The Circus (1928)

DailyView: Day 277, Movie 390

I have watched several Charlie Chaplin films during the DailyView, but they have all been shorts, half hour or less. Today, I watched a longer film from his career for the first time, called The Circus. It was wonderful.

The Little Tramp found himself working for a circus after being chased by the police for a misunderstanding about a pickpocket crime. While he came running through while being pursued by the police, the crowd loved him and laughed at his antics. So much so that the ringmaster (Al Ernest Garcia) hired him to be a clown. However, it turned out that Charlie was not funny when he was trying to be.

The Ringmaster’s step-daughter Merna (Merna Kennedy) befriended Charlie, and he gave her some food. She was treated very poorly by the Ringmaster and appreciated the help.

The arrival of a tight rope walker named Rex (Harry Crocker) complicated the situation for the Tramp, who began practicing walking the tight rope himself.

The one thing that I noticed different in this movie in comparison to the shorts is that this felt like more of a developed story than they were. The shorts were more of a series of slapstick at time. Extremely funny, yes, but not much by way of storytelling. The Circus had a plot and a full story. I felt I knew the characters more than I did in the shorts and the pay off of the film was very satisfying. I found The Circus to be quite charming as well as extremely funny.

Charlie Chaplin was a remarkable talent. He wrote, directed, scored and produced the film as well as starred in in. The Academy gave him a special Oscar for the effort. Why they did that, I am unsure.

This was a more pleasurable film than the other ones that I have watched today.

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