The Kid (1921)

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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.
Carl Miller as The Man
Edna Purviance as The Woman
Jackie Coogan as The Kid
Charles Chaplin

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Silent films are a long lost art form, something you would not have guessed if you've never seen one. If I had to recommend one to start of with this one would be it. After creating many short films 15-20 minutes Charlie Chaplin decided he wanted to create a film that would run for over an hour, very uncommon for the time. The difference between "The Kid" and other silent films I've seen are the use of subtitles, Chaplin seemed to use the subtitle as a last resort or as a statement to make you think, not as a short cut to skip creativity. Every scene is a well planned out act with elaborate gestures and actions which convey clears messages. I would recommend "The Kid" for someone who enjoys spending time in an art galleria lost in the paint. "The Kid" will give you plenty to think about.

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