Happy Birthday to Charlie Chaplin

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At the beginning of the year, I decided to start my IMDB Top 250 Challenge. The plan is to watch all of the Top 250 movies at IMDB and as I’d already seen 150 I figured I could manage to watch the rest. Eventually…!

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Anyway, I started with the Alfred Hitchcock movies I hadn’t yet seen as I was already a big Hitchcock fan. And there are also a lot of Studio Ghibli films in the 250 and I’ve really enjoyed the few that I’ve watched so far and can’t wait to see the rest. However, my biggest “new to me” discovery was Charlie Chaplin. I first watched Modern Times then City Lights and then The Kid. They are BRILLIANT. By far the greatest movies I’ve seen in a long time & they’re now in my list of all-time favorites. I can’t recommend them enough and if, like I had, you’ve waited years to check out some Chaplin I suggest you do so now. 🙂

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I reviewed the three I’ve watched so far so I’ll include the links here if you want to check them out. I say very little about Modern Times as I didn’t feel I knew enough about Chaplin at that point but say a bit more about it in the other reviews.

Modern Times review

City Lights review

The Kid review

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Charles Spencer Chaplin
16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977

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IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #11 – The Kid

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The Kid (1921) – IMDB Rank #128

Watched 19/2/13

The Kid is the third Chaplin film I’ve watched now for my IMDB Top 250 Movie Challenge. I first watched Modern Times and then City Lights.

Hmm… I think I’m watching these out of order! I was kind of going by what ones were the most highly rated on IMDB. It was a bit strange going from the 1936 film Modern Times, which was made after movies with sound came along, to the much older 1921 film The Kid – I probably should have watched them in order starting with the oldest. You really can see how much Chaplin’s comedy (especially physical comedy) evolved in the years between these two. Not that I’m exactly an expert after only watching three of his films! I’m assuming the budget was much bigger for later films as well & that other advances in filmmaking made for much more complex gags (such as the gears in Modern Times). I’m not saying that The Kid doesn’t have some great comedic moments, though. It’s just a more simple story and as sweet & heartwarming as City Lights. You can’t watch the movie and not fall in love with that adorable kid in the over-sized trousers. 🙂

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The story is about an unwed woman (oh, the shame in those days!) who leaves her newborn baby in an expensive car with a note asking them to take care of her baby. The car is stolen, the baby abandoned by the thieves and, of course, Chaplin’s Tramp is the one who finds the baby boy & raises him.

The relationship between The Tramp and the boy is so sweet and charming and it’s fun watching them trying to earn a living by The Tramp fixing windows after the boy has broken them with rocks and run away. At one point the now five-year-old boy gets into a fight with an older boy (and kicks his ass!). The boy is GREAT in this scene and so funny. He was so excellent in this that I had to look him up on IMDB. Kind of wish I hadn’t – how did that adorable little kid grow up to be Uncle Fester in The Addams Family?! Haha! Ruined the magic of The Kid for me a little bit… 😉

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I’m not sure how safe this is. Someone call Social Services!

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In one funny scene, The Tramp doesn’t want to get out of his warm bed to eat breakfast. He decides to make use of the hole in his blanket by sticking his head through it and wearing it to the table. That’s right, folks – Charlie Chaplin invented The Snuggie! Who knew?! 😉

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The Kid is sweet & charming and has as much heart & comedy as the later Chaplin films I’ve seen. I highly recommend all three.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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