The Kid

The Kid ★★★★

Ah, silent movies. They don't get much better than this, Chaplin at his spellbinding best wayyy back in 1921.

Almost a century has passed and sure, things have changed since then but the themes, characters and relationships are still relatable. New Mum panics and leaves baby with a stranger to raise in 'a better life', and later regrets the decision so spends her time trying to fix it.

Chaplin ends up being the surrogate 'father' and without spoiling things, he does a great job at safely bringing up the kid in a chaotic world full of spills and thrills.

Little Jackie Coogan who plays 'The Kid' is so cute. A superb acting performance, though extracts from Chaplin's autobiography go some way to explaining how this was achieved. For the scene in which the Kid is taken from the Tramp and nearly carted away to a workhouse, Chaplin stated that Jackie was made to cry by his real father, who told him that if he would not cry in the scene, he would be sent to an actual workhouse.

Coogan later went on to play Uncle Fester in the 60's classic Addams Family.

This is absolutely gorgeous. The 20's black and white film stock it so warm and endearing and some of the jump-cut edits are brilliant. I've seen many of Chaplin's movies, and this one definitely has a spot in my top-3.

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