The Circus

  • 1928
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

A tramp (Charles Chaplin) finds work doing odd jobs around a traveling circus, but his comic blundering soon makes him a popular clown. The tramp falls secretly in love with the owner's daughter (Merna Kennedy), an equestrienne; she, however, loves the handsome Rex (Harry Crocker), a daredevil tightrope walker, and is abused by her brutal father (Allan...read more

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A tramp (Charles Chaplin) finds work doing odd jobs around a traveling circus, but his comic blundering soon makes him a popular clown. The tramp falls secretly in love with the owner's daughter (Merna Kennedy), an equestrienne; she, however, loves the handsome Rex (Harry Crocker), a

daredevil tightrope walker, and is abused by her brutal father (Allan Garcia). Her father fires the tramp when he steps in to protect her, but the tramp comes back to persuade Rex to marry the girl. After the wedding, the tramp is invited to rejoin the circus, but he declines. The troupe moves on,

and he stays behind. Though a bit broader than his previous feature, the classic GOLD RUSH, THE CIRCUS opened to high praise from critics and proved popular with audiences as well. Since the thing most people remember from THE CIRCUS is the breathtaking high-wire sequence, it seems appropriate

that the film's genesis lay in the image of Chaplin trapped and bedeviled on high: As early as 1925 he told an employee, "I would like to do a gag placing me in a position I can't get away from for some reason. I'm on a high place troubled by something else, monkeys or things that come to me and I

can't get away from them." That sketchy notion was eventually refined and developed into the elaborate scene in which Chaplin's character fills in on the high-wire for the ailing Rex. At the very first Academy Awards ceremony, Chaplin -- already an industry veteran with more than 50 films to his

credit -- was honored with a special Oscar "for versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing THE CIRCUS."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A tramp (Charles Chaplin) finds work doing odd jobs around a traveling circus, but his comic blundering soon makes him a popular clown. The tramp falls secretly in love with the owner's daughter (Merna Kennedy), an equestrienne; she, however, loves the han… (more)

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