burden, Calvero opens his home to Thereza for as long as she wishes to stay. This union works well for both involved because Thereza doesn't have to struggle in silence battling her demons, and Calvero feels a usefulness that he had lost. Creating an incredible bridge of emotional support for each other, Calvero is having some success in reviving his career, and Thereza is being discovered for her own talents. Perhaps the greatest blessing between the two, however, comes from Calvero imparting his wisdom in regards to love, especially when a former admirer reemerges in Thereza's life.

The story of the sunsets and sunrises of life will always be interesting and engaging, because no matter who you are you have experienced one or both of these, or will be experiencing these aspects of life. Chaplin paints a beautiful picture of a man who has the best years of his life in the past, and can't find much use for himself in the changing world. When someone like this finds a wounded dove in another person, a performer like them who they can cultivate and build confidence in their art, they will gravitate towards them in hopes of feeling useful again. The only negative side is that the dove will one day be healed and embark from the nest, leaving behind the same sense of uselessness. At points throughout Limelight, Chaplin became a little overt in his message in places where subtlety would have been better suited. From about the halfway point on, pacing suffered a bit lagging on a bit for my liking. I wonder if it wasn't too much to put in the subplot of the long-ago admirer. The film was beautiful without the romantic subplot and perhaps would have been better without it. The ending was especially problematic and its execution was not a proper payoff to the investment given by the audience. The film techniques, especially the camera movement were lovely, and a nice homage to some silent film techniques, making Limelight a joy to watch despite its flaws.

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