22 September 2014

The Kid


The Kid 1921
  • Director: Charlie Chaplin
  • Based on novel: No
  • Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Charlie Chaplin  – I’m not really sure which ones I’ve seen
    • Jackie Coogan – various TV series
  •  Why? A classic. First in the Charlie Chaplin box we bought recently.
  • Seen:  September 14, 2014
Charlie Chaplin.  How many of his films have you actually seen?  I’ve seen one or two maybe. Clips from them anyway. Now we have the box and are starting with this one, the earliest. It’s maybe the fourth or fifth silent movie I’ve seen. I feel like a real film historian watching this.
And find myself quite enthralled.
The story is simple. An unhappy unwed mother leaves the baby in a rich family’s car with the note, “Love and care for this poor orphan” (or something like that). Through a string of mishaps the baby is adopted by Chaplin’s classical figure, the Tramp. There are a series of more or less silly escapades but when the Kid is taken by the Authorities it’s really very emotional and exciting.
It’s beautifully filmed in black and white with loads of very funny and at times realistic details mixed in with the slapstick.  Jackie Coogan as the five year old Kid is a masterpiece.  I wonder what became of him. (PS See above, I found out on IMdB, as always).
I’m looking forward to the rest of the box.

3 * of 5

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