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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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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:

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:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1928 (Turkey) 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

Charles Chaplin was a long-time admirer of French comedian Max Linder, who had died in October 1925, and often borrowed gags and plot devices from Linder's films. Some critics have pointed out the similarities between this film and Linder's last completed film, King of the Circus (1924). 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

Merna: I've run away from the circus.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Swing Little Girl
(1969) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Charles Chaplin for the 1969 release
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The OTHER great Chaplin Film
17 August 1999 | by TetselSee all my reviews

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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