generally speaking, cinema brings either childhood to the audience or the audience to childhood but i’ve heard that many agree Charlie captured American cinema by returning audiences to the age of puberty when attraction was fresh and new and the simple is made funny but also innocent and true. like the Idiot, who in in the book was not unlike Forrest Gump in that the meaning of innocence is sometimes as straightforward as being the dog that thinks other dogs that are really trying to eat it are only just playing. Not to say that The Circus plays to that or isn’t equally similar to less stimulating features such as something like any Adam Sandler movie other than Punch Drunk Love.
anyways, the Russians thought of Chaplin as the Godfother of Cinema. American cinema was the same in the eyes of Eisenstein as were the experiences of observing an American College classroom test being administered and taking a driving test to obtain an American driver’s license. Not that he intended to insinuate that the average American sense of humor was beyond that of a 14-year-old but it was clear that Chaplin had discovered a not-too-shabby formula.