FILM FORUM JR.
Saturday, December 22, 11:00 AM
Sunday, December 23, 11:00 AM
(1928) Steal candy from a baby? On a circus midway, Chaplin’s Little Tramp chows down on a hot dog still in a puzzled tot’s grasp – adding mustard mid-munch – then, persued by a cop, ricochets through a hall of mirrors, masquerades as a glockenspiel automation, and hurdles onto the circus floor itself where he and the cop perform a perpetual motion chase on a revolving platform, finally spinning off to disrupt a magician’s disappearance act – and brings the house down. And instead of the Big House, it’s the Big Top, as the ringmaster/owner immediately recruits the Tramp for his previously comedy-less circus, in between abusing his tutued equestrienne daughter Merna Kennedy. An inevitably one-sided Romance ensues, plus another problem: when star clown Charlie tries to be funny…he isn’t! But there’s a monkey-infested tour de farce still to come. Perhaps Chaplin’s most perfect blend of hilarity and pathos won him a unique out-of-competition Oscar: “For acting, writing, producing and directing The Circus.” 35mm. Approx. 72 min.
“One of the loveliest screen experiences! Perhaps the quintessential Chaplin film!”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times
“Because The Circus has no pretensions, it doesn’t seem to date – its comedy an charm are as strong as it ever was. No is it all devoid of serious or sophisticated moments.”
– William K. Everson
“A screaming delight from fade-in to fade-out. It is a howling, hearty, happily, slightly slapstick production… Behind each tear there are at least a dozen laughs.”
– New York Daily News (June 9, 1928)