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The Circus
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The Circus (1928) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles Chaplin (written by)
View company contact information for The Circus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1928 (Turkey) See more »
Charlie Chaplin in the Greatest Picture of His Entire Career... See more »
The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Chaplin's comedy about comedy is sweet, funny and beautiful See more (265 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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

Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Albert Austin ... Clown (uncredited)
Chester A. Bachman ... Cop (uncredited)
Eugene Barry ... Cop (uncredited)
Jack Bernard ... Man in Circus Audience (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Cop (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Clown (uncredited)
Bill Knight ... Cop (uncredited)
Toraichi Kono ... Man in Circus Audience (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
H.L. Kyle ... Man in Circus Audience (uncredited)
Betty Morrissey ... The Vanishing Lady (uncredited)
L.J. O'Connor ... Cop (uncredited)
Jack P. Pierce ... Man Operating Ropes (uncredited)
Hugh Saxon ... Man in Circus Audience (uncredited)
Doc Stone ... The Prizefighter (uncredited)
Armand Triller ... Clown (uncredited)
Max Tyron ... Pickpocket Victim (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Chaplin  (as Charlie Chaplin)
Writing credits
Charles Chaplin (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin)

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (as Charlie Chaplin)
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin (music composed by) (1969) (as Charlie Chaplin)
Cinematography by
Roland Totheroh (photography) (as Rollie H. Totheroh)
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Casting by
Al Ernest Garcia (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harry Crocker .... assistant director (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mark Marlatt .... camera operator (uncredited)
Jack Wilson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Charles Chaplin .... title music: sung by (1969 print) (as Charlie Chaplin)
Eric James .... musical associate (1969 version)
Lambert Williamson .... music arranger (1969 version)
Joseph Plunkett .... conductor: prologue (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Toraichi Kono .... driver: Mr. Chaplin (uncredited)
Other crew
William E. Hinckley .... laboratory supervisor
Tony Campanaro .... monkey trainer (uncredited)
Harry Crocker .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Henry East .... dog trainer (uncredited)
Charles Gay .... lion trainer (uncredited)
Della Steele .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
71 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Denmark:A (2003) | Finland:S | Finland:K-3 (re-rating) (2001) | Germany:6 | Spain:T | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Unrated | USA:G (re-release: 1969)

Did You Know?

Filming lasted 11 months, which was an eternity in the 1920s.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Swing Little GirlSee more »


Is it true that there is a woman talking on a cell phone in this movie?
See more »
14 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Chaplin's comedy about comedy is sweet, funny and beautiful, 9 December 2006
Author: J. Spurlin from United States

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."

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THE CIRCUS' reputation CHARLIE-89
Tightrope walking scene is the funniest scene on film kyluvjesus
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