Chaplin Today: The Kid (TV Short 2003) Poster

(2003 TV Short)

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Another missed opportunity.
Guildenstern25 July 2005
The problem with the CHAPLIN TODAY series of documentaries is that they are largely dependent on the quality of their primary contributor for their worthiness. Why is this a problem? Well, it's not a problem if all of the contributors were of the standard of Bernando Bertolucci in CHAPLIN TODAY: LIMELIGHT; but too many of the contributors to the CHAPLIN TODAY series are minor film-makers with more apparent interest in talking about their own movies than Chaplin's, and with very little to share even about the most basic aspects of direction and cinematic art. CHAPLIN TODAY: THE KID is the most striking example of this: Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami admits to not having seen "The Kid" since he was 10 or 15 years old, and his "insights" into the movie interlard bland generalisations about cinema in general with essentially gratuitous comparisons to his own movies. Kiarostami is such a well-respected figure in world cinema that it seems impossible to believe that he has so little of interest to say on such an important icon as Chaplin; it is possible that he is the victim of poor editing, but his interview is nevertheless more suitable for inclusion on the second disc of "The Bread and Alley" -which it sometimes feels as if we see more of than "The Kid"- than for the purposes of this documentary. This is a shame, as there are some otherwise promising aspects to this feature. A scene where inhabitants of Tehran are stopped and asked who the subject of an opposing mural is, all answering to a man that it is Charlie Chaplin, reminds us of a similar scene where deprived children in Burkina Faso watch "The Gold Rush" for the first time in the CHAPLIN TODAY segment for that movie. Overall, the level of background information and trivia provided about "The Kid" is solid but unspectacular, useful to the uninitiated but unlikely to add anything to the average fan's understanding of -or love for- Chaplin.
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Not the Success It Should Have Been
Michael_Elliott19 January 2012
Chaplin Today: The Kid (2003)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

This MK2 documentary lasts 27-minutes and I'll admit upfront that I didn't find it too interesting. The first portion talks about the production of THE KID and the topics include how the studio didn't want Chaplin doing a feature, how it took a year to make and of course the fact that it turned out to be a huge hit. We also hear about the personal issues going on with Chaplin including a divorce as well as trying to bring his mother to the United States. The second half of the film has Abbas Klarostami and his son talking about the film. The second portion of this film is the most questionable because the director appears to be trying to connect THE KID to some lesser known movies like BROAD AND ALLEY (1970) and THE WIND WILL CARRY US (1999). I guess the director wants to show all three as forgotten masterpieces but that really doesn't work because THE KID is in no way, shape or form forgotten or overlooked. The first half of the film is slightly more entertaining but it too is a bit dry. We do get to see some of the shorts that Coogan appeared in as well as getting some footage from 1971 when Chaplin re-edited the movie and created a new score. There's also some home movies shown of Chaplin, which are nice to see.
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Wow, does this film lose its way!
MartinHafer14 February 2011
This is one of the extras included on the bonus disk for Chaplin's "The Kid". It's from a series of films that are included with all the full-length Warner Brothers releases of Chaplin's full-length films.

The first fifteen minutes are quite good, as it gives extensive background for the film as well as Chaplin's work ethic. Oddly, though, then the film very abruptly switches to the present and the film makers interview an Iranian director and he watches and discusses "The Kid" and compares it to one of his films. Frankly, this all seemed quite irrelevant, as the man was not an apparent expert on Chaplin and someone like Leonard Maltin or some other film historian would have made a lot more sense. I do not mean to be disrespectful, but I really didn't care about this director's observations or any supposed Iranian connection (which, there was none).

I would give the first 15 minutes a 9 and the last portion of the film a 1...for an overall score of 4. Too bad--it's just that the film lost its way and could have been so much better.Wow,
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