***½/**** Image A- Sound A Extras B+
starring Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Sydney Chaplin, Nigel Bruce
written and directed by Charles Chaplin
by Bryant Frazer The opening titles of Limelight describe the film modestly but self-consciously as "the story of a ballerina and a clown." The clown, of course, is Chaplin himself, playing a faded superstar of the stage named Calvero. The ballerina is Chaplin's own discovery, Claire Bloom, playing a beautiful and earnest young dancer. The story is about their relationship--how a washed-up old comedian takes a despairing young performer under his wing and gives her the confidence to become a great artist, even as his own career fades into irrelevance. The main dilemmas facing Calvero--his steadily advancing age and the fickleness of his public--were the same ones that bedevilled Chaplin at the time.