Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus

Film Forum Jr., The Circus 

December 22 - 23, 2018

(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.

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Hudson Square

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