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The Kid (1921)

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 | 1 win. 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:

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:

El chico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,450,000
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

Charles Chaplin, at considerable risk, borrowed $500,000 from an Italian bank to make the film. See more »

Goofs

The kid's Brother played by Raymond Lee clearly has fake muscles. (To IMDB Staff: I know this is a 20's movie, and therefore they didn't have sophisticated resources, but they should cast an actor truly strong). See more »

Quotes

Title Card: A picture with a smile - and perhaps, a tear.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A new version was reissued in 1971 with a new music score composed by Charles Chaplin, who also re-edited the film in order to omit a few scenes featuring the kid's mother. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mary, Mary (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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