Although sound films were on the rise when Chaplin started developing the script in 1928, he decided to continue working with silent productions. Filming started in December 1928 and ended in September 1930. City Lights marked the first time Chaplin composed the film score to one of his productions and it was written in six weeks with Arthur Johnston. The main theme, used as a leitmotif for the blind flower girl, is the song "La Violetera" ("Who’ll Buy my Violets") from Spanish composer José Padilla. Chaplin lost a lawsuit to Padilla for not crediting him.
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