8.1/10
30,145
338 user 69 critic

The Circus (1928)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 29 January 1928 (Canada)
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)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Al Ernest Garcia ... The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master (as Allan Garcia)
Merna Kennedy ... His Step-Daughter Merna - A Circus Rider
Harry Crocker Harry Crocker ... Rex - A Tight Rope Walker
George Davis ... A Magician
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... An Old Clown
Tiny Sandford ... The Head Property Man (as Stanley J. Sandford)
John Rand ... An Assistant Property Man
Steve Murphy Steve Murphy ... A Pickpocket
Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
Edit

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

Taglines:

FREAKS, FUN, FROLIC OF THE SMALL TOWN CIRCUS, WITH CHARLIE AS A TIGHT ROPE WALKER. (Print Ad- Steuben Courier,((Bath, NY)) 22 march 1929) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the first month of filming, it was discovered that the film negative had been scratched; restoration work was able to eventually adjust the negative. 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 right next to that wall. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Charles 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 fades to the credits of that version with no cast nor technical credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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.


51 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 338 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Instagram | Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

29 January 1928 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Circus See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,916
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed