Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1921. Charles Chaplin Productions. Screenplay by Charles Chaplin. Cinematography by Roland Totheroh. Produced by Charles Chaplin. Music by Charles Chaplin. Production Design by Charles D. Hall. Costume Design by Mother Vinot. Film Editing by Charles Chaplin.
One of Chaplin’s most popular films, and also responsible for giving the cinema its first child star, Jackie Coogan (later made famous by his role as Uncle Fester on the sixties television series The Addams Family). Chaplin’s Little Tramp is walking through his impoverished neighbourhood when he comes across an abandoned baby boy whose unmarried mother left him there for fear of being found out as a wanton woman. Chaplin raises the boy, but years later the now-rich mother finds out about his whereabouts and wants her son back. The sequences in this short but superb film involve rib-tickling humour as well as genuinely moving melodrama, all of it expertly handled by Chaplin’s directorial genius.