BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage

»[an error occurred while processing this directive] 

Contact Us

U The Circus DVD (1928)
Reviewed by Almar Haflidason
updated 22nd September 2003

reviewer's rating
five star


Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin

Al Ernest Garcia
Charles Chaplin
Merna Kennedy
Harry Crocker
George Davis
Henry Bergman

72 minutes

Warner Bros


22nd September 2003



User Comments & Reviews
» Read other users' reviews
» Write your own review

The classic sight of the little tramp accidentally stumbling into the big top of a circus only to become its leading attraction is always amusing. What's incredible are the difficulties the production faced - this two-disc DVD release gives you the full story.

This disc set is available to buy on its own or as part of "The Chaplin Collection: Volume 2" and "The Complete Chaplin Boxset".


Picture Deep blacks rich with detail distinguish this sharp image transfer.

Sound The music of the film is treated to a 5.1 sound mix that subtly blends the score around the speakers.


Introduction We won't give away all the drama that David Robinson discusses here, but it's hard to recall a film production so blighted with problems - ranging from fire to lawyers determined to destroy Chaplin.

Chaplin Today: The Circus The two year hell Chaplin went through making "The Circus" was so awful, he didn't even mention it in his autobiography. This documentary delves deep into the production, how it has been critically underrated, and the levels of perfection Chaplin sought (200 takes alone for the tightrope scene).

Deleted Sequence Most of the time if Chaplin deleted material, it was fit for the can, as you'll see from other such excerpts on the other Chaplin DVDs. This scene is an exception, though. Warm and funny, it shows the little tramp trying to practice his tightrope routine on an upturned rake.

Mountbatten Home Movies In this section you'll find footage shot at Chaplin's studios, footage from Douglas Fairbanks' house, and a short home movie entitled "The Sacrifice".

Documents This section doesn't contain text extras but rather footage from the 1928 premiere, a multi-angle scene, 3D test footage, and a Jackie Coogan short.

Additional Extra Features Also on disc two are trailers, eight image galleries, a poster gallery, and a selection of clips from all the films in "The Chaplin Collection".

Ratio: 1.33:1 (original fullscreen ratio)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 (mono)
Audio Tracks: English
Subtitles: Multiple languages
Captions: None (silent film)
Menus: Static, with music
Special Features Subtitles: The only special features with subtitles are David Robinson's Introduction and the Chaplin Collection excerpts.

This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.

Find out more about "The Circus DVD" at
Movie Review Query Engine
The Internet Movie Database
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

 Where can I see this film? Here! 

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy