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The Kid (1921)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  6 February 1921 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 59,458 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 68 critic

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


(as Charlie Chaplin)


(as Charlie Chaplin)
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Top Rated Movies #95 | 1 win. See more awards »



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


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) »


This is the great picture upon which the famous comedian has worked a whole year. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 February 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El chico  »

Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)


$2,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1971 edit with new Chaplin score)

Sound Mix:

(new music score) (1971)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Charles Riesner's 'Bully' is trying to beat up Chaplin's 'Tramp', it is obvious that the Bully's upper body has been heavily padded to make him look far bigger and more threatening than he really physically is. See more »


After John has made pancakes and the Tramp gets out of bed, a kettle can be seen on the corner of the table. After the Tramp has put a chair next to it and goes to sit on it, in the next close-up shot of them on the table, the kettle is suddenly missing. See more »

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User Reviews

the greatest
26 September 2003 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

Is there a way to name the greatest filmmaker of all time? Probably not, to different people it's gonna be different person, so I can speak only for myself. Let me try to describe my favorite contestant for this award:

This man is the true embodiment of the "American Dream": Having grown up in poverty and misery and virtually without parents (without a father and with insane mother), moving to America with basically nothing but his ability to speak English (in the era of the silent movies), this man manages to establish his own film company (United Artists) and becomes one of the creators of Hollywood. He produces, directs, writes, plays the leading role and composes the music for his movies. He is the creator of the most famous movie image on the earth-the Little Tramp. As you all probably know I am talking about sir Charles Spencer Chaplin.

There are attempts, sometimes I read, to make Buster Keaton candidate for the Chaplin's throne. Well, I won't comment on that for I am not familiar with Keaton's work; I grew up with Chaplin so you could say I am being biased, however I would mention only one fact here: the only time the two meet on the screen is in a Chaplin's movie "Limelight." I think this says a lot.

Why did I choose the movie "The Kid" as a podium for my tribute to the great Charlie? I have to say I like all of his movies, mistake, I love all of his movies, but this one is the true purl in his work to me. I don't think of any other movie, not only Chaplin's, that made me cry, I mean really cry, and laugh, I mean really laugh, like "The Kid." The closest I can think of now is another Chaplin's masterpiece "City Lights" but unlike the later one in the former one that is only him, the tramp, and the kid; and everything is silent. Think about it: the movie making at its purest.

I don't know whether I could make my point with this review-probably not. There are not enough words to describe the respect and gratitude I feel towards Chaplin. To me he is simply the greatest filmmaker of all time.

29 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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