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Charlie's Tramp character finds himself at a circus where he is promptly gets 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 ringmaster/owner immediately hires him, but discovers the Tramp cannot be funny on purpose, so he takes advantage of the situation by making the Tramp a janitor just happens to always in the Bigtop at showtime. Unaware of this exploitation, the Tramp falls for the owner's lovely acrobatic daughter, who is abused by her father. His chances seem good, until a dashing rival comes in and Charlies feels he has to compete with him. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
The Circus is probably Chaplin's most underrated film. It is (easily) one of the funniest movies ever, and the inventiveness of such shots as the Mirror Maze scene and the closing sequence are nothing less than brilliant. What separates Chaplin from other comedian filmmakers is his ability to evoke a sense of pity and/or sympathy for his character. How can you watch the closing scenes of this film and, even after all of the laughter, NOT sense a bit of melancholia welling up in your heart? Truly one of the greats.
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