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

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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.

production details
USA | First National | 68 minutes | 1921
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Script: Charlie Chaplin,

cast
Charlie Chaplin as A Tramp
Jackie Coogan as The Kid
Edna Purviance as Mother
Albert Austin as Man in shelter
Beulah Bains as Bride
Carl Miller as The Man
Henry Bergman as Night shelter keeper
Kitty Bradbury as Bride’s mother
Nellie Bly Baker as Slum nurse
F. Blinn as His Assistant (uncredited)
Frances Cochran as Extra in reception scene
Frank Campeau as Welfare officer
Bliss Chevalier as Extra in wedding scene
Elsie Codd as Extra in alley scene
Jack Coogan Sr. as Pickpocket / Guest / Devil
Estelle Cook as Extra in wedding scene
Dan Dillon as Bum
Philip D’Oench as Extra in wedding scene
Lillian Crane as Extra in wedding scene
Robert Dunbar as Bridegroom
Edward Biby as Orphan Asylum Driver (uncredited)
Sadie Gordon as Extra in Heaven Scene (uncredited)
Lita Grey as Flirtatious Angel (uncredited)
Jules Hanft as Physician (uncredited)
Kathleen Kay as Maid (uncredited)
Raymond Lee as His Kid Brother (uncredited)
Clyde McAtee as Extra in Reception Scene (uncredited)
John McKinnon as Chief of Police (uncredited)
Lew Parker as Extra in Heaven Scene (uncredited)
Esther Ralston as Extra in Heaven Scene (uncredited)
Granville Redmond as The Man’s Friend (uncredited)
Charles Reisner as Bully (uncredited)
Edgar Sherrod as Priest (uncredited)
S.D. Wilcox as Cop (uncredited)
Tom Wilson as Policeman (uncredited)

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