Vigorous debate surrounds the issue of the greatest silent film comic: Is it Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Your preferences are your own, but it can't be denied that Chaplin's City Lights is a fantastically funny film. The tramp befriends a wealthy drunk, who in turn never remembers Chaplin when he sobers up but eventually gives him a bit of money, which enables the tramp to pay for his blind sweetie's (Virginia Cherrill) rent and eye surgery. And although Chaplin never got along with his costar, their chemistry was about as perfect as it can get in the pictures. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra performs an updated version of Chaplin's score while City Lights screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (December 29 and 30) in Powell Symphony Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1700 or www.slso.org). Tickets are $20 to $65.
Wed., Dec. 29; Thu., Dec. 30, 2010