Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Charlie, a wandering tramp, becomes a circus handyman and falls in love with the circus owner's daughter. Unaware of Charlie's affection, the girl falls in love with a handsome young performer. Charlie's versatility makes him star of the show when he substitutes for an ailing tightwire walker. He is discharged from the company when he protects the girl from her father's abuse, but he returns and appeals to the handsome performer to marry the girl. After the wedding the father prevails upon them to rejoin the circus. Charlie is hired again, but he stays behind when the caravan moves on.
A rollicking adventure, a heartbreaking romance & a passionate piece of quality filmmaking, The Circus is yet another timeless classic from the undisputed king of laughter that's deftly crafted & thoroughly accomplished in all departments of filmmaking and while it sits in the lower ranks of Chaplin's filmography, it's just as influential as his best-known works.
The Circus tells the story of a poor tramp who while at a circus is mistaken for a pickpocket by the police and in his effort to elude them, becomes an accidental sensation of the show. The crowd reaction makes the ringmaster hire him but since the tramp is unaware that he's the star of the show, he accepts the minimum wage offer and also falls…
"Time brought many changes to the Circus; new hopes and new ambitions."
The Circus is perhaps one of Chaplin's most under appreciated films considering it was directed after his acclaimed The Gold Rush and before his most critically adored film City Lights. I really don't see why it is considered a lesser film because it has one of the best love stories and in my opinion the best ending as well. I know City Lights' final scene is one of his best, but I think this one fits his character even better. It is hard for me to pick a favorite film from Chaplin since they all have something unique about them, but it doesn't deserve to be considered a…
I've been trying to catch up with Oscar nominations and the rest of the year's releases, but sometimes you need a fallback that's always going to be exactly what you need. For me, that's Charlie Chaplin. His are some of the only movies which can make me laugh even if I'm alone or in a bad mood. Beyond his brilliant slapstick, he puts so much detail into his characters that they take on a depth rarely seen in broad comedy. He is the prototypical outsider, the man without a place, and he shows us everything we need to know about love: we want others to love us, to have some sense of belonging, but ultimately all we really need is…
The Circus seems to be an ode to the movies and performers of Charlie Chaplin's time - and perhaps a statement on comedy, too. When the Tramp stumbles into a circus and turns everything upside down, the audience goes nuts. When he tries to do the same once he's aware that he's a star and expected to be funny, nobody even cracks a smile.
Early on after a failed audition, the owner of the circus decides that the Tramp is unfunny, but decides to milk his appeal for all it's worth anyway, without ever letting the Tramp know that he's a hit. Is that supposed to have something to do with production houses? Things like these are fun to think…
Review In A Nutshell:
I never thought that I would ever find the humour behind a silent picture to be appealing, but Charlie Chaplin has changed all that for me with so far seeing three of his films, and each one managed to put a smile on my face up to their very end. Behind the hilarity, is sadness and pity for a character that is trying to survive in a difficult environment, using comedy only to cushion it.
Chaplin's The Tramp is not a perfect individual, featuring flaws driven by his desperation to survive. He does not whine or dwell over his current predicament, he seems to just live every day like it was a new day, only acting…
"I've run away from the circus." ~ Merna
Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed and starred in this silent B&W feature about life under the big top. He plays a wandering tramp who stumbles his way to stardom as a property man cum clown and falls for Merna (Merna Kennedy), the beautiful but much maligned step-daughter of the Ring Master (Al Ernest Garcia).
It's pretty much one slapstick scene after another from beginning to end, as the Tramp has run-ins with a pickpocket, the police, a mule, a troupe of clowns, the circus magician, a lion and a handsome new tightrope walker named Rex (Harry Crocker), who catches Merna's eye.
As is often the case, there's an air of melacholy surrounding Chaplin's…
Possibly Chaplin's best film.
Easy to view it as Chaplin commenting on his own fame, performances and style of comedy.
Even easier to read as a series of immaculately executed gags. Where occasionally set pieces sort of wander into Chaplin films, do their thing and then leave, the circus setting allows for plenty of invention while keeping it very strictly relevant.
In which the Tramp impersonates an automaton, ruins a magic show, befriends a lion and is undressed by monkeys during a tightrope walk. I've seen this hailed as one of Chaplin's most consistently funny films, and I agree with that sentiment - there's very little story to set up here, just Charlie stumbling into an ailing circus and becoming the star attraction, with hilarious results.
I've also seen it called one of his least sentimental films, but for some reason I found the ending more moving than The Kid or The Gold Rush, perhaps because I didn't see it coming. Those other two films are lovely, but the happy ending is never in doubt; here Charlie finds a less conventional way to sign off, and it's utterly beautiful. PLUS there are baby pigs and a kitten.
Gags without a moral center and an elegiac conclusion to a comedy, both of which are still completely permissible (ahem, Hollywood!).
I admit it. I teared up at the ending.
A parade of inspired comic set pieces with just enough pathos to provide a bittersweet outlook, this might not be Chaplin in absolute peak form, but it deserves a better reputation than it seems to have (although it was apparently his most popular movie in its initial release). Endlessly inventive, it skitters through its scant running time never once staggering on its tonal high-wire. Many of the sequences here are classics, although Merna Kennedy is less beguiling than the average Chaplin heroine. Beyond that, I'd be hard pressed to find quibbles beyond the fact that many of the director's films are substantially better. [1969 version]
Here the Tramp winds up working at a Circus after actually being chased by Police around the Circus that believe he is a thief. The funny thing is that as he's being chased he is messing up all of the Circus acts by being destructive, the audience are loving it as they think it's all part of the show. Audiences even seem to enjoy it more then ever as he is messing everything up so eventually he lands a job there and is obviously only entertaining when he's being an idiot.
There is a young lady there that he cares for as she is being treated horribly, along the way a lot of interesting things happen. Overall it's just so inventive, intelligent and hilarious and also made at a time when Chaplin was going through some of his toughest times in reality but the genius still got into character 100%.
Still has the Chaplin charm but without quite the depth of some of his superior works.
One of the most courageous films ever made, Chaplin's satire attacked Adolph Hitler while the US government was still officially neutral towards Nazi Germany, but it's even more remarkable for its understanding of the complex relationship between Fascism and popular culture. Chaplin famously quipped that he first hated Hitler for stealing the Tramp's mustache, and he portrays his Hitler caricature Adenoid Hynkel as the Tramp turned inside out by the evils of the twentieth century. The clownish, neurotic dictator is motivated not only by delusions of grandeur (which Chaplin displays, gorgeously, in a ballet sequence where he dances with a balloon globe) but also by an insatiable need for popular acceptance. Chaplin also plays a victim of the dictatorship, a…
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!