The Circus

USA |1928 | 70min | G

“Circus Dreams” takes you under the Big Top, this time with the Chaplin walking the tightrope, taming fierce lions, and falling in love with a beautiful acrobat—in 35mm! In Chaplin’s THE CIRCUS, the Tramp finds himself an unintentional three-ring success, after he is chased by police into the centre ring of a circus. Unwittingly entertaining an audience with the ensuing mayhem, he is hired by the ringleader to capitalize on this new discovery. However, it is soon apparent that the Tramp is only funny in unintentional situations—he’s therefore demoted to janitor, where is his forced to care for the circus’s lesser, yet more troublesome stars, including lions and monkeys. In love with the circus proprietor’s beautiful stepdaughter (Merna Kennedy)—the Tramp finds himself performing daring stunts to woo her.


Released mere months after THE JAZZ SINGER’s premiere—THE CIRCUS was Chaplin’s last silent-era effort. While its production history is notorious and coincided with great personal and professional strife for the silent icon—his studio burned down, his reputation was tarnished by a messy divorce, and his mother passed away, all leading to a nervous breakdown—THE CIRCUS nevertheless incites uncontrollable laughter mixed in with Chaplin’s patented comic pathos.


Director: Charlie Chaplin
Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Merna Kennedy


Established as Silent Sundays by founding programmer Eric Veillette in 2009, Silent Revue is Toronto’s only year-round film series dedicated to silent cinema. Monthly screenings (more…)


Thirty minutes of uproarious circus-themed shorts will precede the feature:

Felix The Cat – FROLICS AT THE CIRCUS (5 mins)
Max Linder – IN LOVE WITH A BEARDED WOMAN (6 mins)
Our Gang – BARNUM AND RINGLING INC. (18 mins)

Silent Revue is curated by Alicia Fletcher

Live accompaniment of shorts by William O’Meara.

Sponsored by Hollywood Suite.


General Admission: $15
Bronze Members, Students & Seniors: $12
Silver Members: $11
Gold Members: FREE

Prices include taxes. Membership free event is not applicable.