CityLights

Today in Movie History: January 30

Charlie Chaplin has been on our minds a lot of late, and today saw the release of one of his masterpiece: City Lights, the story of Chaplin’s ubiquitous Little Tramp and the blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) who falls in love with him. It’s vintage Chaplin at its finest, and if you don’t get a little misty-eyed at the finale, you might not actually possess a soul. City Lights opened today in 1931.

Way, way WAY down the totem pole, we find a couple of decidedly scruffier movies that nonetheless hold plenty of guilty pleasures. We’ll start with Taken, Pierre Morel’s reactionary revenge piece that benefits immeasurably from Liam Neeson’s steely hero. (It gave the actor a signature catch phrase in the bargain.) It opened today in 2009.

The other movie was Deep Rising, Stephen Sommer’s glorious monster mash in which a Lovecraftian horror attacks a luxury cruise liner. It doesn’t trade in the uglier stereotypes of Taken and — while goofy in the extreme — makes for a much more enjoyable experience overall. It opened today in 1998.

(Incidentally, both of the above movies featured Famke Janssen… just one of the reasons why we love her.)

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