1921/1971 (Re-issue w/t new score)
DIRECTOR: Charlie Chaplin
May contain spoilers!
The bitter sweet tale of a baby left in a rich persons car by a desperate mother, only for the car to be stolen and the child to left in the hands of Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp, The Kid has become a bonafide comedy classic in the 90 years since its initial release.
Five years go by and The Tramp is a loving adoptive father to the boy, John, who he raises to be a streetwise urchin. The Kid, Jackie Coogan is adorable, cheeky and has enough comic flair to stand up against the great Chaplin himself.
The film is short, only clocking in at 50 minutes, though this is the shortened version of the original 68 minute cut, with a new musical score composed by Chaplin and composed and orchestrated by Carry On’s Eric Rodgers and what a score it is. Both moving and comical as the typically satirical and Dickensian plot calls for.
The boy is finally reunited with his mother who became a successful actress and The Tramp joins them in the finale, but not before the boy is to be taken into state care and deposited in an orphanage, clearly something close to Chaplin’s heart as he himself spent time in such a place and was not about to let people forget it.
And how does he do that? He makes an all time classic and one which is still being seen, restored and enjoyed almost 100 years after he produced it. Some moments are still laugh out loud funny whilst others, such as the scenes of John being torn from his ‘Father’ are heart wrenching and incredibly well performed by the young Coogan, let alone Chaplin, who’s despair is palpable.
A genuine classic and one to seen.