Charlie Chaplin: The Kid DVD
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Directed by Charlie Chaplin
Produced in 1921
Main Language - Silent
Countries & Regions - American film
Expertly blending comedy with pathos, The Kid may well be the best introduction to Chaplin's brilliance, says James Oliver.
Charlie Chaplin sometimes gets a raw deal from today's film fans – not as funny as Buster Keaton, they say. Too mawkish for modern tastes. But such charges are baseless, as a quick viewing of The Kid proves.
The plot is simplicity itself. Chaplin's little tramp finds a baby and raises it as his own son. Once the lad has grown a little – into Jackie Coogan – all sorts of hi-jinx ensue. The comedy sequences – the window smashing or the fight in the ally – are some of the best things Chaplin ever did and are all the more piquant for the carefully placed emotion.
Ah yes, 'emotion' – the infamous 'sentiment' which contemporary viewers are supposed to find so cloying. But there is nothing sappy about The Kid. It is simple, direct and effortlessly moving; no-one had blended comedy and pathos so explicitly before. Few have bettered it since.
This is a heartfelt film and maybe the best introduction to Chaplin's brilliance: a sharp rejoinder to anyone who thinks he's old hat.
James Oliver on 29th March 2010
Author of 185 reviews
Charlie's tramp finds an abandoned baby and endeavours to bring it up as best he can. This tear-jerking classic was Chaplin's first feature, and launched the 'kid' of the title, Jackie Coogan, into child stardom. Funny, endearing, sentimental, whatever you like - it's simply a wonderful watch.
Publisher: Park Circus
Length: 60 mins
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 7th November 1994
Cat No: PC0006
- Introduction by David Robinson
- Chaplin Today
- Scenes deleted for 1971 release
- Jackie Coogan Dances
- Nice and Friendly
- Recording of the New Score 1971
- Chaplin Showreel.