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The Circus (1928)

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

Director:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Albert Austin
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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 Harry Crocker ... Rex - A Tight Rope Walker
George Davis George Davis ... A Magician
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... An Old Clown
Tiny Sandford Tiny Sandford ... The Head Property Man (as Stanley J. Sandford)
John Rand John Rand ... An Assistant Property Man
Steve Murphy Steve Murphy ... A Pickpocket
Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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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

Plot Keywords:

ring | tramp | police | circus | rival | See All (152) »

Taglines:

The Circus is Here! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cirkus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During production Charles Chaplin was served divorce papers by Lita Grey, dragging his sex life into the media with sensational claims in the court documents that severely tarnished Chaplin's image. Then the IRS got involved, claiming Chaplin owed a $1 million in back taxes. He spent a good deal of time in New York and/or London with the print of what had been completed, trying to stave off a nervous breakdown. The stress was so great that his hair, graying when production began, went completely white by the time filming resumed and had to be dyed to match. 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

The Head Property Man: He'll kill himself.
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: That's all right; I've got him insured.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Chaplin replaced the original credits of this film when he reissued it in 1969. In their place there is an opening scene featuring Merna Kennedy on the trapeze while Chaplin sings a song, then the image fade to the credits of that version with no cast nor technical credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Magical Island: Catalina (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent film.
31 January 2011 | by joseph-a-landySee all my reviews

The Circus was both my first silent film and the first film I've watched by Charles Chaplin. Being my first silent film i thought for sure i would be bored to death, but was i wrong. The film was really funny, made me laugh out loud. The comedy in this film is very different to the comedy in films now a days. Now a days most comedy films are big on the special effects and just lame humor. In the circus the actors have actual talent, they have to be very good at showing there emotion, like facial expressions and things like that.I was amazed on how well the movie was, Charlie Chaplin is great and i hope soon i can get my hands on some more of his films. I almost wish they could make a films like this today just maybe with some color, i think it'd be a great idea.


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