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The Kid (1921)

Drama | 68 minutes / 50 minutes (re-release van 1971)
3,62 517 votes

Genre: Drama / Comedy

Duration: 68 minuten / 50 minuten (re-release van 1971)

Alternative title: Het Jochie

Country: United States

Directed by: Charles Chaplin

Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance and Jackie Coogan

IMDb score: 8,2 (135.160)

Releasedate: 21 January 1921

The Kid plot

"6 reels of Joy."

A tramp (Charlie Chaplin) finds an abandoned baby and raises it as his own. Five years later, the mother who left the baby behind has become an opera star. However, she hopes to find her baby through volunteer work.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Man in Shelter (uncredited)

Bride (uncredited)

Slum Nurse (uncredited)

Professor Guido / Night Shelter Keeper (uncredited)

Orphan Asylum Driver (uncredited)

Assistant (uncredited)

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It is Chaplin's first full-length film and it was with that mindset that I watched The Kid. The brilliance of a Modern Times or a Goldrush may not yet be expected, but the stereotypical Chaplin, as he will forever remain imprinted on our retinas, is there. The idea of the perverse but just poverty-monger can already be found in the vagabond with his stereotypical walkway. I suspect that the spreading position of the feet was very deliberately chosen. Not only because of the visual aspect, but also from an anarchist point of view. He does not step 'straight ahead', but keeps a 'wide' look with his feet, if I may describe it so eloquently.

The entrance of 'The Tramp' in the opening part is definitely iconic in my opinion. This section, interspersed with the signature Chaplin slapstick, sets fairly high expectations for fans of the genre. Expectations that in my opinion are not fully fulfilled.

Kudos to Jackie Coogan's acting talent. This must undoubtedly have been one of the first protagonists of such a young age.

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8542 messages
  • 4793 votes

Watched this classic yesterday with my son. He loved it. Me too, by the way. Rather sentimental with a very high drama content, but the comic elements that are typical of Chaplin come out nicely. Nice mix of both emotions.

Both the mother and the bum are no saints, but arouse sympathy through their selflessness. It's still amazing that you can tell a nicely cohesive story with dialogue-free cinema. Thoughts and acting are well presented so that the story can be followed effortlessly.

Certainly not his best film, Modern times and The great dictator are something else, but certainly enjoyed it!

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avatar van mrklm


  • 8537 messages
  • 8361 votes

Chaplin stepped on thin ice by attempting to combine old-fashioned slapstick with genuine melodrama, but his first full-length feature turned out to be a triumph. Chaplin had his great discovery Jackie Coogan re-enact all scenes exactly as he had done and the result is that Coogan almost plays his mentor and director off the screen. Chaplin's bum stumbles upon an abandoned baby, and a brilliantly devised set of circumstances leaves him with no choice but to take the child under his wing. Five years later, the two have found a clever way to support themselves and be happy, even though they live in poverty. But then well-meaning agencies intervene and threaten to separate the child and his surrogate father for good. Good for "a laugh and, perhaps, a tear," declares the opening title. Count on yes!

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