Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Circus (1928)

Now I'm firmly a Keaton fangirl, and while I acknowledge Chaplin's genius - and the brilliant contributions he's made to film - I always come away feeling that Charlie's being too self-indulgent, self-aware.  So when a friend asked me to a showing of The Circus, I happily attended, but didn't expect too much.

I am so pleased I was wrong!

Maybe it was the energy of the crowd, maybe it was the novelty of seeing it on the big screen, but this was the funniest Chaplin movie I've ever seen.    Just the right balance of sweetness (the Tramp's relationship with Myrna Kennedy, who was surprisingly good) and silliness (how the Tramp winds up in the circus in the first place) - and the tightrope scene towards the end had me in tears. 

So Charlie, I'm giving you another go 'round.  Thanks for making my evening such a blast!

I give this one: 

A much more thorough (and eloquent) review can be found at Chris Edwards' terrific blog, Silent Volume.


Chris Edwards said...

If you find Charlie too saccharin, I recommend the Essanay Shorts:

He's much more of a dick in these early ones. Plus, you get to see him try things he'd never do later, like perform in drag.

Jump_Raven said...

I got the chance to see this on a big screen in my first film class. It's such a treasure and usually goes unnoticed among Chaplin's films.