Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus is one of Chaplin’s most underrated films. It is not as renowned as some of his other masterpieces such as The Gold Rush, City Lights or Modern Times, which is a shame as it is a very funny film. There were actually quite a few scenes which made me ‘laugh out loud’, whilst it is very easy to see the influence that this film and Chaplin has had on every film comedian since 1928.
One thing that I appreciated was that I was able to empathise with the Tramp in his jealousy and his unrequited love for the girl, who only has eyes for the dashing young tightrope walker. Charlie agreeing to walk the tightrope himself after the tightrope walker doesn’t turn up, so as to prove his love even if it kills him, is very funny and something many guys can empathise with. Seeing him up on the wire with monkeys climbing all over him is just hilarious.
One thing I like about this film is that Chaplin is not trying to make a grand statement or a great melodrama like his other films. It is not overly sentimental like a lot of his later films either.