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Deleted scene from City Lights

Charlie tries to disengage a sliver of wood stuck in a sidewalk grating in this deleted scene from City Lights.

On the set of City Lights
On the set of City Lights

Chaplin spent seven days shooting this seven-minute sequence for City Lights, but in the end decided not to use it. The display artist in the shop window was played by Harry Crocker. According to David Robinson’s Chaplin: His Life and Art, “The messenger boy […] was played by Charles Lederer, Marion Davies’s favourite nephew, the son of her sister Reine Douras. […] Almost forty years later, when Richard Meryman interviewed him, Chaplin recalled the sequence with enormous pleasure: ‘a beautiful sequence… it was marvellous.’ He remembered it all and could still act it out, and thought that Lederer’s messenger boy was ‘very well acted.’ The decision in the end not to use it shows that however prolix Chaplin’s imagination in the process of inventing a story, his rigour in eliminating the inessential or distracting - ‘shaking the tree’ - was uncompromising.”

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