Blu-ray, DVD Release: Limelight (1952)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 19, 2015
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Charlie Chaplin’s masterful 1952 drama Limelight, about the twilight of a former vaudeville star, is among the writer-director’s most touching films.

Chaplin gazes into a mirror--and his very soul--in Limelight.

Chaplin gazes into a mirror–and his very soul–in Limelight.

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 (Richard III’s Claire Bloom) who lives downstairs.

An elegant mix of the comic and the tragic, this poignant film also features Buster Keaton (Our Hospitality) 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.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions of the classic movie include the following:

  • 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
    • An essay by critic Peter von Bagh
Buy or Rent Limelight
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.