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1,084 Ratings

The Circus

Directed by Charlie Chaplin
United States, 1928
Comedy, Silent


When we first meet Chaplin’s Tramp, he’s in typical straits: broke, hungry, destined to fall in love and just as sure to lose the girl. Mistaken for a pickpocket and pursued by a peace officer into a circus tent, he becomes a star when delighted patrons think his escape from John Law is an act.

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The Circus Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Critics reviews

It’s a set of gags that builds, with the figures popping unexpectedly into the foreground when we had assumed that the real actors were in the depth of the shot. Each scene in the maze is handled in a single take from the same camera setup.
December 28, 2018
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It contains passages of cruelty, depicting the abuse that the heroine suffers from her ringleader father, and these remind us—like so many others in Chaplin’s filmography—of the hardships that come between the joys of life. The blend of pathos and humor is, of course, the linchpin of Chaplin’s art, but in applying it specifically to the world of show business (as he would later in LIMELIGHT) Chaplin reveals its autobiographical origins.
January 27, 2017
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