Silent Era Information*Progressive Silent Film List*Lost Films*People*Theaters
Taylorology*Articles*Home Video*Books*Store*Search
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  City Lights
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

City Lights
(1931)

 

The crown jewel of Charles Chaplin’s silent film career, and one of the top five movies of the entire silent era, the film features Virginia Cherill as the blind girl, with Florence Lee, Allan Garcia, Stanhope Wheatcroft, and veteran comedians Harry Myers, Hank Mann, Henry Bergman, Albert Austin and John Rand.

coverThe Criterion Collection
2013 Blu-ray Disc / DVD edition

City Lights (1931), black & white, 86 minutes, not rated.

The Criterion Collection, CC2316BDDVD, spine number 680,
UPC 7-15515-11111-9, ISBN 978-1-60465-785-2.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region A Blu-ray Disc, 1.20:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels) 24FPS progressive scan AVCHD MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; and one single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD disc, 1.20:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) progressive? scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; two-disc standard BD keepcase, $39.95.
Release date: 12 November 2013.
Country of origin: USA

This dual-format edition features a new, restored 4K digital video transfer and the Blu-ray Disc edition is presented with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack.

The supplemental material includes Chaplin Today: City Lights (2003), a documentary on the film’s production; new audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance; Chaplin Studios: Creative Freedom by Design, a new interview program; archival footage from the production of City Lights; an excerpt from Chaplin’s short film The Champion (1915); film trailers; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Gary Giddins; and more.

 
USA: Click the logomark to buy this Region A Blu-ray Disc / Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to buy this Region A Blu-ray Disc / Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
coverPark Circus
2010 Blu-ray Disc / DVD edition

City Lights (1931), black & white, 83 minutes, BBFC Classification U.

Park Circus, PCB0017, UPC 5-060203-34017-9.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region B Blu-ray Disc, 1.20:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (? x ? pixels) 24FPS progressive? scan AVCHD MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; and one single-sided, dual-layered, Region 2 PAL DVD disc, 1.20:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (? x ? pixels) progressive? scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; two-disc standard BD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, £19.99.
Release date: 15 November 2010.
Country of origin: Scotland
This UK high-definition dual-disc edition of City Lights, from a Scottish distribution company and produced for home video by MK2, features a new high-definition video transfer from 35mm print materials controlled by the Estate of Charles Chaplin.

The film is presented with the established music score composed by Charles Chaplin.

The disc’s supplemental material includes an introduction by David Robinson.

Other than its HD transfer, and this edition being nearly identical in content to the 2004 Warner Home Video edition noted below, owners of that edition may not feel the need to acquire this Park Circus edition. This edition, currently the only high-quality edition in print, is recommended for those who want to add the film to their collection now.

North American collectors will need a Region B or region-free Blu-ray Disc player and/or a region-free PAL DVD player capable of outputting an NTSC-compatible signal to view this edition.

 
United Kingdom: Click to buy this Region B Blu-ray Disc / Region 2 PAL DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
coverWarner Home Video
2004 DVD edition

City Lights (1931), black & white, 83 minutes, Rated G.

Warner Home Video, 37648, UPC 0-85393-76482-1, ISBN 0-7907-7165-9.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai and Korean language subtitles, 20 chapter stops; two plastic DVD trays on cardboard wrap in cardboard slipcase, $29.95.
Release date: 2 March 2004.
Country of origin: USA

This DVD edition was digitally restored from excellent 35mm materials held by the Estate of Charles Chaplin. At first glance, the full-frame video transfer well reproduces the broad greytones range and image details of the source materials. However, we have had problems with the disc displaying properly to a 16:9 high-definition television when played from one of our DVD players. The picture fills the 16:9 monitor in width (already wrong for a 4:3 format picture) and crops the top and bottom of the picture to do so. No amount of manipulation of the picture settings ideally resolves the issue. Other DVD players will not have this problem.

The supplementary material includes Georgia Hale’s screen test as the blind girl, a short documentary, and more.

The disc is now out-of-print to make way for the newer editions noted above.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverCBS/Fox Home Video
2000 DVD edition

City Lights (1931), black & white, 87 minutes, Rated G.

CBS/Fox Home Video, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID9181CUDVD, UPC 0-14381-91812-0.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; snapper DVD case, $29.99.
Release date: 8 February 2000.
Country of origin: USA
It appears that the masters from the 1993 Chaplin: A Legacy of Laughter laserdisc series were utilized for this and other year 2000 Chaplin DVD releases. The City Lights DVD features the mono tracks of the original 1931 film soundtrack and PCM stereo tracks of the reconstructed music score arranged by Carl Davis and recorded in 1989.

The disc is now contractually out-of-print to make way for the newer editions noted above.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other silent era CHARLES CHAPLIN films available on home video.

Other silent film music scores by CARL DAVIS available on home video.

Charles Chaplin filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  City Lights
 

SUPPORT SILENT ERA
USING THESE LINKS
WHEN SHOPPING AT
AMAZON

AmazonUS
AmazonCA
AmazonUK

When Knighthood Was in Flower BD/DVD

City Lights BD/DVD

Silent Era Ads
Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology (1902-1943). Films by Blaché, Weber, Dulac and more!
 
AVAILABLE
from Amazon

Gold Rush on Blu-ray Disc

Gold Rush on DVD

The Kid on Blu-ray

Chaplin’s Essanay Comedies

Chaplin Mutuals on Blu-ray/DVD

Chaplin at Keystone

Unknown Chaplin on DVD

Silent Era Ads
Irvin Willat’s
Behind the Door (1919) starring Hobart Bosworth, Jane Novak and Wallace Beery.
 
AVAILABLE
from Amazon

The Lost World BD

The Last Laugh BD

Dawson City BD

The Champion Documentary

Chaney Before Thousand Faces

Whispering Shadows DVD

The Lost World BD

Beggars of Life BD

Beggars of Life DVD

Variete BD

*