MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 352 this week

The Kid (1921)

8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 45,621 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 57 critic

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

Director:

(as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 21 Nov 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Dec 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 20 Aug 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Kid" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Kid (1921)

The Kid (1921) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Kid.

User Polls

Top 250 #100 | 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2011 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." See more »

Goofs

When the tramp sits on the curb, he sets down his cane, which then changes position in the next cut. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Charlie Finds a Son
22 October 2004 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

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. (****)


52 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
First Silent Masterpiece... zhmaqot
The 'Little' Things... cadeaux
The Flying Dog. gabbahey10
why was this movie almost seized Jedzeke9092
Asian Movie Based on The Kid absameen
chaplins wrestling/hip hop moves johndaigle1
Discuss The Kid (1921) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?