8.2/10
17,547
293 user 56 critic

The Circus (1928)

Unrated | | Comedy, Romance | 1928 (Turkey)
The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director:

(as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

(as Charlie Chaplin)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Gold Rush (1925)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
Limelight (1952)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce
City Lights (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan
Modern Times (1936)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A kept woman runs into her one-time fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller
A Dog's Life (1918)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Dave Anderson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde
The Pilgrim (1923)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Tramp is an escaped convict who is mistaken as a pastor in a small town church.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin
Shoulder Arms (1918)
Short | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin
Pay Day I (1922)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie is an expert bricklayer. He has lots of fun and work and enjoys himself greatly while at the saloon. As he leaves work his wife takes the pay he has hidden in his hat. But he steals... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Al Ernest Garcia ...
Merna Kennedy ...
His Step-Daughter - A Circus Rider
Harry Crocker ...
Rex - A Tight Rope Walker
George Davis ...
A Magician
Henry Bergman ...
An Old Clown
Tiny Sandford ...
The Head Property Man (as Stanley J. Sandford)
John Rand ...
An Assistant Property Man
Steve Murphy ...
A Pickpocket
...
A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
Edit

Storyline

The Tramp finds himself at a circus where he is promptly chased around by the police who think he is a pickpocket. Running into the Bigtop, he is an accidental sensation with his hilarious efforts to elude the police. The circus owner immediately hires him, but discovers that the Tramp cannot be funny on purpose, so he takes advantage of the situation by making the Tramp a janitor who just happens to always be in the Bigtop at showtime. Unaware of this exploitation, the Tramp falls for the owner's lovely acrobatic stepdaughter, who is abused by her father. His chances seem good, until a dashing rival comes in and Charlie feels he has to compete with him. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HIS LATEST! CHARLIE CHAPLIN in "THE CIRCUS" (original print ad - almost all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1928 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

El circo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Chaplin practiced tightrope walking for weeks before filming. He actually performed on a rope 40 feet in the air. However, the footage was lost when the negative was scratched during processing. The scene had to be re-shot, and the footage included in the film was not as good as that which had been lost, in Chaplin's estimation. See more »

Goofs

While the Tramp is locked into the cage, the lion is lying with his head some distance from the side wall in most shots until he gets up. But in one close-up shot just after the Tramp caught the water tray, the lion's head is suddenly right next to that wall. See more »

Quotes

The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: Go ahead and be funny.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Name Is Nobody (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing Little Girl
(1969) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Charles Chaplin for the 1969 release
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A terrific comedy, despite what some may say...
2 September 2003 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Do not be mislead by the ne'er do wells who claim this movie as Chaplin's weakest.

The plot is not intricate, but Charlie doesn't need an intricate plot to make us laugh out loud. "The Circus" proves this.

Saying that this film is boring is perfectly ridiculous: there are many moments of pure Chaplin genius and, if nothing else, you simply must see this film for the tightrope-walking scene. No, it's not trick photography: that's really Charlie tightrope walking with no stuntmen of any kind. If THAT'S not exciting, I don't know what is.

Oh, and just as a side note, this film was made during a time when Charlie was going through a very dirty and very public divorce-- his ex successful at having his funds frozen during the divorce, he was sued for a million in back-taxes and faced possible jail time, AND the ENTIRE SET to the circus burned down in a fire.

He most definitely deserved the special Oscar he received for this film. That's right: OSCAR.




31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
THE CIRCUS' reputation CHARLIE-89
Tightrope walking scene is the funniest scene on film kyluvjesus
Am I completely nuts?? smiles4891
Merna Kennedy Chance-the-gardener
Poster? cman2099x
classic music chewolverhampton
Discuss The Circus (1928) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?