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Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus"

Starring Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

Classic Film Series

Page Hall, UAlbany downtown campus
135 Western Avenue, Albany
Free and open to the public

(USA, 1928, 72 minutes, b/w) Directed by Charlie Chaplin

In the last film he made during the silent era, Charlie Chaplin celebrates the art of the circus, paying tribute to the acrobats, clowns and pantomime artists who inspired his immortal on-screen performances.


Shown in a new 2019 digital restoration of Chaplin’s 1969 re-release, and featuring his own original 1968 score.

"The Circus" premiered in New York City on January 6, 1928, and in Los Angeles --  Grauman's Chinese Theatre -- three weeks later. The review in Variety, published January 11, 1928, praised the film.


"For the picture patrons, all of them, and for broad, laughable fun - Chaplin's best. It's Charlie Chaplin's best fun maker for other reasons: because it is the best straightaway story he has employed for broad film making, and because here his fun stuff is nearly all entirely creative or original in the major point."

Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus"

Movie notes: 

From Mark Bourne upon the 2004 release of "The Circus: The Chaplin Collection" DVD release.

“As an actor Chaplin is in top form. The Tramp is as fine and lovable and expressive as he will ever be... By learning to wire-walk forty feet above the floor, then shooting hundreds of takes to get the big scene, Chaplin amped up his unsurpassed delicate pantomime to a climax comparable to Harold Lloyd's daredevil thrill-comedies from the same period. His longtime cameraman, Roland Totheroh, beautifully captured some of the Tramp's most poignant moments, such as the wistful closing iris on the lonesome figure strolling into the distance after the circus wagons have left him behind."

Merna Kennedy, Charlie Chaplin and Henry Bergman in "The Circus"

Merna Kennedy, Charlie Chaplin and Henry Bergman in "The Circus"

About The Classic Film Series

The NYS Writers Institute’s Classic Film Series, presented with support from Marc Guggenheim, UAlbany Class of ‘92, features screenings of domestic and international films of distinction and film festivals devoted to the work of particular directors, producers, or screenwriters.

The series has included rare films culled from archives and private collections, pre-release screenings from major studios, contemporary international offerings, as well as classics made in the U.S. The Institute will launch the Albany Film Festival in March 2020.

Some of the filmmakers and screenwriters who have visited the Institute have included Hal Ashby, Hector Babenco, Costa-Gavras, Tomas Gutierrez-Alea, James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, Neil Jordan, Spike Lee, Albert Mayseles, Gordon Parks, Sr., Raoul Peck, D.A. Pennebacker and Chris Hegedus, Bob Rafelson, Phil Alden Robinson, Wallace Shawn, Ron Shelton, Christine Vachon, Agnes Varda, and Robert Wise, and Doug Wright.


Classic Film Series

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