Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Lady and the Tramp

The AFI released the results of their 100 Best American Films poll this week. Citizen Kane's still #1, of course, and there wasn't too much movement in the top 10 from the last poll, ten or so years ago. But below that, a lot of films took huge leaps. Dr. Zhivago fell off the charts from #39; Nashville jumped on to #59. Raging Bull rose 20 spots to #4; The Searchers went from #96 to #12. I find those reflections on shifting tastes way more interesting that what does or doesn't make the lest.

One of the biggest leaps was City Lights, Charlie Chaplin's masterpiece, moving from #76 to #11. This has one of the most moving endings of any movie ever; I've watched it any number of times, and the room always gets really dusty in the last two minutes.

A loose recap: Chaplin, as the Tramp, falls in love with a blind flower girl, who thinks he's a rich benefactor. He promises to get her money so she can have an operation that will allow her to regain her sight, which he manages to do (you really have to see the film to find out how). He tells her he's going away on a trip, then gets put in jail for months.

After he's released, this is what happens.

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