The Kid (1921)

The Kid (1921)

GENRESComedy,Drama,Family
LANGNone,English
ACTOR
Charles ChaplinEdna PurvianceJackie CooganCarl Miller
DIRECTOR
Charles Chaplin

SYNOPSICS

The Kid (1921) is a None,English movie. Charles Chaplin has directed this movie. Charles Chaplin,Edna Purviance,Jackie Coogan,Carl Miller are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1921. The Kid (1921) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama,Family movie in India and around the world.

The opening title reads: "A comedy with a smile--and perhaps a tear". As she leaves the charity hospital and passes a church wedding, Edna deposits her new baby with a pleading note in a limousine and goes off to commit suicide. The limo is stolen by thieves who dump the baby by a garbage can. Charlie the Tramp finds the baby and makes a home for him. Five years later Edna has become an opera star but does charity work for slum youngsters in hope of finding her boy. A doctor called by Edna discovers the note with the truth about the Kid and reports it to the authorities who come to take him away from Charlie. Before he arrives at the Orphan Asylum Charlie steals him back and takes him to a flophouse. The proprietor reads of a reward for the Kid and takes him to Edna. Charlie is later awakened by a kind policeman who reunites him with the Kid at Edna's mansion.

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The Kid (1921) Reviews

  • A Must-See Silent Comedy

    Snow Leopard2002-03-04

    While perhaps not as celebrated now as some of Chaplin's later features, "The Kid" is an excellent achievement and a thoroughly enjoyable film. Charlie and young Jackie Coogan make an entertaining and unforgettable pair, and there is a lot of good slapstick plus a story that moves quickly and makes you want to know what will happen. Chaplin also wrote a particularly good score for this one, and most of the time the music sets off the action very nicely. While it's a fairly simple story, this is one of Chaplin's most efficiently designed movies. Every scene either is necessary to the plot, or is very funny for its own sake, or both. Except for Chaplin and Coogan, most of the other characters (even frequent Chaplin leading lady Edna Purviance) are just there to advance the plot when needed, and the two leads are allowed to carry the show, which they both do extremely well. "The Kid" is also impressive in that, while the story is a sentimental one, it strikes an ideal balance, maintaining sympathy for the characters while never overdoing it with the pathos, which Chaplin occasionally lapsed into even in some of his greatest movies. Here, the careful balance makes the few moments of real emotion all the more effective and memorable. This is one of Chaplin's very best movies by any measure. If you enjoy silent comedies, don't miss it.

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  • Chaplin understands how close slapstick is to pathos in this classic tearjerking comedy; and remember: kids love this movie

    J. Spurlin2007-03-04

    I've always thought there's a great beauty and poignancy to the best slapstick comedies, even unsentimental ones like Keaton's "The General" or Laurel and Hardy's "Way Out West." The latter comedy has a scene where L&H perform a soft-shoe dance; it always brings me to tears. Why? Maybe physical comedy has the same kind of effect on me as a dance performance. Both art forms are very expressive; the fact that I'm laughing doesn't dilute the emotional charge. One of many things that made Chaplin a genius was his understanding of how close slapstick is to pathos already. Why not marry the two things? That's what he did in some of his early short films, and that's what he does in this feature comedy. The Little Tramp finds an abandoned baby and raises him into boyhood. But the authorities find out and want to take little Jackie (Jackie Coogan) away. Meanwhile, the mother who abandoned him has since become a wealthy singer and doesn't know if she'll ever find out what became of him. Jackie Coogan (about five in this film), with his charming manners, his talents as a mimic and his adeptness at physical comedy, is one of the all-time great child actors. Want more evidence of Chaplin's genius? Coogan doesn't steal the film from him. This is true even though Chaplin, as producer, star and director, makes every evident attempt to spotlight the boy's talents. Coogan is even better here than he is in his own vehicles, like "My Boy" and "Oliver Twist." Chaplin's storytelling—even with the foolish sub-Dickensian plot twists, such as Jackie suddenly taking ill—deftly draws out the comedy and pathos for maximum effect. The individual scenes themselves are flawlessly constructed. The window-breaking scene, the flophouse scene, the dream sequence, the trying-to-get-rid-of-the-baby scene—they're perfect. Chaplin's celebrated pantomimic skills are examples of storytelling in themselves. Want me to criticize something? How about those thudding attempts to link the mother with Jesus? But you know, I can't even complain about that. It's too sweetly naïve. And the movie as a whole is too good to allow us to sneer at the (very) few flaws. One important note: children love this movie. Show it to them while they're young, and you'll make Chaplin fans of them. And that's better than their becoming fans of almost anything that's being peddled to them.

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  • One Of The Most Memorable Silent Films Ever

    ccthemovieman-12005-11-24

    Wow, is this a memorable film! It is one of the most famous silent movies ever and justifiably so. That fact that it still entertains over 80 years after it was made is quite a testimony. It is a wonderful blend of humor and drama. Charlie Chaplin's unique humor, combined with an involving storyline and strong sentimentality make this one to remember. Chaplin's humor ranges from pure slapstick to some clever stunts. The "kid" - Jackie Coogan - is just as memorable, maybe even more so. He is unbelievably cute, especially in those old-time clothes he wore. Watching the expressions on his face, even as a baby, are fascinating and facial expressions certainly were a trademark of the silent era. So, between Chaplin and Coogan, and a very involving story that can break your heart one minute and have you laughing out loud the next, it's an amazing piece of work. This is a very fast-paced story which lasts less than an hour. The special edition two-disc DVD has a restored version of the print so the picture is very clear, actually astounding for its age. Excellent entertainment.

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  • Charlie Finds a Son

    lugonian2004-10-22

    THE KID (First National Pictures, 1921), a comedy-drama written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), plays an important part his screen career. Aside from Chaplin cast opposite Marie Dressler in TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE (1914), a Mack Sennett production hailed as the first feature length comedy, THE KID starts Chaplin with a whole new cycle of feature comedies, but releases coming once every two to three years. A comic genius who got his start in comedy shorts starting in 1914, eventually under the supervision and direction of himself, Chaplin's methods in movie making improved with each passing film. Like himself, Jackie Coogan, Chaplin's littlest co-star and title character, made such an impression with his initial performance, nearly upstaging his impresario, that he immediately found himself starring in movies on his own, becoming Hollywood's first important child star. THE KID starts off with inter-titles, "A picture with a smile and perhaps a tear," followed by "The woman whose sin was motherhood," titles much to the liking of a D.W. Griffith directorial tearjerker starring Lillian Gish, yet, in fact, might have seemed more logical for a Griffith film than Chaplin's, whose very name personifies comedy. A young girl (Edna Purviance) leaves a charity hospital with a baby in her arms. who turns out to be an unwed mother whose father (Carl Miller), a young artist, never returns to her life. The mother places her baby in the back of a limousine and walks away. Crooks enter the scene, stealing the car, discover the baby and place it in a trash bin in the poor district of town. Noticing the infant wrapped in a blanket, Charlie tries to pass it off to someone else, but after stumbling upon a note which reads, "Please love and care for this orphan child," he decides to raise the child himself. Five years pass. The kid (whose name is believed to be John), now Charlie's adopted son and sidekick, start off each day with brand new adventures in raising money. As for the kid's mother, she's become "a star of great prominence," devoting her spare time with charitable work handing out gifts to the children of poor districts, where lives the kid. The paths of the kid and his mother meet on numerous occasions, unaware of each other's identities. When the kid becomes seriously ill and in need of immediate medical attention, a middle-aged country doctor, having discovered Charlie not the boy's true father, sends for the authorities from the County Orphan Asylum to take the child away. THE KID consists of many ingredients to make this an everlasting product, especially for a silent movie made so long ago. Chaplin, who constructs his gags to perfection, has one difficult scene that comes off naturally, this being where Charlie cuts out diapers from a sheet for the infant as he's lying beside him in a miniature hammock crying out for his milk. The baby immediately stops after Charlie directs the nipple attached to a coffee pot (a substitute for a baby bottle) back into his mouth. Another classic moment, on a serious nature, is when Charlie is being held back by authorities, being forced to watch his crying "son" taken away from him. Charlie breaks away and goes after the truck as he's being chased by a policeman from the slanted roof-tops. The close-up where father and son tearful reunite is as touching as anything ever captured on film. Chaplin and little Jackie (billed Jack Coogan in the opening credits) display their talents as both funny characters and dramatic actors. Little Jackie is especially cute as a miniature sized Chaplin, right down to his baggy pants. Chaplin giving one of his most sensitive performances, is so convincing that it doesn't take away his screen persona as the lovable funny tramp. From this point onward, he would become less characteristic as a slapstick comedian and more agreeable as an serious actor, at the same time, adding more plot, pathos and truly great comedy routines. As much as the present showing of THE KID barely reaches the one hour mark, Chaplin includes enough gags and pathos to make it work. The dream sequence where he finds himself in Heaven surrounded by angels might appear trite and unnecessary for some, but actually makes it essential to the plot which fits into the scene that follows. THE KID, which had been unavailable for public viewing for many years, was resurrected in the 1970s in revival movie houses with a brand new and wonderful orchestral score conducted by Chaplin himself in 1971. It would be nearly another decade for many to fully get to see and appreciate this little masterpiece when distributed to video cassette in 1989 as part of the Charlie Chaplin centennial collection, double billed along with a comedy short, THE IDLE CLASS (1921). In the DVD format, the two disc set includes rare out-takes and deleted scenes. Turner Classic Movies has brought forth THE KID as part of its movie library, where it made its debut December 15, 2003, during its weekly Silent Sunday Nights, hosted by Robert Osborne, and later in March 2004 when Charlie Chaplin was selected as its "Star of the Month." For its age, THE KID holds up extremely well, thanks to the convincing performances of both Chaplin and Coogan. There's no doubt Jackie Coogan (1914-1984) became an overnight star with this one film. He was a natural. While the paths of Chaplin and Coogan would never meet again, on screen anyway, without them, there would never have been such a true classic from the silent screen era as THE KID. (****)

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  • Smiling and Tearing

    Cineanalyst2005-08-29

    "The Kid" is a powerfully emotional and wonderfully hilarious motion picture and was a tremendous breakthrough in Charlie Chaplin's oeuvre. Chaplin hadn't filled a film so fully with pathos since "The Vagabond" (1916), and then it was in a very limited way, subject to the confines of two-reel length. Additionally, "Sunnyside" (1919) was a failure. The feature length of "The Kid" also allows Chaplin to elaborate and refine the gags, pranks and set pieces, and with the support of Jackie Coogan, it's one of his funniest comedies. The parent-child relationship has proved potential as sentimental entertainment, and, for me, not many have neared Chaplin in exploiting that formula in "The Kid". The sequence where they take the kid, for a workhouse, away from the tramp is probably the most powerful and endearing tearjerker moment in the film--or of all film. In addition to Chaplin and Coogan, Edna Purviance is also quite effective in the dramatic side of the picture. Furthermore, Chaplin and cinematographer Roland Totheroh's photography had by then improved vastly over their work at Mutual, and Chaplin was already an eccentric perfectionist, but the musical score added to the 1971 release, composed by Chaplin, taken from Tchaikovsky, gives the sentimental parts its most verve. Of the slapstick, one of my favorite scenes involves the tramp in fear of a bully. It's reminiscent of his Mutual short "Easy Street" (1917), which is made especially clear when the bully bends a lamppost with one punch. There are many other great moments of humorous pantomime and farce in this film. Yet, "The Kid" is much more than that, which makes it such a breakthrough; the slapstick fills the plot, and there is more of a developed plot here than in Chaplin's previous work. This was the beginning of the tramp as the sympathetic, pitiful hero, as well as clown, that's so recognizable and beloved to this day. Moreover, the dream sequence is an ingenious plot device; it adds dimensionally to the narrative and asserts its themes while delaying the inevitable conclusion of the outer narrative to poignant effect. It's also funny in a silly way. It's somewhat analogous to the outer reality story, although with much ambiguity. I wasn't always sure Chaplin was making any clear point, such as with the Christ image earlier in the film, but that seems unimportant; "The Kid" affects the emotions and isn't especially aimed at engaging the mind. At six reels, with more sets and a developed plot, this film was already an expansion compared to Chaplin's previous films; the dream sequence satisfyingly expands the narrative depth, thus making "The Kid" Chaplin's first complete feature.

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