Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Circus (1928)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Circus (1928)

In director/actor Charlie Chaplin's early and captivating award-winning silent film:

  • the brilliantly-choreographed scene of the Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) eluding a real pickpocket and cop in the hall of mirrors (Mirror Maze), after being mistaken by the police as the pickpocket-crook
  • his antics in a circus environment where he inadvertently became part of the show (as a hit) and was hired as a prop man
  • his eating of a hotdog from the extended hand of a baby in its father's arms
  • the scenes of the Tramp locked in a cage with a sleeping lion (and a barking dog outside)
  • the Tramp's replacement tightrope act attempt - performed with an escaped wild monkey on his head that was biting his nose
  • the sad and moving ending when the heartbroken Tramp, after circus equestrienne love interest (Merna Kennedy) fell in love with the high-wire tight-rope performer Rex (Harry Crocker), sat on a box in the center of an abandoned circle (drawn where the circus tent had been moments earlier, and the departing circus wagons had created a cloud of dust); he glanced at a large torn white poster with a star on it on the ground in front of him, crumped it up, and kicked it behind his back
Sad Ending With Iris Fade-Out
  • in the classic memorable iris fade-out, the solitary Tramp walked in the opposite direction, shuffling away with his trademark jaunt into the distance

Hall of Mirrors

In Circus Cage with Lion

Tightrope Act


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