A tippling ex-vaudeville performer in 1914 London takes in a suicidal young woman who longs to be a ballerina. Vanity project from writer-director-producer-star Charles Chaplin (who also composed the music score and actually won a belated Oscar for this in 1972, due to eligibility requirements!). The film itself is sadly unsuccessful: hammy, sentiment-steeped, yet still unmoving, it uncomfortably catches Chaplin in a self-reverential mood (he's constantly playing to the camera). Claire Bloom is lovely in support, but Buster Keaton is left with little to do. A maudlin and rather sickly piece of fluff. *1/2 from ****
Limelight (1952) 1080p YIFY Movie
Limelight (1952) 1080p
Limelight is a movie starring Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, and Nigel Bruce. A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.
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The Synopsis for Limelight (1952) 1080p
Chaplin's final American film tells the story of a fading music hall comedian's effort to help a despondent ballet dancer learn both to walk and feel confident about life again. The highlight of the film is the classic duet with Chaplin's only real artistic film comedy rival, Buster Keaton.
The Director and Players for Limelight (1952) 1080p
The Reviews for Limelight (1952) 1080p
Maudlin ChaplinReviewed bymoonspinner55Vote: 3/10
Even for a fellow well-versed in Chaplin's sound films, 'Limelight' provedan odd viewing experience upon my perusal of it.
Following on from 'The Great Dictator' and 'Monsieur Verdoux', Chaplineschews his physical comedy for the most part, preferring to address 'bigthemes' and important issues. 'The Great Dictator', quite obviously tacklesfascism and the demagoguery of a dictator: indeed pretty pertinent in 1940.'Verdoux' is an interesting one-off in its inherent darkness; the material,concerning a mannered serial killer, is treated with more sobriety and ablacker touch than had hence been the case with Chaplin's films. There is astartling effectiveness to the last reels of that film, with Chaplin's themeof society forming the individual's behaviour being emphatically and eerilyconveyed by his well-spoken character. 'Limelight' focuses on the gold minethat is Chaplin's career and the decline of his sort of comedy. It should begot out of the way first, that considering the possibilities this stirs inthe mind, the result will likely disappoint. But that does not affect myview that this is a very interesting film and broadly a successfulentertainment. It could be argued that 'The Great Dictator' is a finerinsight into Chaplin's art; the masterful pantomime is more vividly on show,and is Hitler is not especially the evil figure we know him to be, but morethe manipulative, balletic Chaplin, commanding our attention.
'Limelight' seems not to succeed in being a summation of Chaplin's career;perhaps as it distinctly lacks the raison d'être of his visual comedy. Okay,perhaps Calvero is a character based partly on other faded stars from themusic hall tradition, but we are not convinced that this is quite the sameChaplin. Of course, this is bound to be the case: this is sound cinema,nearly twenty years after the tramp's final sunset-bound trot. But, hereChaplin's character talks incessantly and unrepentantly: quite theconversion for the silent clown. Unlike Laurel and Hardy, the adjustment tosound was never made in his original screen persona, so this truly will seema different Chaplin to viewers. He pontificates in a somewhat lofty,generally admirable fashion; but it is the speech of a mannered, delicate,sentimental old English gentleman, and not a clown or philosopher. There aretimes his dialogue wades in some very interesting waters - such as thatregarding his views on audiences and the rigors of performance - but often,too little of worth is said with too many words, in an overweening,self-satisfied manner.
Where the film really succeeds is in the way Chaplin does take on a sort oftragic grandeur towards the close - or more rightly a rather sad grace; aman out of time and out of sympathy with most the world has to offer. Itseems he was lucky to obtain the services of Claire Bloom to play theballerina, Tereza, as she invests a crucial part with genuine feeling andwarm brittleness - a good contrast with Chaplin's slightly wearing charm andghostly drifting through the film. His contribution in bringing Bloom to thescreen is to be appreciated, as she went on to a most impressive career inmany mediums. Indeed, Bloom is rather histrionic at times, but at least itadds some genuine zest to proceedings. That she carries off this role, thatfrom the evidence we see, is so unlikely a young girl completely in thethrall of a curiously cold and verbose old man is a testament to herskill. She really conveys more of Chaplin's appeal than is perhaps warrantedby what occurs in the film.
Touches like the visual flashbacks of Neville and Tereza's unspoken romanceduring her voice-over, narrating the story, really help the film. As do theinclusion of performance sequences early on, which are revealed to be inCalvero's subconscious. The second of those rather amused me, seemingatypically Chaplin in its bantering wordplay and slightly otherworldly air.The performing fleas routine is hardly vintage Chaplin (but pray remember,Calvero is a purely music hall performer, of pre-WW1 days) in its invention,but it is very precisely performed. I loved the little bits implying a widertapestry: the drunken musical recitations by Calvero and a few friends inhis flat, the reminiscing in a bar. It may not be a picture focused on thedetails of London life in the era, but tantalizing glimpses aregiven.
It is charming to see faces of old Hollywood, albeit briefly in thispicture, that is so dominated by Chaplin's self-regard. Nigel Bruce is asplendid presence as you've guessed it a doddering, hapless old bufferwith heart certainly in the desired place and dander constantly up. BusterKeaton adds some much needed comedic timing and experience to the film withhis late appearance, performing with Chaplin in a decent final routine. Hereally outshines Chaplin, and it is a shame more isn't seen of his drollpresence, far more tangible and concrete than the curiously elusive Chaplinis here.
Whatever one's thoughts on the film's comedy, it must be recognized thatthis is more of a winsome, self-absorbed melodrama than it is anything likea comedy. That it works is surely down to the strange historical interest ofthe film and its undeniable melancholic resonance. This is a Chaplin at theend of his tether, seemingly unwilling or unable to go back to being acomedian. The film is sad, invested with a grand decay and propped up byperhaps a more real' Chaplin than was ever seen in his days of silence. Itsimply should not work it is a portrait over-egged to some degree - butthis is somehow remarkably compelling stuff. The picture all the more mournswhat isn't there.
Rating: - *** ½/*****
Charlie Chaplin was without a doubt one of the most important pioneers of film-making, and through his life he saw the development of the cinema and its progress. "Limelight" is probably not as well known as most of his silent feature, but it is a very important film to understand the vivacious mind of this genius. It is a very personal film that showcases Chaplin's feelings about his own brand of comedy and how it slowly lost the public's attention as he grew older.
"Limelight" is the story of an old comedian named Calvero (Chaplin), who one morning discovers that his young neighbor Thereza (Claire Bloom) attempted to commit suicide. He decides to take care of her and discovers that she is a dancer; knowing that both share a passion for performing he begins to cheer her up and prepares her to become a great dancer while at the same time he remembers his past glories.
When one watches "Limelight" is impossible not to see the many autobiographical aspects of the plot, as in many ways, Calvero represents how Chaplin feels at the modernization of comedy on stage. Like Chaplin, Calvero also played the character of an optimist tramp who always saw the good side of life, and like Chaplin, Calvero faced many times the urge to modernize his act. It's kind of frightening to think about how much of Calvero's story could be based on Chaplin's real experiences as it is a sharp criticism (for its time) to the way performers are treated by both their managers and their public.
As the last of his "talkies" made in America, "Limelight" is done with all the power Chaplin still had (although the film would be banned as Chaplin lost his power due to his political opinions) and it shows. The stage performances of the characters are sublime and in Calvero's memories Chaplin resurrects a way of comedy apparently dead by the early 50s and makes it fresh. The Keaton/Chaplin duo is a classic moment captured on film. However, "Limelight" is not a comedy in the strict sense of the word. Those expecting a laugh-riot like "Modern Times" or "The Great Dictator" will be disappointed, this is a very personal melodrama where Chaplin his emotions about his career.
The acting is very good, Chaplin may be more remembered for his parts in silent films, but he delivers his lines with ease and ability. His physical comedy is superb and his overall performance is memorable (mainly because it feels as if he was playing himself). Claire Bloom is at times a bit too melodramatic for the movie's sake, but for the most part is very effective and makes a good counterpart to Chaplin's Calvero. Among the supporting cast Nigel Bruce as always chews the scenery and Buster Keaton is simply fabulous in his small yet classic role.
Probably "Limelight"'s main problem is its excess of melodrama, and its at times, excessively preachy attitude. The fact that is not a comedy may turn off people not used to Chaplin's more serious side, as while the movie has its fair share of laughs, it is obvious that Chaplin wanted to be recognized as more than a mere clown. The movie's slow pace and rhythm also put it closer to the melodrama of the 40s than to the image we are all used to see when we think of Chaplin.
Despite all this, "Limelight" stands as a testament of Chaplin's enormous talent, and while not very well-known, it is one of the finest films he ever did. Fans of his work will definitely enjoy this film and fans of Keaton will appreciate his small yet terrific scene. 9/10