It may not be among Chaplin's very best but still hugely entertaining and with some extraordinarily hilarious sequences (e.g. the trump in the lion's cage.) The humanist message notwithstanding this minor gem plays up all the usual dichotomies (normal, serious sociality vs. legitimate subversion of normality in the circus) and in a genuinely Chaplinesque fashion subverts them. A delight!
A tramp in a land of illusions: he is first captured by them, in the hall of mirrors, and then adopts them until they unravel in spectacular fashion. The same acts, the same jokes, multiplied in different ways. And yet, Chaplin always comes back around: a tramp will always be a tramp.
Chaplin's best full on comedy, and his most overlooked film from his peak. Its a shame that it comes between two masterpieces so I think it gets unfairly compared to the two, when this is more in my opinion, an homage to his old Keystone days. Either way, one of his best features. Looking forward to the eventual Criterion of this. 4.5 stars
Chaplin does some theory of comedy and showmanship / spectatorship. He arrives at these undisputable truths: 1. Comedy does not only rely on the physical performance and it needs a character that is unaware of or surpassed by the events. 2. Audiences are essentially cruel. 3. Everything is funnier with monkeys. Also, brave and wise ending.
A visual and tact power experience with the highest level of entertainment where love and contempt appear in the most uncommon place, when most of time clowns and acrobats fake real amusement just to make a living: the circus. I see now where Woody Allen took is creativity for his sequence on depersonalization in "Annie Hall".
Siempre reír a través de un vagabundo que nos va enseñando de la vida, que en el silencio se encuentra el discurso mas notorio de que somos físicamente de células y emocionalmente de tiempo, gracias maestro Charles Spencer Chaplin por lo que nos has dejado, felicidades por tu nacimiento 125 y mucha gratitud de mi parte por enseñarme a ser fuerte, a reír y aprender a dejar nuestra memoria en el celuloide.
3 1/2 out of 5. Standard (truly hilarious) Chaplin fare that's not HIS best work, but still blows 90% of what's come down the line in the last 85 years out of the water. And there's always that end, that end that gets you regardless of how you felt about the rest of the movie.