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The Kid Should See This

Charlie Chaplin in the lion’s cage: The Circus (1928)

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In this scene from The Circus (1928), a Charlie Chaplin classic film and now a favorite in our house, Charlie gets trapped in a lion’s cage. It required around 200 takes with a real lion, and is one in a series of silent scenes that puts him in the middle of humorous confusion and jeopardy.

The plot of The Circus:

“At a circus midway, the penniless and hungry Tramp (Chaplin) is mistaken for a pickpocket and chased by both the police and the real crook (the latter having stashed a stolen wallet and watch in the Tramp’s pocket to avoid detection). Running away, the Tramp stumbles into the middle of a performance and unknowingly becomes the hit of the show…”

the lion
the tiger
The film, which Chaplin wrote, directed, and produced, earned him his first Academy Award. With hilarious stunts, lots of animals, a ringleader villain (warning: he’s abusive), some madcap misdirection, and the well-meaning Tramp at the center, they will be sure to fall in love with what silent films can be.

an exit?
In the archives: Chaplin’s dancing dinner rolls and more mimes.

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