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Chaplin's 1931 Rom-Com Masterpiece

Charlie Chaplin’s timeless romantic comedy will be screened in the

Mansfield Theater with the full score performed with live orchestra.


May 21 2022

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Chaplin was not only the director and star of the film, he also created the musical score.

Although sound had come to pictures by the late 1920s, Chaplin still believed in the aesthetics of silent movies and his own mastery of the art of pantomime.

Chaplin astonished the press and public alike by composing the entire musical score for City Lights. The music is a wonderful mix of joyous and romantic motifs. 


According to the New York Times, it’s “graceful and affecting music to draw out the emotional dimensions and sentiment of this poignant story, however comedic on the surface.”

The score can at times recall George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, written just eight years before City Lights was first released. 

The film follows the story of Chaplin’s iconic character, The Tramp, as he fights to provide financial assistance to a poor, blind flower girl he’s fallen in love with. She thinks he’s a wealthy gentleman and the tramp tries to maintain the illusion in a serious of hilarious misadventures motivated by his determination to help her.

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City Lights images used with permission

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