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Circus
  • Alternative view 1 of The Circus
  • Alternative view 2 of The Circus
     

The Circus

Director: Charles Chaplin, Allan Garcia, Henry Bergman, Merna Kennedy

Cast: Charles Chaplin, Allan Garcia, Henry Bergman, Merna Kennedy

 

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Charlie Chaplin's celebration of life under the big top has been given a truly special presentation for this DVD release. The Circus has been transferred to disc in the original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The film was released silent, and the accompanying score (written by Chaplin) appears in two formats, Dolby Digital Mono and Dolby Digital 5.1. The

Overview

Charlie Chaplin's celebration of life under the big top has been given a truly special presentation for this DVD release. The Circus has been transferred to disc in the original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The film was released silent, and the accompanying score (written by Chaplin) appears in two formats, Dolby Digital Mono and Dolby Digital 5.1. The film's intertitles are in English, with optional translations in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, and Korean. This edition includes an introduction from Chaplin biographer David Robinson, a documentary appreciation of The Circus by François Ede and Emir Kusturica, outtakes and deleted scenes, home movies from Chaplin's archives, newsreel footage from the premiere, a gallery of photos and promotional artwork, trailers for Chaplin's other films, and more.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Charlie Chaplin puts the Little Tramp into the circus, and the result is his most underappreciated feature. Like many of Chaplin's films, The Circus blends the hilarious with the sentimental, and at the core is Charlie's destiny to watch from the sidelines as his love falls for someone else. The very naïveté and sentimentality of Charlie's scenes with Merna Kennedy are what make them so strangely affecting and sincere. But it is the comedy that makes this film priceless. Among the best sequences are: Charlie's pursuit by the police, which takes him through the house of mirrors and includes the famous gag of Charlie turning himself into a sort of robotic figurine to elude the police; Charlie's failure to successfully audition for the circus, because it involves being intentionally funny; Charlie's disastrous introduction as a prop man; Charlie getting stuck in the lion's cage; and, of course, the flawless climax in which Charlie attempts to perform Rex's high wire act. Throughout, there are smaller, more subtle, moments that flesh out the characters and give the film its heart, and as always with Chaplin, there is the essential aspect of Charlie's personality: the Little Tramp who tries to maintain his dignity in the face of ridicule and defeat. Chaplin's pitch-perfect comic timing and his ability to convey the Tramp's personality through the subtlest of gestures and expressions are what make his creation so endurable. In fact, he is so smooth that he makes it easy to take for granted the amount of work involved in making the film seem so effortless, but the very fact that the shooting for the picture spanned an amazing two years underscores just how much sweat and experimentation went into Chaplin's work. The Circus will probably always exist in the shadow of Chaplin's better-known efforts, but it deserves to be fully appreciated on its own terms.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/02/2004
UPC:
0085393764425
Original Release:
1928
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:09:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; All-new digital transfer from Chaplin family vault picture and audio elements; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as original mono; Interactive menus; Scene access; Subtitles: English, Français, Español, Português, Chinese, Thai, & Korean; Introduction by David Robinson: Chaplin's biographer discusses the historical and cinematic context of the film (6 mins.); "Chaplin Today: The Circus" documentary by François Ede with the participation of the award-winning director Emir Kusturica (26 mins.); Deleted sequence: Chaplin, the bareback rider, and the tightrope walker go on an accident-filled dinner date (10 mins.); October 7-13, 1926: Outtakes from a week of shooting on The Circus (26 mins.); Mountbatten home movies: Three home movies from the archives of Lord Louis Mountbatten -- Chaplin on the set of The Circus; Chaplin visits Douglas Fairbanks on the set of The Gaucho; The Sacrifice, an improvised comedy shot on a beach, with Chaplin as king of a South Sea island (7 mins.); The Hollywood premiere (1928): Reportage of the star-studded premiere of The Circus in Los Angeles (6 mins.); Camera A, Camera B: Shots made simultaneously from the two cameras consistently used in shooting The Circus (1 min.); 3-D test footage by Roland Totheroh: 3-D experiment by Chaplin's chief cameraman (2 mins.); Circus Day With Jackie Coogan - Excerpts: The young co-star of The Kid plays the lead in this adaptation of a favorite children's book about the adventures of little Toby Tyler in a traveling circus (12 mins.); Photo gallery: Production photos, deleted scene, designers' sketches, sets, Merna Kennedy; Film posters; Trailers (8 mins.); The Chaplin Collection (12 mins.)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Chaplin The Tramp
Allan Garcia Circus Owner
Henry Bergman The Old Clown
Merna Kennedy Equestrian
Harry Crocker Rex, the Tightrope Walker
John Rand Assistant Property Man
Stanley "Tiny" Sandford The Head Property Man
George Davis Magician
Steve Murphy The Pickpocket
Betty Morrissey The Vanishing Lady

Technical Credits
Charles Chaplin Director,Score Composer,Cinematographer,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Harry Crocker Asst. Director
Charles Hall Production Designer
Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Film
1. Directed by Charlie Chaplin [1:33]
2. The Empty Circus [2:01]
3. The Wallet [2:57]
4. Mirror Maze [3:25]
5. The Funny Man [3:40]
6. A Job [5:21]
7. William Tell [3:12]
8. The Barber-Shop Act [4:12]
9. The Circus Rider [2:21]
10. Prof. Bosco [3:49]
11. The Same Hard Life [2:21]
12. The Lion [3:45]
13. The Pole [3:02]
14. Fortune-Telling [4:34]
15. I Don't Like Tightrope Walkers [3:34]
16. His New Ambition [1:16]
17. A New King of the Air [5:23]
18. On the Rope [5:44]
19. That Night [2:36]
20. The Next Morning [3:38]

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