Movies

Kid, The (First National 1921 Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan)

The Kid Charlie Chaplin 1921

Charlie Chaplin’s first feature The Kid is a touching comedy about a woman who abandons her child with the intention of committing suicide. Chaplin’s Little Tramp finds the kid (Jackie Coogan, in the role that made him an overnight sensation) and takes him under his wing. When the woman, Edna Purviance, becomes an opera star five years later, she spends her extra time doing charity work for youngsters who live in the slums, hoping that she will find her son.

Eventually, the truth comes out and the authorities take the baby away from Chaplin. He steals the child back, but is soon discovered and separated once again from him. A reunion at the mother’s mansion resolves things happily, yet the earlier somber tone prevails, making this sweet and heartwarming story resonate.

The garret and slum neighborhood of the Little Tramp are based on the poverty-stricken environs Chaplin knew as a child in London.

The Kid

Cast: Charles Chaplin. Jackie Coogan. Edna Purviance

Screenwriter, Producer, Director: Charlie Chaplin
Directors of Photography: Roland Totheroh, Jack Wilson
Production Designer: Charles D. Hall

USA / First National / 85 minutes / 1921