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The Kid (2 Disc Special Edition)

4.5 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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(Feb 16, 2016)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For the first time as a filmmaker, Chaplin stepped into feature-length storytelling with this tale of the down- but-never-out Tramp (Chaplin) and the adorable ragamuffin (6-year-old Jackie Coogan) who, rescued as a foundling and raised in the School of Hard Knocks by the Tramp, is his inseparable sidekick. Memorable scenes include a lesson in table manners, the bully brawl and the Tramp's angelic dream. The Kid earns its wings.

The Kid is one of the purest expressions of Charlie Chaplin's art on film. It unites Chaplin with a boy he had spotted in a vaudeville act, 6-year-old Jackie Coogan--whose life would lead to the child-protective Coogan Act and a role as Uncle Fester on TV. The story has the Tramp adopting an abandoned waif and teaching him streetwise survival skills. The gags are flawless, but for Chaplin the huge advance (other than a running time longer than his two-reelers) was the exploration of a rich vein of sentiment; the emotionally wrenching separation of the Tramp and the Kid is probably the most Dickensian sequence ever captured on film. Chaplin drew on his own rough childhood for the material (and may have been inspired by the death of an infant son immediately before beginning the project). Jackie Coogan's gift for mimicry allowed him to replicate Chaplin's exacting direction, making him the perfect Chaplin co-star. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Introduction by David Robinson, Chaplin biographer
  • 'Chaplin Today: The Kid,' Documentary by Alain Bergala
  • 'How to Make Movies (1918)' short film in which Chaplin shows the building of his new studio, and how movies are made there 'Jackie Coogan Dances (1920),' Jackie Coogan performs impromptu dance at Chaplin studios 'My Boy (1921),' later film starring Coogan 'Nice and Friendly (1922),' home movie with Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Jackie Coogan and Charles Chaplin 'Charlie on the Ocean (1921),' Newsreel footage of Chaplin's first trip back to Europe 'Jackie Coogan in Paris,' footage shot during charity fund-raising trip
  • Deleted scenes: three scenes deleted by Chaplin for 1971 reissue 'Recording the new score,' footage of Chaplin conducting a section of his new score
  • Photo gallery, film posters, trailers, interactive menus, scene access

Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Antony Sher, Carl Miller
  • Directors: Charles Chaplin, Robin Lough
  • Writers: Charles Chaplin, Antony Sher, Primo Levi
  • Producers: Charles Chaplin, Pádraig Cusack, Robert Marshall
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Silent, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00017LVNC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,615 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Kid (2 Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Read more ›
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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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Format: Blu-ray
This 4K restoration is the 52 minute version of the film, edited by Chaplin in 1972 from the 1921 68 minute original. Chaplin’s 1972 cut removes some of the unneeded sentimentality and focuses more on the relationship between Chaplin and the Kid. If you watch the deleted scenes on the Blu-ray you can see what was deleted and decide for yourself, but I prefer the 1972 version.

The 52 minute cut of the film is currently the only version of the film that the Chaplin estate will allow to circulate.

Some Blu-ray details not listed here.

Disc Features
New 4K digital restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s 1972 rerelease version of the film, featuring an original score by Chaplin, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary featuring Chaplin historian Charles Maland
Jackie Coogan: The First Child Star, a new video essay by Chaplin historian Lisa Haven
A Study in Undercranking, a new program featuring silent-film specialist Ben Model
Interviews with Coogan and actor Lita Grey Chaplin
Excerpted audio interviews with cinematographer Rollie Totheroh and film distributor Mo Rothman
Deleted scenes and titles from the original 1921 version of The Kid
“Charlie” on the Ocean, a 1921 newsreel documenting Chaplin’s first return trip to Europe
Footage of Chaplin conducting his score for The Kid
Nice and Friendly, a 1922 silent short featuring Chaplin and Coogan, presented with a new score by composer Timothy Brock
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Tom Gunning
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Format: VHS Tape
The Kid is a wonderful movie, which all too few people have even heard of (even those familiar with some silents). Chaplin's first feature film involves his hilarious and touching adventures after "adopting" an abandonned child (played by a young Jackie Coogan - you'd never recognize the future Uncle Fester). And the portrayal of overzealous child "protectors" ripping apart families unfortunately still rings true today. The one minor misstep in the entire movie is the brief dream sequence towards the end, which slows down the momentum right at the climax. Still, one of the greatest movies ever made, and probably the most underrated. The Idle Class isn't nearly at the level of The Kid, but it's thrown in as a bonus and has some very funny moments.
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