City Lights is a 1931 American silent film and romantic comedy-drama written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. It also has the leads Virginia Cherrill and Harry Myers. Although "talking" pictures were on the rise since 1928, City Lights was immediately popular. Today, it is thought of as one of the highest accomplishments of Chaplin's prolific career. Although classified as a comedy, City Lights has an ending widely regarded as one of the most moving in cinema history. The officials of a city are dedicating a new statue, but when it is unveiled, Chaplin's Tramp is discovered sleeping on it. He is chased off by the crowd. Destitute and homeless he wanders the streets, getting tormented by two newsboys. He happens upon a blind Flower Girl (Virginia Cherrill), and buys a flower. Just when she is about to give him his change, a man gets into a nearby car and drives away, making her think the Tramp has driven off. The Tramp doesn't correct her and slinks away. The Flower Girl returns home to her simple life with her grandmother (Florence Lee). That evening, the Tramp runs into a drunken millionaire (Harry Myers) who is trying to commit suicide.
Widely considered Chaplin’s best film (or at least close to the best), this simple and sweet story has the beloved tramp going to outrageous lengths to raise money for a blind girl’s ‘miracle cure.’ But he’s just a tramp — will she still love him when she can see him for what he truly is? There’s the rub, and Chaplin reminds us of it despite the endless, goofy scenarios the tramp encounters en route to the touching finale.