Criterion will release Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight on May 19th. Pre-order today!
Charlie Chaplin’s masterful drama about the twilight of a former vaudeville star is among the writer-director’s most touching films. Chaplin plays Calvero, a once beloved musical-comedy performer, now a washed-up alcoholic who lives in a small London flat. A glimmer of hope arrives when he meets a beautiful but melancholy ballerina (Claire Bloom) who lives downstairs. An elegant mix of the comic and the tragic, this poignant film also features Buster Keaton in an extended cameo, marking the only time the two silent comedy icons appeared together on-screen. Made at a time when Chaplin was under attack by the American press and far right, Limelight was barely distributed in the United States upon its initial release, but it is now considered one of his essential and most personal works.
- New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Chaplin’s “Limelight”: Its Evolution and Intimacy, a new video essay by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson
- New interviews with actors Claire Bloom and Norman Lloyd
- Chaplin Today: “Limelight,” a 2002 documentary on the film, featuring director Bernardo Bertolucci and actors Bloom and Sydney Chaplin
- Outtake from the film
- Archival audio recording of Charlie Chaplin reading two short excerpts from his novella Footlights
- Two short films by Chaplin: A Night in the Show (1915) and the never completed The Professor (1919) Trailers
- PLUS: An essay by critic Peter von Bagh