The Kid is one of the earlier films that Charlie Chaplin directed and unfortunately that inexperience shows in certain places. The film is entertaining for the most part or rather the parts that Chaplin is on screen. Unfortunately this is not enough… particularly at the beginning of the film as the story is laid out. Chaplin did later re-edit the film in 1971, cutting around fifteen minutes of footage; mostly the scenes without him in.

The film begins with a woman (Edna Purviance) leaving her baby by the road-side in an extended sequence that feels completely unneeded and is frankly a bore. However as soon a Chaplin’s Tramp comes ambling onto screen it drastically improves. The Tramp upon discovering the baby soon adopts it for his own and begins to raise the child as his own.

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Fast forward five years and The Tramp and child are living fairly happily as con-men. The child’s mother has meanwhile become a famous actress and made lots of money; which she spends giving out to charities and children in attempt to make up for abandoning the child. The film continues to play out almost exactly as you would expect with a happy ending for all the characters always inevitable; however as with most of Chaplins films the ending isn’t important it is the journey that’s the most interesting and this film does go on one fast-paced sequence after another.

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From run ins with the law, a doctor and a series of fight scenes Chaplin performs brilliantly and uses his comedic prowess to perfection in sequences that are delightfully entertaining; culminating in a high-profile chase sequence that is astounding for the time it was made.

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The Kid is a great film, of that I have no doubt; my problem comes that to me it is not Chaplin’ great and does not compare to City Lights or Modern Times. This is most likely because it misses a real satirical edge – the film is funny, it just doesn’t have a point to make about society in the ways his later films do. I score the film as follows:

Story – 2/5

Style – 4/5

Technical – 4/5

Enjoyment – 3/5

That gives the film a total of 13/20 or 6/10.