Quick-Thoughts: Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus (1928)

Charlie Chaplin Marathon Part III of VII

Chaplin is making it noticeably hard for me to rank his films when, so far, all of them have been about equally lovable. Your impressive consistency is hurting my decision making! 

There’s no doubt that The Tramp’s comedic character always seemed destined for the circus setting, so the fact that this exists is no surprise, and to its credit, it works as exceptionally as you would expect it to. The Circus is Charlie Chaplin’s “sacrifice” tale, showing the journey of our beloved character becoming a crucial piece of a lackluster circus lead by an abusive father that has a young daughter who The Tramp begins attaching himself to. It has Chaplin’s staple scenario scheming to kindle maximum amounts of laughter — mirror rooms, lions, and tightropes, oh my! — and a lot of rewarding and vintage morality drama, as well. It’s pretty jaw-dropping too to witness how robust the special effects and stunt-work are in a feature-length nearly a century-year-old; The Circus deserves the “IMMORTAL” stamp of approval. 

Verdict: A-

The Eternal Tramp (Chaplin Ranked)

“The Circus” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

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