Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Circus, released January 6th, 1928

Originally titled The Clown, this film is often unfairly overlooked, but I consider it to be one of Chaplin's best. Charlie had toyed with the idea of a film with a circus theme since at least 1920. The production was beset with problems--a scratched negative, a fire, not to mention his nasty divorce from Lita Grey. Because of this, Charlie spent years trying to forget the film. The Circus is only mentioned once in his autobiography when Charlie incorrectly recalls that his mother passed away during the film's production, but she actually died 8 months after its release.

The film premiered in NYC at the Strand on January 6th, 1928 & in Los Angeles at Grauman's Chinese Theater on January 27th.

Charlie was originally nominated for Best Actor and Best Comedy Director for The Circus at the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 (the latter category was never again used). He was later removed from these categories and given a special Honorary Award instead for “Versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing".