The Kid

1921 NR 0h 50m DVD

The Kid

1921 NR 0h 50m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Considered one of Charlie Chaplin's best films, The Kid also made a star of little Jackie Coogan, who plays a boy cared for by The Tramp when he's abandoned by his mother, Edna (Edna Purviance). Later, Edna has a change of heart and aches to be reunited with her son. When she finds him and wrests him from The Tramp, it makes for what turns out be one of the most heart-wrenching scenes ever included in a comedy. Chaplin also directs.
Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Baby Hathaway, Carl Miller, Granville Redmond, May White, Henry Bergman, Tom Wilson, Charles Reisner, Raymond Lee, Lita Grey, Edith Wilson, Jack Coogan Sr.
Charles Chaplin
Full Screen 1.33:1
Chinese Simplified, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish (Neutral), Thai
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital Mono
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 8+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 8+
age 8+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Kid is Charlie Chaplin's first feature-length release, a silent picture from 1921. The film chronicles another episode in the life of his famous character, the Tramp, who this time finds an abandoned baby and decides to raise it as his own. It contains plenty of violence, used as a tool of Chaplin's physical slapstick humor -- lots of punches are thrown, objects are used to compromise others, and struggles and chases ensue. All these elements succeed in achieving their goal of laughs, however, and the exaggerated nature of the conflicts makes them seem silly and humorous rather than scary or realistic. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work -- most significantly a child being traumatically separated from a parent. In that regard, the opening title proves to be true: "A picture with a smile -- and perhaps, a tear." Since it's silent, the film may hold little interest for kids who aren't able to get on board with the absence of dialog. But for those who are able to appreciate Chaplin's work -- and there is definitely plenty to appreciate -- the film is truly a piece of history, offering a glimpse into days past, along with -- of course -- many laughs.

Sexual Content


Violence arises as a tool of the film's physically based slapstick humor and is more cartoon-like than realistic. There are plenty of physical altercations -- mostly fistfights -- and, in one instance, two children beat each other up while a watching crowd cheers. Objects such as an umbrella, a ceramic bowl, and a hammer are used to "injure" others, and a policeman attempts to choke the Tramp. All these instances are somehow related to the gag at hand and are used to generate laughs despite their -- at face value -- more serious nature. As part of the Tramp's dream, he gets shot out of the sky by the policeman -- a brief and rare moment that doesn't hold much humor.


Though the film is silent and no risky language technically can be heard, at one point an inter-title reads "Awkward ass!" as someone (off-screen) shouts at the Tramp.

Social Behavior

Unlike many of Chaplin's other films, this one has no overt political or social critique at work. The Tramp exposes some of the hardships of poverty as he scrambles to make his way in life and speaks to the power of an adoptive father-son bond, but there's no overarching lesson to be had. The film does present a few intermittent and subtle teaching moments -- a title card reads "Charity -- to some a duty, to others a joy," and the Tramp's dream sequence shows sins such as jealousy and lewdness corrupting an otherwise peaceful world. The film's focus, though, rests on the relationship between the Tramp and his adoptive son, which is a touching story even if it's not an extremely teachable one.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The Tramp is sometimes pictured smoking, though it's not emphasized and fits with the historical context.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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