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 The Kid  (1921)
[Model A2Z-DVD-00274] [UPC 882012000274]
Includes Limited Public Performance Rights - Distributed by

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In Stock $9.95

Running Time: 68 Minutes

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The opening title reads: "A comedy with a smile--and perhaps a tear". As she leaves the charity hospital and passes a church wedding, Edna deposits her new baby with a pleading note in a limousine and goes off to commit suicide. The limo is stolen by thieves who dump the baby by a garbage can. Charlie the Tramp finds the baby and makes a home for him. Five years later Edna has become an opera star but does charity work for slum youngsters in hope of finding her boy. A doctor called by Edna discovers the note with the truth about the Kid and reports it to the authorities who come to take him away from Charlie. Before he arrives at the Orphan Asylum Charlie steals him back and takes him to a flophouse. The proprietor reads of a reward for the Kid and takes him to Edna. Charlie is later awakened by a kind policeman who reunites him with the Kid at Edna's mansion. Written by Ed Stephan {}


The Kid was Charles Chaplin's first self-produced and directed feature film;1914's 6-reel Tillie's Punctured Romance was a Mack Sennett production in which Chaplin merely co-starred. The story "with a smile and perhaps a tear," begins with unwed mother Edna Purviance leaving the Charity Hospital, babe in arms. Her burden is illustrated with a title card showing Christ bearing the cross. The father of the child is a poor artist who cares little for of his former lover, carelessly knocking her photo into his garret fireplace and cooly returning it there when he sees it is too badly damaged to keep. The mother sorrowfully leaves her baby in the back seat of a millionaire's limousine, with a note imploring whoever finds it to care for and love the child. But thieves steal the limo, and, upon discovering the baby, ditch the tot in an alleyway trash can. Enter Chaplin, out for his morning stroll, carefully selecting a choice cigarette butt from his well used tin. He stumbles upon the squalling infant and, after trying to palm it off on a lady with another baby in a carriage, decides to adopt the kid himself. Meanwhile Purviance has relented, but when she returns to the mansion and is told that the car has been stolen, she collapses in despair. Chaplin outfits his flat for the baby as best he can, using an old coffee pot with a nipple on the spout as a baby bottle and a cane chair with the seat cut out as a potty seat. Chaplin's attic apartment is a representation of the garret he had shared with his mother and brother in London, just as the slum neighborhood is a recreation of the ones he knew as a boy. Five years later, Chaplin has become a glazier, while his adopted son (the remarkable Jackie Coogan) drums up business for his old man by cheerfully breaking windows in the neighborhood. Purviance meanwhile has become a world famous opera singer, still haunted by the memory of her child, who does charity work in the very slums in which he now lives. Ironically, she gives a toy dog to little Coogan. Chaplin and Coogan's close calls with the law and fights with street toughs are easily overcome, but when Coogan falls ill, the attending doctor learns of the illegal adoption and summons the Orphan Asylum social workers who try to separate Chaplin from his foster son. In one of the most moving scenes in all of Chaplin's films, Chaplin and Coogan try to fight the officials, but Chaplin is subdued by the cop they have summoned. Coogan is roughly thrown into the back of the Asylum van, pleading to the welfare official and to God not to be separated from his father. Chaplin, freeing himself from the cop, pursues the orphanage van over the rooftops and, descending into the back of the truck, dispatches the official and tearfully reunites with his "son". Returning to check on the sick boy, Purviance encounters the doctor and is shown the note which she had attached to her baby five years earlier. Chaplin and Coogan, not daring to return home, settle in a flophouse for the night. The proprietor sees a newspaper ad offering a reward for Coogan's return and kidnaps the sleeping boy. After hunting fruitlessly, a grieving Chaplin falls asleep on his tenement doorstep and dreams that he has been reunited with the boy in Heaven (that "flirtatious angel" is Lita Grey, later Chaplin's second wife). Woken from his dream by the cop, he is taken via limousine to Purviance's mansion where he is welcomed by Coogan and Purviance, presumably to stay. Chaplin had difficulties getting The Kid produced. His inspiration, it is suggested was the death of his own first son, Norman Spencer Chaplin a few days after birth in 1919. His determination to make a serio-comic feature was challenged by First National who preferred two reel films, which were more quickly produced and released. --Phil Posner, All Movie Guide

About the Actor

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr, KBE [16 April 1889 25 December 1977], better known as Charlie Chaplin, was an English comedy actor. Chaplin became one of the most famous performers as well as a notable director and musician in the early to mid Hollywood cinema era. He is considered to be one of the finest mimes and clowns ever caught on film and has greatly influenced performers in this field. Chaplin was also one of the most creative and influential personalities in the silent film era. He acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually scored his own films. His working life in entertainment spanned over 65 years, from the Victorian stage and music hall in England as a child performer, almost until his death at the age of eighty-eight. Chaplin's high-profile public and private life encompassed highs and lows with both adulation and controversy. His principal character was "The Tramp" (known as "Charlot" in France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Turkey). "The Tramp" is a vagrant with the refined manners and dignity of a gentleman. The character wears a tight coat, over sized trousers and shoes, a derby, carries a bamboo cane, and has a signature toothbrush mustache.
Product Details
Video Run Time - 68 Minutes
Video Format - NTSC
Aspect Ratio - 4:3 Standard
Region Code - Worldwide
Packaging Type - Amaray
Audio Languages - Silent
Release Date - 1921
UPC - 882012000274
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A2ZCDS Feature Films
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The Kid
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The Kid
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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 07 April, 2015.
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