Almost forgotten by Chaplin and his audience for sixty years, more recently The Circus has become known as one of actor/director’s defining works. Featuring some of his best comic creations and earning points for the sheer hardship of production, The Circus is amongst Chaplin’s better films and ranks as one of my favourites.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
A Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) is mistaken for a pickpocket and chased through a circus by the police. Once in the big top he outwits the cops and gets more laughs in doing so than the circus clowns so is offered a job by the ringmaster (Al Ernest Garcia). On his first morning at work the tramp meets a beautiful young dancer (Merna Kennedy) who is hungry after being punished by the ringmaster who is also her father. The tramp falls instantly in love and shares what little food he has. Despite being a hit with the audience the tramp is unaware and like the dancer is mistreated by the ringmaster. No sooner does he become self aware he begins to act with hubris, making working conditions better for himself and his love. The tramp’s intentions are soon interrupted however with the arrival of a handsome young tightrope walker (Harry Crocker).