MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 7,248 this week

The Circus (1928)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  1928 (Turkey)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 12,383 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 48 critic

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director:

(as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 08 Nov 2010
 
a list of 26 titles
created 15 Apr 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 02 Jul 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 1 week ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 4 days ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Circus (1928)

The Circus (1928) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Circus.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Kid (1921)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan
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
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The most important family in Hickoryville is (naturally enough) the Hickorys, with sheriff Jim and his tough manly sons Leo and Olin. The timid youngest son, Harold, doesn't have the ... See full summary »

Directors: Ted Wilde, J.A. Howe, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Walter James
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they're falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili
Marius (1931)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

César runs a bar along Marseilles' port, assisted by his 23 year old son, Marius. Colorful characters abound: M. Panisse, an aging widower and prosperous sail maker; Honorine, a fishmonger ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin
The Terminal (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An eastern immigrant finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chi McBride
Sabrina (1954)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur. But it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat
Roman Holiday (1953)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Al Ernest Garcia ...
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master (as Allan 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

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 <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tramp | police | circus | rival | pickpocket | See more »

Taglines:

You've waited two years for this one, but oh boy---here it comes---the greatest comedy of all time! It's a circus! Positively the greatest show of mirth! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

1928 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

The Circus  »

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's studio burnt down during production. This, combined with a number of major personal issues that arose during production, led to Chaplin's nervous breakdown (he spent time recovering in New York after about two-thirds of the film had been shot). See more »

Goofs

After the tramp washes the shaving cream from his face, he dries himself with a towel but the towel never touches his face (this is probably so that it won't mess up the stage makeup). See more »

Quotes

A Tramp: If you strike that girl, I'll quit! And what's more, I want what I'm worth.
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: I'll give you fifty dollars a week.
[the tramp shakes his head]
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: Sixty!
[the tramp mouths 'no']
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: I'll double it!
A Tramp: Nothing less than a hundred.
[the Circus Proprietor agrees and they shake on it]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011) 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

 
Chaplin's comedy about comedy is sweet, funny and beautiful
9 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Little Tramp is chased into a circus tent during a performance; his antics prove funnier than those of the clowns, and the ringmaster hires him for the show.

When a comedian plays a character who is inadvertently hilarious, it can seem narcissistic: just check out Jerry Lewis's "The Errand Boy" where Lewis has his supporting cast praise the comic genius of the character played by Jerry Lewis. Despite this danger, and despite Chaplin's off-screen egotism, the premise plays beautifully, especially since The Little Tramp (though not Chaplin) is such a terrible comedian when he's trying to be one. My favorite moment is when the ringmaster demands the auditioning Tramp to be funny right that instant: the Tramp grins and shyly dances around a bit, gingerly falls down, puts his cane between his legs and meekly lifts himself back up. "Terrible!" roars his would-be employer.

This film has more self-awareness over comedy conventions that any other Chaplin I know of. The Tramp ineptly (but hilariously) performs a couple of standard comedy routines with the other circus clowns. Later, there's a funny twist to the old banana peel gag; and near the end he crashes into an old general store, looking as if he's thrust himself back into his old Keystone days. This is Chaplin's last true silent film, and the Keystone moment feels like a nostalgic farewell to the past.

"The Circus" is funny throughout, but the opening scenes are probably the best. There's a marvelous funhouse sequence and a priceless routine where The Tramp pretends to be a motorized dummy. (Has anyone seen the Swiss clock routine from "Your Show of Shows"?) He also falls in love with the ringmaster's cruelly treated daughter, which leads to a poignant ending.

I enjoyed the music, which Chaplin composed for this film in 1969. His scores are always repetitive; but they're also sweet and funny and they enhance the action. I could have done without the title-sequence song (which he sings himself)—something about looking up at rainbows. Otherwise, this comedy is near-perfect and holds its own against Chaplin's even greater features, "The Gold Rush," "City Lights" and "Modern Times."


12 of 15 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
The Donkey sherylshannon
Merna Kennedy Chance-the-gardener
Poster? cman2099x
Discuss The Circus (1928) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?