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on August 13, 1999
"The Circus" is a decidedly strange effort from Charlie Chaplin. His last silent film focuses on the aspect of a clown's success and failure -- a theme that worked to better advantage in Chaplin's "Limelight." There are a few highlights, particularly the classic funhouse chase, yet the overall movie seems forced and a bit too melodramatic. No wonder Chaplin kept "The Circus" out of circulation for more than 40 years -- he knew it was lacking. The same goes for the accompanying two-reeler, "A Day's Pleasure," which is one of the Chaplin's weakest shorts and a significant comedown from his groundbreaking work at Mutual. In retrospect, neither film shows Chaplin at his absolute best.
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on March 2, 2004
The Circus is one of those slapstick comedy classics that is so charming in its reverence to "the Big Top" that it transcends time with each and every viewing. Chaplin is, of course, fleeing the police yet again and this time his escape leads him to a circus where he easily becomes one of the funniest acts.
TRANSFER: Warner/MK2 give us a beautifully rendered B&W picture that, although showing signs of age related wear and tear, nevertheless enthralls in each and every frame. Film grain is kept to a minimum. Blacks - for the most part, are deep and solid. The gray scale is nicely balanced. Occasionally there is some aliasing but it is minute and unobtrusive. The audio, as with all Chaplin movies, has been remastered to 5.1 with a nice spread across all 5 channels.
Extras:a documentary, deleted sequence, outtakes, three home movies, excerpts from "Circus Day" with Jackie Coogan, a photo gallery, film posters and trailers.
BOTTOM LINE: Another Chaplin classic to add to your growing film library!
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on December 21, 1998
In this classic romantic comedy, Charlie stumbles upon a circus in which he finds employment through some silly bits of mishaps. Upon his inept and clumsy employment, he finds himself the saving grace of the floundering circus by accidentally becoming the hit comedy act and main audience draw. Meanwhile, he falls desperately in love with the beautiful equestrian who also happens to be the daughter of the abusive circus owner and ring master. Charlie has dreams of a wonderful life with her away from the circus until the reality of her heart's true desire is learned. A heart-wrenching story which displays the joy, the horror, and the grace of love.
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on March 9, 2004
often overlooked between The Gold Rush and City Lights, which bracketed it in Charlie's catalog. I'd neber seen this one until now, but I think it's probably the strongest of Charlie's straightforward slapstick films. He really didn't try this sort of thing in the later part of his career, so it's cool to get a chance to see him do it with the technical progress that had been made since his early days at keystone.
And Merna Kennedy may very well be the most beautiful woman to ever live. It's a shame she died so young.
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on March 22, 2004
Of all the films I've watched of Charlie Chaplin this has got to be my most favorite comedy of his and definitly needs to be saved from obscurity . It's both a drama and comedy and has lots of pantomime and slapstick . The story goes like this , Charlie goes to the circus and is mistaken for a pickpocket . He tries to escape from the police by entering a mirror maze ( I wonder how Charlie pulled off this camera trick ) and pretends to be one of those mechanical dummies . He then gets chased into the big top where he causes a roar of laughter to the audience that has been bored out by the ringmasters so called entertainment . The ringmaster soon realizes that this tramp character is what he needs for his circus so he gives him a trial and lets Charlie show off his funny`material which to the ringmaster is not funny. The only time the tramp is funny is when he tries not to be so the ring master hires Charlie to be a property with pretty good results . The tramp falls in love with the ringmaster's abused step daughter . Merna( the ringmaster's stepdaughter ) soon finds love with the circus's new attraction Rex the " King of Air " a.k.a. tightrope walker . The movie is very funny and is filled with gags such as Charlie on the tightrope being harrassed by monkeys pulling his pants down , biting his nose , and sticking their tails in his mouth . What's really interesting about this scene is that when you look at the expression on his face it's pretty sad , its charlie struggling through his perosonal life . He can't escape from all this trouble just like he could'nt escape from his divorce with his second wife Lita grey , his money problems , his mother's death and problems with stage fires all during the making of this film . The last scene in the film just wants to make you burst into tears because the tramp finds out that the girl is in love with the tightrope walker so he gets them married because he knows that he could never have a chance with Merna and the circus leaves leaving Charlie behind. Truly one of Chaplin's most hard to make films that should be more mentioned about . The short comedy included in this video sucks though .
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on January 6, 2000
There may be other Chaplin features that are subtler, more poignant, etc., but of the ones I've seen, "The Circus" is his flat-out funniest (ain't seed "The Kid" or "Modern Times," or "A Day's Pleasure," for that matter). Maybe that's because I saw it with a large and appreciative audience.
Perhaps Chaplin kept it out of circulation because the monkeys (who presumably improvised) were funnier than anything he could come up with on purpose. There are few images in cinema more priceless than (DON'T READ THIS IF YOU AIN'T SEEN IT) that monk wrapped around the Tramp's neck and gnawing on his nose as they swing back & forth on the trapeze.
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on August 9, 2002
Along with Lucy, Chaplin is the only classic comedian I like. Okay, Three Stooges too. Anyway, alot of truth is shown in this movie, like when Chaplin is funny accidently as well as purposely. The donkey and the lion add humor to the film, as well as the horse and the pill. Chaplin does something most people wouldn't in this film, and that would be marry off the girl he loves to someone else because their in love. He works in the circus for awhile but then he believes he must go back to his tramp life. This is a funny side of Chaplin that classic movie likers will enjoy.
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on April 30, 2000
The Circus is like many of Chaplin's comedies they start off hilarious but once they get towards the middle they get boring. He just does the same thing over and over again. I suggest you dont buy a Chaplin movie, just wait until his movies are on a classic film channel, like TCM.
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on May 14, 1999
Well, THE CIRCUS lacks the inventive hilarity of THE GOLD RUSH and the poignant finale of CITY LIGHTS, but it has so many moments of captivating lunacy, with everything from inspired originals that has been copied by everyone including THE THREE STOOGES.
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on November 27, 2015
tres bon
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