The Kid


Chaplin transforms into full-on melodrama...

Charlie Chaplin waddles onto Blu-ray in this fantastic filmic landmark. The Kid transforms his ‘early, funny ones’ into fullon melodrama, as CC’s Tramp looks after precocious orphan Jackie Coogan. What stands out, especially in hi-def, is depth: of feeling, of daring, of detail. Shot through with Chaplin’s crusading zeal, The Kid marks a reprise of the director’s impoverished childhood. Blunt simplicity is buoyed by set-piece bravado. Kid’s roof-top chase remains enthralling because it’s staged for real, with scant regard for health and safety.

Pivotally, this transfer is gob-walloping. Grain is inevitable, quality is inconsistent... yet remember that Kid is nearly 90 years old. Blu-ray reveals unprecedented texture in the evocative set designs and costumes, with The Tramp’s every crease and dangling thread on show. The physical and emotional dexterity of Chaplin’s performances, too, take on fresh life.

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