The Kid

With The Kid, Chaplin successfully established the fusion of slapstick and pathos that would serve him so well in years to come. He also found perhaps his ideal costar, six-year-old Jackie Coogan, capable of both brilliant comic mimicry and unaffected emotion. In a genuinely squalid slum, the Little Tramp stumbles upon an abandoned baby. After a few attempts to rid himself of this unexpected responsibility, he settles into his paternal role, instructing the child in the con game of survival-until the authorities arrive to break up their happy if dilapidated home. Chaplin's own childhood experiences of poverty and abandonment come through in the film's vividly imagined settings and its intensity of feeling.

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