The Kid is the first film written and directed by legendary actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin in 1921. While Chaplin was already a well-known star of slapstick comedies of the time, The Kid solidified his reputation as a nuanced and thoughtful filmmaker. It provided an in-depth examination of childhood and fatherhood. The movie sets itself apart from other comedies of its time by the pathos it brings to the screen as opposed to simple and mere jokery that many previous comedic works of cinema engaged in.
Chaplin was born in London in 1889. He began his stage career at the age of eight. In 1913, during a United States tour, producer Mack Sennett gave him his first studio contract. He soon developed his signature character, the Tramp during his second movie, Kid Auto Races at Venice. He became a global star in 1915 with The Tramp. After co-founding United Artists in 1919, he produced, directed and starred in a string of classics that included The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times and The Great Dictator. In 1952, when his left-leaning political views had begun to cause him trouble, he left the USA for Switzerland. He returned to the United States in 1972 to receive an Honorary Academy Award. Chaplin died in Switzerland in 1977.