Charlie Chaplin re-shot the scene in which the Little Tramp buys a flower from the blind flower-girl 342 times, as he could not find a satisfactory way of showing that the blind flower-girl thought that the mute tramp was wealthy.
Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill, City Lights (1931)
Attending a Los Angeles prize fight in 1928, near-sighted Virginia Cherrill didn’t recognize the man sitting next to her as one of the most famous in the world. Chaplin, struck by her photogenic good looks, offered the inexperienced Illinois farm girl the romantic lead in the project he was developing without a screen test.
It took a grueling two years to complete City Lights; at one point, Chaplin even fired his leading lady.
Friends thought he was insane filming a silent in the age of talkies, but it proved to be a monster hit and is genuinely regarded as his finest work.