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The Kid (Remastered Edition)

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The Kid (Remastered Edition) + The Gold Rush (Criterion Collection) + The Great Dictator (The Criterion Collection)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 {stephan@cc.wwu.edu}


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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Chaplin, Carl Miller, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan
  • Directors: Charles Chaplin
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: A2zcds.com
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2007
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WE3B28
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,539 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Great acting,great story and great music.
When they say Chaplin worked long and hard to make this film I fully believe them!
Matthew G. Sherwin
The best silent movie chaplin has ever made!
Michael Carlson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. Kopp on January 15, 2011
Format: DVD
Rest assured my one star review is NOT for the film itself, Charlie Chaplin's THE KID, one of my favorite movies. I'm hoping my rating raises a flag to potential buyers of a particular DVD version of the film--i.e., THE KID (ENHANCED EDITION). My negative comments DO NOT APPLY to the MK2 version, as will be obvious if you trouble to read the entire review (which you should if you are thinking about purchasing the film).

Amazon is getting increasingly sloppy in terms of supplying accurate information about its products, and this is a prime example. Apparently the product on sale here is a single disc DVD-R version of THE KID (which multiple customers have complained about, reporting it has no music track).

The Editorial Review, however, is for an entirely different product altogether, the MK2/Warner Bros 12-disc set, THE CHAPLIN COLLECTION, VOLUME 2, which was out-of-print but as of this writing seems to be available again. See below:

The Chaplin Collection, Vol. 2 (City Lights / The Circus / The Kid / A King in New York / A Woman of Paris / Monsieur Verdoux / The Chaplin Revue / Charlie - The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin)

To add to the confusion, most of the 5 star reviews pasted here are obviously referring to the MK2 set, not the single disc version of THE KID. Needless to say, it's extremely misleading to transfer all the laudatory reviews for a brilliant box set to the home page of what is apparently a shoddily produced single DVD-R. (Maybe the reason there's no soundtrack is because it's still under copyright, while to the best of my knowledge the film itself is in the public domain.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Wayne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
UPDATE: Please note that although the text above the review correctly says which edition I reviewed, the review also appears with other editions of The Kid. This review DOES NOT APPLY to other editions, many of which are poor quality prints. Make sure you are looking at The Kid (2 Disc Special Edition).

In an era when silent films were cranked out quickly and were far from an art form, Chaplin decided to take a new approach. Although this film started out as another short film, by the time it was done, Chaplin had spent a year on it, and had taken more shots and retakes than perhaps had been done for any film in history. By completion, it had grown into a six reel feature film.

I hesitate to use the word artistry, because it sounds like one of those words used for films that only critics tend to appreciate. But this film is both artistic and accessible. If you are not used to silent films, or the ones you have seen either lacked continuity or were hard to follow, you will find this as easy to watch as any modern film, and find that it tells a story as well as the best of films.

This edition features the musical score written by Chaplin, which underscores both the comedy and the drama of this movie. A host of features on the second DVD give you a feel for the background and the era.

If you are a Chaplin fan, this movie is a must have. If you are not a Chaplin fan, but are curious what all the fuss is about, this movie will let you know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Foxcat on June 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful two disc set; the first disc containing the movie itself, restored and with a musical score composed by Chaplin in the early 1970's for the re-release of the film.

The story itself concerns an unwed mother who can't keep her child. She writes a note and leaves the child where he might be found. The child is found by the Little Tramp (Charles Chaplin) who tries to find someone to take the baby. Eventually he keeps the child and claims it as his own. He brings up the child in abject poverty, and the affection and caring between the two makes this a very touching film. Probably the most heart-wrenching scene in all Chaplin films, is in "the Kid." The child at one point is being taken away from the Tramp when it is discovered that he is not the child's real father. The child (Jackie Coogan) is crying pitifully and reaching out to the Tramp as he is being taken away from the only home and parent he has ever known. The film includes comedy, of course, but the pathos and sweetness of the film makes it one of my all time favorites.

On the second disc, there are many supplementary features, the first is a short documentary by David Robinson, Chaplin's biographer which sets the film in its historical perspective and background. This disc also includes deleted scenes, several shorts starring Jackie Coogan and Chaplin, one is footage of Chaplin recording the new musical score in 1972. A longer feature included is "My Boy," starring Jackie Coogan and running 55 minutes. A feature I truly enjoyed is "How to Make Movies" recorded in 1918 and showing Chaplin's studio and a little bit "behind the scenes" of what went into making movies in that era.

One interesting observation on my part, is that I have a hard time believing that this movie was made in 1921!
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