Pssst, want to check out The Circus in our new look?
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Yet more proof that adding monkeys to a scene always makes it funnier.
Gag for gag Chaplins funniest and least sentimental film. Nothing but the funny. Love it.
Chaplin's last film of the silent era (but not silent film) is The Circus, and though I know it was a production fraught with problems, and Chaplin's personal life was going down the drain, it really doesn't show. It is as mad, amusing, and gentle as any of his classics. The Tramp accidentally joins a circus is the "plot", the setting being used for a lot of fun bits, but also impressive wire work. The actors seem to be doing all of the daredevil stuff for real, though there may be some trickery and I can't see it. Giving Charlie a big, fat security wire when he has to do the high-wire act is perhaps an act of genius, because it makes you expect that thick a rope on any performance up high, hiding actual wires not just from your eyes, but from your mind. Then again, Chaplin also puts himself in a lion's cage to get laughs, so this is some maverick Jackie Chan kind of stuff. Interestingly, the love story doesn't end the way these things normally do.
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In 11 official lists
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This movie ranks #13 in IMDb's 1920s Top 50
This movie ranks #27 in Paul Rotha's Silent but Not Forgotten
This movie ranks #29 in iCheckMovies's 1920s Top 100
This movie ranks #31 in IMDb's Family Top 50
This movie ranks #38 in Silent Era's The Top 300 Silent Era Films
This movie ranks #50 in IMDb's Romance Top 50
This movie ranks #171 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #373 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
This movie ranks #681 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #741 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #1191 in The Criterion Collection