This is certainly one of the most famous photographs from the realms of cinema. The Little Tramp, Charlie Chaplin… allow me to say the Great Charlie Chaplin, produced, directed and wrote the 1921 silent movie The Kid. It was the first feature length comedy film to combine comedy and drama. Many people consider The Kid to be the most perfect and most personal movie ever made by Chaplin. Role of the kid in this movie was played by 7 year old Jackie Coogan. He became a global celebrity after the release of the film and received honors from princes, Presidents of several nations and even from the Pope.
Chaplin’s first born son had died before the production of this movie could commence. This had influenced the relationship between Chaplin and Coogan portrayed in the film by making it more intense and ever lasting. Chaplin met Coogan for the last time in 1972 when he went to America to receive his second honorary Oscar (where he got such a standing ovation from the audience that it became a matter of legend)
Coogan earned decent money from his child artist career but at the age of 14 he found himself penniless. His mother and stepfather had squandered all his earnings. Coogan sued both of them and this case laid foundation of the California Child Actor’s Bill which protected child artists’ earnings. This bill is sometimes referred to as the Coogan Law as well.
Did you know?
- The material ratio (i.e. material shot to material used) of The Kid is 53:1
- The budget of this movie was US$250,000 and it has earned US$2,500,000 so far in the USA alone.
- Jackie Coogan became the first major child artist in the movies.
- Jackie Coogan went on to become a flight officer during World War II and he was sent to India. He flew British troops to the border of Burma during the battle.
- Chaplin divorced his first wife Mildred Harris right after the shooting of this film finished. They had a very troubled marriage. Chaplin then married Lita Grey who played the Angel of Temptation in this movie.
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