A Charlie Chaplin classic hits the big screen at HOME this June with a live score from local orchestra Manchester Camerata. Conducted by Robert Ames, the 16-piece outfit will bring to life Chaplin’s 1921 silent comedy-drama The Kid, performing a score composed by the writer-producer-director-star himself for the film’s theatrical re-release in 1972.
A notorious perfectionist – and occasionally nightmarish collaborator — Chaplin was an outlier and true multi-hyphenate whose supreme talent is evident from this debut feature. The Kid sees the filmmaker’s famous Tramp character teamed with a young boy (Jackie Coogan) he finds abandoned as a baby. The pair form a firm bond, surviving poverty conditions through wit, capers and no little love. But when the boy’s mother reappears after five years, their relationship is jeopardised.
The heart wrenching silent slapstick is both summed up and underplayed by the opening title; “A comedy with a smile–and perhaps a tear”. Preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and an ever-present on lists of not just the great comedies, but great films of all time, at over a century old The Kid is no mere museum piece. If nothing else, it’s worth buying a ticket to watch a tiny Jackie Coogan match Chaplin beat-for-beat in the physical comedy stakes.