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The Kid (1921)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  6 February 1921 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 56,659 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 68 critic

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director:

(as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

(as Charlie Chaplin)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carl Miller ...
...
The Woman
...
The Child (as Jack Coogan)
...
A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Storyline

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. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | boy | orphan | 1920s | 1910s | See All (35) »

Taglines:

This is the great film he has been working on for a whole year See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 February 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El chico  »

Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1971 edit with new Chaplin score)

Sound Mix:

(new music score) (1971)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene in which the Kid is taken from the Tramp and nearly carted away to a workhouse, Charles Chaplin stated in his autobiography that the young Jackie Coogan was made to cry by his father, who told him that if he would not cry in the scene, he would be sent to an actual workhouse. See more »

Goofs

When the Woman is giving toys to the children on the street, she sits down on the curb and a woman hands her a baby. When she takes the baby, she sets the last two toys, a dog and a ball, next to her on the curb and the ball rolls off the curb a couple of feet. A few shots later, when she meets John, she picks up the toys and gives them to him, but the ball is back in position next to her on the curb. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.175 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Must-See Silent Comedy
4 March 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

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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