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City Lights
City Lights, the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street…
The Gold Rush - Silent Version
Charlie Chaplin's comedic masterwork--which charts a prospector's search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)--forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as the dance…
The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplin's comedic masterwork--which charts a prospector's search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)--forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as the dance…
Calcutta
When he was cutting Phantom India, Louis Malle found that the footage shot in Calcutta was so diverse, intense, and unforgettable that it deserved its own film. The result, released theatrically, is at times shocking--a chaotic portrait of a city engulfed in social and political turmoil, edging ever closer to…
Master of the House
Before he turned to the story of Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. A deft comedy of gentle revenge, it is the story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her…
The Kid
Charlie Chaplin was sitting atop the movie world in 1921 when he decided (against heavy studio resistance) to make The Kid, his first dramatic comedy -- a tale of an abandoned baby adopted by an impoverished tramp and the life they build together, it offers all of the slapstick humor…
Pygmalion
Part of the Series: The Criterion British Collection
Cranky Professor Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) takes a bet that he can turn Cockney guttersnipe Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller) into a "proper lady" in a mere six months in this delightful comedy of bad manners, based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. This Academy Award-winning inspiration for Lerner and…
The Lower Depths
Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa, two of cinema's greatest directors, transform Maxim Gorky's classic proletariat play The Lower Depths in their own ways for their own times. Renoir, working amidst the rise of Hitler and the Popular Front in France, had need to take license with the dark nature of…
Safety Last!
The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd--the modern guy striving for success--is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him. Lloyd plays a small-town…
I Was Born, But…
One of Ozu's most popular films,* I Was Born, But . . .* is a blithe portrait of the financial and psychological toils of one family, as told from the rascally point of view of a couple of stubborn little boys. For two brothers, the daily struggles of bullies and…
Playtime
Jacques Tati's gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with PlayTime. For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the lovably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a baffling modern world,…
Shadows
John Cassavetes's directorial debut revolves around a romance in New York City between Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light- skinned black woman, and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man. The relationship is put in jeopardy when Tony meets Lelia's darker-skinned jazz singer brother, Hugh (Hugh Hurd), and discovers that her racial…