The Kid (1921)

Tonight’s DailyView takes us all the way back to 1921 where we find one of the most iconic silent films of the time. It is the Charlie Chaplin classic, The Kid.

Chaplin’s Tramp character discovers a deserted baby, whose mother left in an expensive car with a handwritten note that says, “Please love and care for this orphan child” The mother (Edna Purviance) changed her mind and returns to find the car she had left the baby in stolen and missing. The Tramp takes the baby and begins to raise him as his own.

Five years later, The Tramp had been using the kid (Jackie Coogan) to run a scam to repair windows when the authorities discovered that the Kid had been abandoned and they attempted to remove the boy from the Tramp’s custody.

Charlie Chaplin made his feature film directorial debut with The Kid, as well as writing it, producing it and starring in it. He also wrote the score for it as well.

The Kid became one of the most influential films of the early 20th century, certainly of the silent era. Chaplin was able to create something that was both very funny and also full of moments of drama. The scenes of separation between the Tramp and the Kid are difficult to watch at times because they both have such a strong connection with each other.

The Kid continued to include some of the classic slapstick that had become well known within Chaplin films. He handled it smoothly as could be expected by a master as Chaplin.

At a quick 53 minutes, everyone interested in film history and, just simply, a really good show with some compelling characters should check out The Kid.

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