(Charles Chaplin, US 1921, 54 min.)
Chaplin’s first full-length feature promised “a smile — and, perhaps, a tear.” The most Victorian of films, The Kid portrays the full dimensions of childhood’s terrors, poverty’s strain, and the dreamy hopes that transcend both. Jackie Coogan shot to stardom as the title brat, an orphan adopted by Chaplin and initiated into petty crime and tomfoolery. Also: A DOG’S LIFE (Charles Chaplin, US 1918, 33 min.) carries the same idea, with a dog instead of a kid.