“In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in.” The Great Dictator (1940)
City Lights (1931) is widely considered Charlie Chaplin’s greatest movie. It’s the story of a tramp who falls in love with a blind girl, played by Virginia Cherrill; a pretty simple plot by today’s standards, but due to technical limitations at the time, it took Chaplin more than two years to shoot. Then again, it might have been completed sooner, if Chaplin wasn’t basically the proto-Kubrick: an uncompromising perfectionist who wanted to control every single detail of his films. For example: One scene in which Cherrill asks his character “Flower, sir?” had to be repeated more than 300 bloody times.
Yes, we should point out that it was a silent film.