The Circus (1928) Online
The Tramp finds himself at a circus where he is promptly chased around by the police who think he is a pickpocket. Running into the Bigtop, he is an accidental sensation with his hilarious efforts to elude the police. The circus owner immediately hires him, but discovers that the Tramp cannot be funny on purpose, so he takes advantage of the situation by making the Tramp a janitor who just happens to always be in the Bigtop at showtime. Unaware of this exploitation, the Tramp falls for the owner's lovely acrobatic stepdaughter, who is abused by her father. His chances seem good, until a dashing rival comes in and Charlie feels he has to compete with him.
|Complete credited cast:|
|Al Ernest Garcia||-||The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master (as Allan Garcia)|
|Merna Kennedy||-||His Step-Daughter - A Circus Rider|
|Harry Crocker||-||Rex - A Tight Rope Walker|
|George Davis||-||A Magician|
|Henry Bergman||-||An Old Clown|
|Tiny Sandford||-||The Head Property Man (as Stanley J. Sandford)|
|John Rand||-||An Assistant Property Man|
|Steve Murphy||-||A Pickpocket|
|Charles Chaplin||-||A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)|
In the 1969 re-issue, the 80-year-old Charles Chaplin sang the title song.
Charles Chaplin practiced tightrope walking for weeks before filming. He actually performed on a rope 40 feet in the air. However, the footage was lost when the negative was scratched during processing. The scene had to be re-shot, and the footage included in the film was not as good as that which had been lost, in Chaplin's estimation.
Final Charles Chaplin film of the silent era. He would make two more "silent" films, bucking the trend towards sound; however, both Lichter der Großstadt - Eine Komödien-Romance als Pantomime (1931) and Moderne Zeiten (1936) would nonetheless include significant compromises to incorporate sound.
During production Charles Chaplin was served divorce papers by Lita Grey, dragging his sex life into the media with sensational claims in the court documents that severely tarnished Chaplin's image. Then the IRS got involved, claiming Chaplin owed a $1 million in back taxes. He spent a good deal of time in New York and/or London with the print of what had been completed, trying to stave off a nervous breakdown. The stress was so great that his hair, graying when production began, went completely white by the time filming resumed and had to be dyed to match.
Charles Chaplin's studio burned down during production. This, combined with a number of major personal issues that arose during production, led to his nervous breakdown (he spent time recovering in New York after about two-thirds of the film had been shot).
Charles Chaplin doesn't mention this film at all in his autobiography, possibly due to the stressful production. He also kept it out of circulation for almost 40 years.
Charles Chaplin's mother died during production.
In October 2010 a clip from the 1928 premiere of this movie (which can be found as a bonus feature on the DVD release) was featured on several network morning shows because of speculation that it showed definitive evidence of "time travel." In the scene, a woman appears walking past the zebra, talking on, of all things, a cell phone. The device was later found to be a 1924 Siemens hearing aid.
Charles Chaplin was a long-time admirer of French comedian Max Linder, who had died in October 1925, and often borrowed gags and plot devices from Linder's films. Some critics have pointed out the similarities between this film and Linder's last completed film, Max, der Zirkuskönig (1924).
During production one of the circus wagons was stolen.
Filming lasted 11 months.
For the scenes with the lions, Charles Chaplin made some 200 takes, in many of which he was actually inside the lion's cage. His looks of fear are not all merely acting.
Premiere included live stage prologue written by Joseph Plunkett.
After the first month of filming, it was discovered that the film negative had been scratched; restoration work was able to eventually adjust the negative.
Charles Chaplin drew on similar themes and ideas from his earlier film Der Vagabund (1916).
Charles Chaplin composed a new score for the film in 1967, and this new version of the film was copyrighted in 1968 (to "The Roy Export Company Establishment") and released in 1969/70.
Charles Chaplin first began discussing his ideas for a film about a circus as early as 1920.
Charles Chaplin wanted to include a scene involving a flea circus, but he couldn't justify putting it into the plot. It later resurfaced in Rampenlicht (1952).
The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
In 1947 Hanns Eisler worked on music for the film. Eisler then used the music he composed for his Septet No. 2 ("Circus") for flute and piccolo, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, and string quartet. Eisler's sketch of scene sequences and rhythms is in the Hans Eisler Archive in Berlin.
Finnish certificate register # 14846.