A Year: Day to Day Men: 6th of February, Solar Year 2018

One Hot Day… .

Ninety five years ago, on February 6, 1921, Charlie Chaplin’s silent film “The Kid” was released around the country.

“The Kid” is an American silent film written, directed, produced by and starring Charlie Chaplin in 1921. Since this film was written and shot during the economic depression of 1920-1921, one can see a very strong influence of the classic lifestyle of a lower class citizen with economic struggles throughout the film. This was Chaplin’s first feature film and was a huge success when it was released, making it the second highest grossing film in 1921.

“The Kid” is a highly meaningful, perhaps philosophical film about fatherhood and childhood. It is almost pure drama and Chaplin shows himself more of a dramatic actor and less of a clown than in any previous film. Laughter springs most often to the situation or pantomime, not rude or playful harlequinades. The scenario is studied and the dramatic situations are dealt with in a realistic style that foreshadowed his previous films. The film lets see how this misery can give a powerful sensitivity to those who suffer. Among these beings hunted and constantly on the defensive, the least little dramas soon take a look, a tone of tragedy.

The film made Jackie Coogan, then a five year old vaudeville performer, into the first major child star of the movies. Many of the Chaplin biographers have attributed the relationship portrayed in the film to have resulted from the death of Chaplin’s firstborn infant son just ten days before the production began.

In December 2011, “The Kid” was chosen to be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The Registry said that the film is “an artful melding of touching drama, social commentary and inventive comedy” and praised Chaplin’s ability to “sustain his artistry beyond the length of his usual short subjects and could deftly elicit a variety of emotions from his audiences by skillfully blending slapstick and pathos.”

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