The Circus (1928) - full transcript

The Tramp finds himself at a circus where he is promptly chased around by the police who think he is a pickpocket. Running into the Bigtop, he is an accidental sensation with his hilarious efforts to elude the police. The circus owner immediately hires him, but discovers that the Tramp cannot be funny on purpose, so he takes advantage of the situation by making the Tramp a janitor who just happens to always be in the Bigtop at showtime. Unaware of this exploitation, the Tramp falls for the owner's lovely acrobatic stepdaughter, who is abused by her father. His chances seem good, until a dashing rival comes in and Charlie feels he has to compete with him.


"So you missed the hoop again."

"Father, I couldn't help it."

"For that you don't eat tonight."

"And you're supposed to be funny!"

"Look at that house; empty!"

Around the Side Shows
hungry and broke.

"Here you are, sir."

"Count it."

"Is it all there?"

"Say, gimme that money!"

"How d'you get out of here?"


"Get off!"

"Where's the funny man?"

"Bring on the funny man!"

The Funny Man.

Meal-time after the Show.

"Father won't let me."

"Do you want a job?"

"Be here in the morning,
and we'll try you out."

Early the next morning.


"Run along home!"

"I live here."

"Excuse me, my cane."

The Tryout.

"Go ahead and be funny."

"That's awful!"

"Put on the William Tell act."

"Now then, watch this
and see if you can do it."

"Go ahead and try it."

"Put on the barber-shop act."

"Now I must hit you."

"Now hit me!"

"I can't see."

"Just a moment!"

"We haven't talked terms yet."

"Get out and stay out!"

"Show's starting!"

"Aren't you coming in?"

"You're not leaving?"

"You see, we couldn't
come to terms."

"Thank you for the egg."

The Show on.

Trouble with the
Property Men.

"How about our back pay?"

"Get to work!"

"We quit!"

"They've quit."

"Get anybody!"

"Do you want a job?"

"Don't touch that button!"

"He's a sensation,
but he doesn't know it."

"Keep him on as a
property man."

The Circus prospered,
but not the property man.

And the girl led
the same hard life.

"Keep him busy and don't let him
know he's the hit of the show."

A Sick Horse.

"Blow this pill down
the horse's neck!"

"The horse blew first --"

"Open the door, quick!"

"I told you the lions
were dangerous!"

"Where's that pill?"

"Come here!"

"I've got to see a doctor!"

"It's a shame the way
they make you work--"

"And you the hit of the show."

"Why of course!"

"All the crowds, all the
applause is just for you."

"I knew it!"

"If you strike
that girl, I'll quit!"

"And what's more
I want what I'm worth --"

"I'll give you
fifty dollars a week."


"I'll double it!"

"Nothing less than a hundred."

The Next Show.

The success of the Tramp made life
easier for the girl and himself.

"Oh, Merna, you must
have your fortune told!"

"I see love and marriage with a dark,
handsome man who is near you now."

A New Added Attraction,
Rex, a tight-rope walker.

"Pardon me."

"Go right ahead."

"I'll give you
Five Dollars for it."

"It's happened; I'm in love!"

"He's a tight-rope walker."

"I've just met him."

"Hurry up, you're on!"

The Act Over.

"What's the matter?"

"You hardly got a laugh!"

"This is my friend."

"I don't like
tight-rope walkers."

Time brought many
changes to the Circus;

New Hopes and
New Ambitions.

His New Ambition.

"Never mind the rope."

"You'd better try and
be funny again or you'll go!"

The next performance-
and not a smile.

"I've had enough of this;"

"You get one more chance."

"Where's Rex?"

"Rex, the tight-rope walker,
hasn't shown up."

"Is Rex here?"

"You can do the act, can't you?"

"You'll do it or quit!"

"I'll do it;
find his clothes!"

"There's the clothes!"

"You follow her!"

"He'll kill himself."

"That's all right;"

"I've got him insured."

"Take your time, there's
another act to go on."

"Why, what is the
meaning of this?"

"I am taking
his place on the rope."

"You'll get killed."

"Oh, no, I have a charmed life."

"I'll give you five dollars
if you'll do it."

"Not a word to anybody."

"Please don't do this."

"You've forgotten your tights."

"You're on!"

"You're through!!!"

That Night.

"I've run away
from the circus."

"I'll never go back."

"Can't you take me
with you?"

"I've got an idea."

"You stay here."

"Have you seen Merna?"

"She's run away--"

"I can do nothing
for her -- --"

"Now, there's one way out."

"She's there now?"

"Take me to her!"

The Next Morning.

The Circus ready to leave.

"So you've come back -- You -- !"

"You're speaking to my wife!"

"Will you go on with the show?"

"-- -- if you take him."

"The end wagon for you."

"Come in with us."