5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Movie of All Time.....No Other Can Compare
I love Chaplin, and most especially I love this movie. Chaplin viewed life mostly as either a comedy, (laughable - though not necessarily funny) or tragic....and this movie is a complex yet tender tale of just that. He is soulful and kind in the character he plays.....and after reading his autobiography and studying him as best I could over the years, this movie seems...
Published on Dec 5 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Chaplin's Flaws and Virtues
"Limelight" (1952) has not aged well. It's way overlong and suffers from Charlie Chaplin's phony philosophizing. However, the pantomime routines are excellent and the film is worth seeing for its brilliant eight-minute teaming of Chaplin and Buster Keaton. In fact, Chaplin could have taken a few pointers from Keaton, who speaks relatively little and performs without a...
Published on Aug. 2 1999 by Scott T. Rivers
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Movie of All Time.....No Other Can Compare,
By A Customer
I love Chaplin, and most especially I love this movie. Chaplin viewed life mostly as either a comedy, (laughable - though not necessarily funny) or tragic....and this movie is a complex yet tender tale of just that. He is soulful and kind in the character he plays.....and after reading his autobiography and studying him as best I could over the years, this movie seems to come from out of his experiences, either growing up and watching the death of vaudeville....and the acts that flowed from it...and people, generally. Hit wit and wisdom is brilliant and his on-screen personality with Bloom as Thereza is magnificent. I fell in love with him myself. His talent was beyond belief; he wrote the story and the music....and played the music....and with clever quips such as "But isn't it too late for music? Not if we play a nocturne!".... I've watched this movie again and again many times owing to its hypnotic qualities, yet every time I watch it I see things that stand out to me. Of course the ending is sad and tragic.....and I think it ended entirely too soon.....it could have gone on and on.... A beautiful story from a beautiful man of character and depth. His passing was a huge loss, though inevitable.
When he made this film he was about 64 years old....yet bouncy and buoyant...very charismatic, sweet and charming. Also he brings a sophistication to the screen that is one of the highlights of the older movies and actors originating from the UK.
Limelight is on my shelf...though well worn from playing it over and over. I highly recommend it be on yours.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clowntime is over,
This review is from: Limelight (DVD)
To this day, the audiences don't know whether to laugh or cry when encountering this long-winded melodrama about an aged performer and a troubled young ballerina.
Director Bernardo Bertolucci is among those who consider "Limelight" Charles Chaplin's masterpiece. When the tramp clown breathes his last, "Who is dying here is not Calvaro, but Charlie Chaplin," Bertolucci says in the DVD documentary. "With 'Limelight,' tears flow very easily."
The MK2 documentary for "Limelight" is the Chaplin Collection's best so far. It covers the period in which Chaplin left the United States, only to return once, reluctantly, for his honorary Oscar.
The docu doesn't address the old charges that Chaplin spiked Buster Keaton's best work in the film. Regardless, the extended Keaton-Chaplin slapstick sequence remains the highlight for many viewers. The DVD photo gallery includes W. Eugene Smith's terrific stills of the men at work.
The film enjoy across-the-board improvements in video and audio, including digital transfers from Chaplin family elements and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. Imaginative bonus features inform and entertain without wearing out their welcome.
"Limelight" extras include footage of Chaplin getting a hero's welcome in London and revisiting the places of his youth. Home movies from the 1950s show Geraldine Chaplin as a child and teenager. (The great Chaplin comes across like any other proud goofy dad, playing with his kids.) A hilarious 1919 short shows Chaplin on the loose as a flea-circus wrangler.
Chaplin and his collaborators' luscious score, which won a belated Oscar in 1972 -- once the film finally qualified by screening in L.A. -- can be enjoyed separately, as an extra. The music sounds fine in mono or in the 5.1, but the surround seems to introduce some boominess.
The film has an intro by Chaplin biographer David Robinson, rendered pretty much useless by placement on disc 2 (almost all of his information is repeated in the docus anyway).
4.0 out of 5 stars Limelight - a clown's perspective,
A truly wonderful film; it swiftly became one of my favorites. In a nutshell, it's the story of a once-great stage comedian (Calvero, a formerly great tramp clown, played by Charlie Chaplin), who's been failing in his career, and has become an alcholic, who saves the life of a despondent ballerina (played by Claire Bloom) from a suicide attempt. The film is a juxtaposition of these two personalities, one who rallies & goes onward, the other who falls further. It contains some of Chaplin's funniest & finest moments, include a nice pantomime of a flea circus, and a duet towards the end of the film with Buster Keaton. Interestingly, neither comic legend played their most famous characters; Chaplin wasn't the tramp, but rather another tramp comedian, a manic violinist. Keaton wasn't his well-known stone face, but rather a near-sighted pianist. Some have suggested that Chaplin jealously cut Keaton's time on screen, but as Jerry Epstein (Chaplin's assistant on this film, and the other person besides Chaplin in the editing room) noted, Chaplin cut far more of his own moments from the scene. When asked why, Chaplin replied to the effect, that no matter how funny something was, if it didn't move the scene forward, it had to go. Something that modern clowns (and film makers) would do well to take to heart. A bittersweet film, that runs perhaps slightly longer than it should, but I frankly think it's "just right." I recommend it very highly, either for fellow clowns to learn from, or for fellow human beings to enjoy.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Comedy.....,
I really do like this movie. It's not intended to be funny or comedic, it's not a 'tramp' film. Instead, it is the musings of an old man, who has reflected on his life, realized how great he was once, how poorly he has become, and yet never gives up hope. This is a pretty serious dramatic film, actually, which seems to me why people didn't accept it too well: they were expecting something silly. The film does have its sillier moments, of course, especially with Buster Keaton, and a bit of clowning and dialouge, such as the flea circus bit.
I find that Chaplin had an incredible speaking voice, and was very well capable of playing a dramatic role. Considering how his life went, as the movie seems to follow pretty closely, it makes sense. The relationship between the Chaplin and the ballerina is fascinating, how they keep each other from death, how they give each other hope. It is a great movie, and I wish there were more as good.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Clown and The Ballerina...,
...I like tug at your heart melodramas.
This story is like an opera without the mezzo soprano voice. A down and out, alcoholic clown takes in a "paralyzed" ballet dancer and inspires her to greatness, while he falls deeper and deeper into failure. A shadow of his former self, Calvero, the great clown performer, is reduced to street performances and passing the hat for money. What will definitely stir the movie viewer is that even in the age difference, the drinking binges, and the apparent class differences, the ballerina, Thereza, wants to marry Calvero and that she "would do anything" to make the clown happy. What devotion! You will love Chaplin's flea circus bit and his over the top violin performance with Keaton. Note: although the film was made in the 50's, it has a feel to it like it was done earlier. The movie viewer will enjoy it, nonetheless.
3.0 out of 5 stars Chaplin's Flaws and Virtues,
"Limelight" (1952) has not aged well. It's way overlong and suffers from Charlie Chaplin's phony philosophizing. However, the pantomime routines are excellent and the film is worth seeing for its brilliant eight-minute teaming of Chaplin and Buster Keaton. In fact, Chaplin could have taken a few pointers from Keaton, who speaks relatively little and performs without a hint of egomania. Chaplin may have cut some of Keaton's gags, yet the Great Stone Face steals the scene with his stoic underplaying. Parts of "Limelight" are quite affecting, but Chaplin undercuts his admirable efforts with his indulgent monologues on life, death and failure. His screenplay could have used another rewrite. Still, for all its flaws, "Limelight" showcases Chaplin's pantomimic gifts in memorable fashion.
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, moving--brilliant!,
That there are persons who dislike Limelight astounds me. My only conclusion (and this is well supported) is that the critics of Limelight don't get it. Chaplin's character, Calvero, doesn't philosophize endlessly because Chaplin is a blowhard; he overthinks life so that he doesn't lose his grip on it. Far from being indulgent, Limelight absurdly exaggerates ideas which must have been meaningful to Chaplin for the sake of characterization--it's sacrifical art. And it works. God! does it work. Limelight will make you cry if you have a soul and laugh if you have a sense of humor. This is one of Chaplin's best--up there with City Lights and The Great Dictator. "I like working on the streets," Calvero says; "I guess it's the Tramp in me." Sniffle.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a must.,
I am a Chaplin fan but I must recognize that it was not until I saw Limelight a couple of years ago for the first time in my life, that I discovered the real genious in Chaplin. This is a film the creates a bridge among the generations: the older, represented by Calvero (Chaplin) and the younger represented by Bloom. What saves her is the same thing that saves Calvero. The music is also remarkable. Long ago I first listened to a song called "Candilejas" sung by brazilean singer Roberto Carlos and until I saw Limelight I didn't know this was a Spanish version for the main title theme of the film that was awarded an Oscar in 1972. In my view, and I've watched many many films, this is the best film ever made, well ahead of Citizen Kane.
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant Ending,
This review is from: Limelight (DVD)
This is a fascinating and complex film that, if you are a Chaplin fan, will hit you with many emotions and make you think. The movie is rather dreamlike, in the sense that it re-invokes memories of his father, the music halls of his youth, his no-longer-attainable desires for beautiful young ingenues, and nighmares of losing an audience. As the last film he ever made in the US before he was declared persona non grata, it is an apt bookend to a 38 year film career. If the tramp was killed off by Monsier Verdoux, Charlie's remaining avatars confront death with elegance and melancholy in this underrated treasure.
5.0 out of 5 stars Over-indulgence,
How many times has this film been reviewed as a personal "over-indulgence" of Chaplin? How might one even begin to say that a man, with so much to offer to humanity, could EVER be over-indulgent? It is an insult not only to Chaplin but to the sensitivity and intellect of the one saying it. LIMELIGHT is a haunting and memorable film which displays the gracefulness of one man who had the courage to pass the "creative torch" to another. This "torch" most represents LIFE. And this is the message of LIMELIGHT.
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Limelight by Charles Chaplin (DVD - 2003)
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