Circus -- Drama, Clowns -- Drama, Tramps -- Drama

The Circus

Recommended for ages 8 & up


Charlie Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Allan Garcia, Harry Crocker,

This lesser-known Chaplin film is a slapstick delight. We first meet the Little Tramp hanging around the sideshow, stealing hot dogs from a baby. After a chase through a mirror-maze and a stint imitating an automaton to elude the police, the spectator finds himself part of the show. The hapless Tramp becomes an accidental clown, the hit of the circus—but only when he isn’t trying to be funny. The Circus analyzes the nature of comedy while also producing plenty of it, climaxing with our hero’s nightmarish debut on the high wire.

Juliet Clark
  • Roland Totheroh
  • English
  • with music track
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • 72 mins
  • Janus Films/Criterion Collection

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View The Circus documents  

The circus (review), Village Voice, Andrew Sarris, 2007

Chaplin in the limelight (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, George Kaltsounakis, 2004

Charlie Chaplin, part II (program note), UCLA Film & Television Archive, 2004

Chaplin: a life in pictures (distributor materials), Warner Bros., David Robinson, 2003

Chaplin at the Castro (article), SF Weekly, Gregg Rickman, 1998

The circus (program note), Telluride Film Festival, 1998

Correspondence. Charlie Chaplin's collection. (correspondence), Interama, Nicole Jouve, 1997

Chaplin tribute (other), Variety, Roy Chartier, 1989

Charles Chaplin (program note), British Film Institute, Ken Wlaschin, 1976

The circus (program note), University of California, Los Angeles. Committee on Fine Arts Productions, 1973

Displaying 10 of 21 publicly available documents.

View all The Circus documentation on CineFiles.