CHAPLIN COLLECTION - THE KID: DVD
The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) rescues The Kid (Jackie Coogan) from the street and raises him as best he can, until The Kid is old enough to be his accomplice. The Kid breaks the windows, The Tramp happens along at the right moment to offer his professional services to mend them. Itís a livingÖ. But when the bullies from the dayís equivalent of social welfare try to take The Kid, The Tramp fights them off. And he even manages to find The Kidís mother, now a successful singer.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Arguably Chaplinís greatest success, born out of his deepest crisis - the death of his son, aged three days, the pending divorce from his 17 year old wife Mildred Harris, and the threat of legal action to seize the negative, coupled with a fear of creative block Ė The Kid is his first attempt at long form, if not quite feature length, filmmaking. The comic sits side by side with the tragic and the pathos is at times almost unbearable. Jackie Coogan goes down in history as The Kid whose heartwrenching, sobbing appeals to be spared from being separated from The Tramp, in the filmís most famous scene, are so effective we imagine we can actually hear him through the silent filmís very frames.
Sadly, neither Jackieís cute looks, nor his enormous global fame (then age 7) didnít last, nor did his wealth, and by 13 he was washed up. Well, as a child star that is. The angelic boy ended his career in a role at the other end of the spectrum, as Uncle Fester in the tv series, The Addams Family. Yes, a shock, I know. You can hear all about it in the featurettes that accompany this film, on Disc 2. Thereís David Robinsonís introduction which refers to it, and several other references, including a home movie with Charlie, Jackie and the Lord & Lady Mountbatten, among other items.
There is even a copy of My Boy, a later film starring Coogan, on this disc.
But the 25 minute Chaplin Today feature, a serial part of every release in this Chaplin Collection, is both informative and engaging as it documents the creation and making of the film Ė during which he meets 12 year old Lita Grey, who (not too many years later) becomes the second Mrs Chaplin. She is seen in this film as the angel temptress in the dream scene, made up to look older.
But the filmís instant world-wide success was entirely due to its ability to engage an audience, partly through Charlieís unique physical humour, and partly through The Kidís irresistible appeal Ė like a lost puppy, a magnet to our hearts.
Published March 18, 2004
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THE GOLD RUSH
THE GREAT DICTATOR
CHAPLIN COLLECTION - THE KID: DVD (G)
CAST: Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller, Granville Redmond, May White
DIRECTOR: Charlie Chaplin
SCRIPT: Charlie Chaplin
RUNNING TIME: 50 minutes
PRESENTATION: Disc 1: B/W; 1.33:1 (4:3 full frame transfer); DD 5.1 (remastered)
SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc 2: Introduction by David Robinson; Chaplin Today: The Kid Ėdocumentary; Scenes deleted in 1971; How to Make Movies (Chaplinís studio, 1918); My Boy -a later film starring Jackie Coogan; Jackie Coogan dances (1920); Nice and Friendly (1922) -a home movie with Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Jackie Coogan and Charles Chaplin; Charlie on the Ocean newsreel footage (1921); Jackie Coogan at a Paris fund-raiser; recording the new score, trailers, posters
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros HV
DVD RELEASE: March 17, 2004