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The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 6 February 1921 (USA)
The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Top Rated Movies #99 | 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carl Miller ... The Man
Edna Purviance ... The Woman
Jackie Coogan ... The Child (as Jack Coogan)
Charles Chaplin ... 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Waif See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,916
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1971 edit with new Chaplin score) | (DVD) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (new music score) (1971)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hall of Fame basketball coach Pete Newell, who acted while growing up in Los Angeles, was considered by Charles Chaplin for the role. 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 »

Quotes

Devil: Vamp him.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original credits, with references to First National, of this film have never been available after the initial release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lena (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A picture with laughter and a few tears, indeed.
1 January 2010 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

Charlie Chaplin was perhaps the most innovative auteur of the silent era and certainly the most famous. His character, the Tramp, is now a cultural icon and will forever be a symbol of poverty and travesty that was American society in the early 20th century, but something all of us can overcome.

In one of his first roles with this character, he played opposite a very young Jackie Coogan, who would go on to play Uncle Fester in the cult TV series The Addams Family. Taking himself and this very talented young boy, Chaplin made a masterwork; one that he truly could call his own as he wrote, directed, starred in and composed the score for this film.

Here, Chaplin feeds to one of the most basic of all human desires: to care for a child and be needed and loved by one another. The Tramp finds an abandoned baby in an alley and in order to not be caught by a policeman he takes the child in as his own. He hasn't got much but he does have love, which is more than can be said for the child's mother.

Flash forward five years, and now the mother wants her son back. Circumstances arise and soon the Tramp is fighting for the right to keep his little companion. Even so, the story is thin but I believe Chaplin was going for something more deep and meaningful. This also gave him a chance to work on some different visual styles and comedic gimmicks, things not used much at the time in the movies. Using these little tricks and ideas, Chaplin creates a real persona not just for himself but also the supporting cast and involving us in the story.

However, at the heart of the story are the emotions about fighting for the right to be a parent/guardian; someone the kid can look up to and sleep beside and confide in. It tugs at your heart all while making you laugh, sometimes in the same scene. This shows the work of a true genius; someone who knew what he wanted to create and the style in which he wanted to portray it.


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