This week, we could all use a laugh. And so we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s directorial debut, The Kid!
The film stars Chaplin’s character, The Tramp. A car is stolen by thieves, who have no idea that a baby is in the back seat). The baby is dumped in an alley, and he’s discovered by the bowlegged Tramp. After unsuccessfully trying to pawn the baby off, he take responsibility for the kid (played by Jackie Coogan) and indoctrinates him in the way of street life. Running a glass repair scam, dodging the po-po, street fighting, that sort of thing.
It’s also been said that The Kid is somewhat autobiographical. Chaplin had lost his firstborn son 10 days before production, and the poor economic conditions reflected Chaplin’s own childhood poverty. This is probably why The Tramp is viewed so sympathetically. Yes, he’s breaking the law… but you want him to win. Especially after we get glimpses of the upper class who have life so easy.
It is considered one of the first films to combine comedy and drama. It begins with scenes of a mother who we would probably diagnose these days with postpartum depression. They’re internet with The Tramp picking up the baby off the floor and chasing down another mother because he thought that maybe she dropped her baby, and regarding a sewer before deciding against that particular course of action.
The mouth kissing is a little weird though.
Today’s bonus prompt: what is your favorite dramatic moment in a comedy film?
Next week: actors you wish we saw more of