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Kid, The
(Kid, The)

THE KID was Charlie Chaplin's first full-length movie. It, more than anything else to that date, made Chaplin a living legend. It took over a year to produce and was an incredible success for Chaplin. The opening title reads: 'A comedy with a smile - and perhaps a tear'.


"In the score to THE KID (1971), Chaplin takes us back, musically speaking, to his own youth in the English Music Hall. Broad strokes of light pantomimic music, laced with the indelible Chaplin melodic trademark. The strings are lush, the winds are light and the power of over-sentimentality is kept at bay by a composer who knows his subjects. There is an over all feeling of foggy charm in these late scores that is difficult to pinpoint, but these films are forever poeticized by them. It is true that Chaplin’s music gained a certain amount of Bel Canto in his old age, and at age 82 the melodic integrity of his work became equally more pronounced. THE KID score has a “play ‘til ready” approach that does not so much takes on the action in detail but rather let’s the drama play out at it’s own pace while Chaplin sets the tone and color of the scene. This is much more in line with the approach of stage comedy with music, of which the English are the masters. We can only imagine that Chaplin’s days with Fred Karno were a major influence in his late compositions, as they all embody this distinction of pace and timing." (Timothy Brock)

A woman leaves a charity hospital with a newborn. She leaves her baby with a pleading note in a limousine. Minutes later the limo is stolen by two thieves who dump the baby by a garbage can. Charlie the Tramp finds the baby and, after trying to pass the child on to someone more suitable, raises it himself. Five years later Edna has become an opera star but does charity work for slum youngsters in hope of finding her lost boy. Charlie and The Kid make an interesting pair, with The Kid breaking windows with a rock, which Charlie then comes by to repair. A doctor called by Edna discovers the note with the truth about The Kid and reports it to the authorities that come to take him away from Charlie. In one of the most touching moments of the film, the Kid has to be pulled out of Charlie's arms by the authorities. (This incident came directly from Charlie Chaplin's own childhood, when he was torn from his mother's arms as he entered a workhouse.) Before he arrives at the Orphan Asylum Charlie steals him back and takes him to a flophouse. The proprietor reads of a reward for the Kid and takes him from a sleeping Charlie to Edna. Later on, the Tramp is awakened from a dream by a kind policeman who reunites him with the Kid at Edna's mansion.


Charles Chaplin

1971 arranged by Carl Davis
  large orchestra (from 46 Musicians)    
2/picc.1/ca.2(I/asax, II/bcl).1 – – timp.perc (3-4,min. 2).guit.harp.pno/cel – strings (min. The percussion parts of THE KID can be played by two (2) percussionists, but due to there being percussion parts played throughout the score with few breaks, it is preferable to have these parts played by 3-4 percussionists if possible.
sync fps