This isnít as perfect a film as Chaplinís THE GOLD RUSH or as funny and message-driven as his MODERN TIMES or THE GREAT DICTATOR, but it is one of his better films and places the Tramp in an ideal setting in which to strut his stuff. Iím always surprised at how sentimental his films tend to get. There was a time or two (okay, 15) in THE CIRCUS where I genuinely felt sorry for the lost, lovesick and hopelessly hopeful character of the Tramp. It never fails; there is always a bit of heart in a Chaplin movie and I wouldnít have it any other way. If you have yet to experience the innocence and nostalgic beauty of a Charlie Chaplin silent-era movie, then start right away and be a witness to the true comic genius of this legendary filmmaker. The closing shot alone will make you glad you watched and I promise you - youíll just keep on wanting moreÖ
Chaplin Today: The Circus (26 minutes) : This is a first-rate European produced documentary chronicling the life and times of THE CIRCUS. For those of you not aware of Chaplinís start in the biz or his methods of filmmaking, you will get a brilliant introduction to the man and his films; in particular, of course, THE CIRCUS. If that werenít enough, youíll be witness to some rare archival footage of Chaplin just starting out. Acclaimed director Emir Kusturica shares his insight on the legend of Chaplin as well. I guarantee youíll enjoy this very loving and insightful documentary.
Deleted Sequence (10 minutes) : An extended sequence that takes place mostly out of the confines of the circus is offered up here for your viewing pleasure. Itís always a treat to be privy to more Chaplin hi-jinx.
October 7-13, 1926 (26 minutes) : This is very cool. Iíve never before seen outtakes from this far back, much less from a silent film. This is another very enjoyable extra for any die-hard Chaplin fans.
Mountbatten Home Movies (7 minutes) : If you still have a need for more behind-the-scenes Chaplin footage, then these home movies should please you greatly. Youíll see Chaplin on the set of THE CIRCUS, visiting his buddy Douglas Fairbanks on the set of THE GAUCHO and a very rare improvised ďshortĒ done by Chaplin and some buddies on a beach. If youíre still not satisfied, you've got problemsÖ
The Hollywood Premiere (1928) (7 minutes) : This has some beautiful vintage shots from the filmís premiere in 1928. I love things like this; I get a real warm fuzzy feeling whenever I see how things were in the golden age of cinema. These 7 minutes include the stars arriving, and being interviewed, at the red carpet premiere (no sound, naturally).
Camera A, Camera B (1 minute) : This extra showcases simultaneous shots taken from two cameras that were used during the shooting of the film. The shots are presented side by side, for comparison, on a split screen.
3-D Test Footage by Roland Totheroh (2 minutes) : This is some footage taken by Chaplinís cameraman in which he experiments to cause a 3-D effect. You know what? For 1928, the dude does a pretty goddamn good job!
Circus Day with Jackie Coogan Ė Excerpts (12 minutes) : Several minutes of excerpts featuring Jackie Coogan, the actor who played the title role in Chaplinís movie THE KID. The excerpts are from an adaptation of a famed childrenís book that chronicles the adventures of a boy in a traveling circus. A very appropriate and harmless extra considering it is circus-themed, a silent film and stars one of Charlieís past co-stars.
Trailers, Photo Gallery, Film Posters and The Charlie Chaplin Collection : The last four extras will treat you to some Chaplin trailers (international ones too) as well as in-depth photo galleries and film posters.
And if youíre still pondering whether or not to buy the Charlie Chaplin Collection (this is the second boxed set of its kind and includes THE CIRCUS) then watch the highlights from all the films included and try to resist.
I guarantee your love and appreciation for classic cinema will be heightened after experiencing all over again, or even for the first time, the indescribable feeling one gets from being in the wonderful world of a Charles Chaplin movie.