Charles Chaplin

The Circus

The Circus

In the last film he made during the silent era, Charlie Chaplin revels in the art of the circus, paying tribute to the acrobats and pantomimists who inspired his virtuoso pratfalls. After being mistaken for a pickpocket, Chaplin’s Tramp flees into the ring of a traveling circus and soon becomes the star of the show, falling for the troupe’s bareback rider along the way. Despite its famously troubled production, this gag-packed comedy ranks among Chaplin’s finest, thanks to some of the most audacious set pieces of the director-performer’s career, including a close brush with a lion and a climactic tightrope walk with a barrelful of monkeys. The Circus, which was rereleased in 1969 with a new score by Chaplin, is an uproarious high-wire act that showcases silent cinema’s most popular entertainer at the peak of his comic powers.

Film Info

  • Charles Chaplin
  • United States
  • 1928
  • 72 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Silent
  • Spine #996

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s 1969 rerelease version of the film, featuring an original score by Chaplin, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Interview with Chaplin from 1969
  • New interview with Chaplin’s son Eugene Chaplin
  • In the Service of the Story, a new program on the film’s visual effects and production design by film scholar Craig Barron
  • Chaplin Today: “The Circus,” a 2003 documentary on the film featuring filmmaker Emir Kusturica
  • Excerpted audio interview from 1998 with Chaplin musical associate Eric James
  • Unused café sequence with new score by composer Timothy Brock, and related outtakes with narration by comedy choreographer Dan Kamin
  • Newly discovered outtakes featuring the Tramp and the circus rider
  • Excerpts from the original recording session for the film’s opening song, “Swing Little Girl”
  • Footage of the film’s 1928 Hollywood premiere
  • Rerelease trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Pamela Hutchinson

New cover by Mark Chiarello

Purchase Options

Coming soon, available Sep 24, 2019

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s 1969 rerelease version of the film, featuring an original score by Chaplin, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Interview with Chaplin from 1969
  • New interview with Chaplin’s son Eugene Chaplin
  • In the Service of the Story, a new program on the film’s visual effects and production design by film scholar Craig Barron
  • Chaplin Today: “The Circus,” a 2003 documentary on the film featuring filmmaker Emir Kusturica
  • Excerpted audio interview from 1998 with Chaplin musical associate Eric James
  • Unused café sequence with new score by composer Timothy Brock, and related outtakes with narration by comedy choreographer Dan Kamin
  • Newly discovered outtakes featuring the Tramp and the circus rider
  • Excerpts from the original recording session for the film’s opening song, “Swing Little Girl”
  • Footage of the film’s 1928 Hollywood premiere
  • Rerelease trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Pamela Hutchinson

New cover by Mark Chiarello

The Circus
Cast
Allan Garcia
Circus proprietor and ringmaster
Merna Kennedy
His stepdaughter, a circus rider
Harry Crocker
Rex, a tightrope walker
George Davis
Magician
Henry Bergman
Old clown
Stanley J. Sanford
Head property man
John Rand
Assistant property man
Steve Murphy
Pickpocket
Charles Chaplin
A tramp
Harry Crocker
Clown
John Rand
Clown
Armand Triller
Clown
Betty Morrissey
Vanishing lady
Bill Knight
Police officer
Jack Pierce
Ropes operator
Jackie, Numa, Slats
Lions
Bobby, Josephine, Jimmy
Monkeys
Credits
Director
Charles Chaplin
Written by
Charles Chaplin
Produced by
Charles Chaplin
Photography by
Roland Totheroh
Production manager
Alfred Reeves
Art director
Charles D. Hall
Editor
Charles Chaplin
Assistant director
Harry Crocker
Cameraperson
Jack Wilson
Cameraperson
Mark Marlatt
Laboratory supervision
William E. Hinckley
Music composed by
Charles Chaplin
“Swing Little Girl” sung by
Charles Chaplin
Musical arrangement
Lambert Williamson
Musical associate
Eric James