1928 / 72m - USA
The Circus poster


January 15, 2023


It's been a while since I watched a bona fide Chaplin film (i.e. one featuring his Tramp character). The Circus was a nice reminder of why I try to avoid his films as much as possible. If you don't care for (or in my case, can't stand) Chaplin's Tramp, then his films are hell to sit through.

When a tramp is visiting the circus, he is set up by a pickpocket. His attempts to escape the police are so funny that the owner of the circus promptly hires the tramp. Being funny on command proves to be a lot more difficult than expected, and when he falls for the charms of the owner's stepdaughter, the tramp finds himself in quite a bit of trouble.

Chaplin's slapstick comedy is infamous, but I just don't think it's funny anymore. And since the film is just one big string of comedy skits (with a bland backup story to tie things together), it quickly becomes a slog. Maybe I should prioritize Chaplin's more recent work, at least I can find something to appreciate there.