The Kid + A Dog's Life

“But it was in The Kid that Chaplin seemed to realize, at last, precisely what was required.” — Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns

In one of Chaplin’s most moving and beloved films, the Tramp adopts an abandoned toddler (Jackie Coogan) whom he discovers in an alley, and raises him to become his sidekick in a variety of schemes and cons. Chaplin’s first feature-length directorial effort, The Kid is a moving and hilarious portrait of paternal love, or as the film’s first intertitle says, “A picture with a smile, and perhaps a tear…” As well, it’s the landmark work of genius in which Charlie the jester blossomed into Charlie the full-blooded actor, whose iconic dignity in the face of comic adversity has continued to make him one of our greatest cinematic treasures. Shown before the feature is A Dog’s Life, the 1918 short that the presages The Kid, and features the Tramp’s sweet misadventures in the company of a young pup, who happily watches as Chaplin hides from the cops, taunts hard-faced gangster types, and tries to get the girl!
The Kid Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1921, 35mm, 54 min.
A Dog’s Life Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1918, 35mm, 33 min.