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Today in History – Charlie Chaplin Silent Film ‘The Kid’ Opens in Theaters in 1921

From Wipekedia: An unmarried mother leaves a charity hospital with her newborn son; a short scene shows that the baby’s apparent artist father has lost interest in her. With much anguish the mother abandons the child, placing him in an expensive automobile with the handwritten note, “Please love and care for this orphan child”. Two thieves steal the car and leave the baby in an alley, where he is found by The Tramp. After some attempts to hand the child on to various passers-by, he finds the note and his heart melts. He takes the boy home, names him John and adjusts his household furniture for him. Meanwhile, the mother has a change of heart and returns for her baby but she learns that the car has been stolen and faints.

Five years pass. The Kid and the Tramp live in the same tiny room; they have little money but much love. They support themselves in a minor scheme: the Kid throws stones to break windows so that the Tramp, working as a glazier, can earn money repairing them. Meanwhile, the mother has become a wealthy actress and does charity by giving presents to poor children. By chance, as she does so, the mother and the Kid unknowingly cross paths.

The Kid later gets into a fight with another local boy as people in the area gather to watch the spectacle. The Kid wins, drawing the ire of the other boy’s older brother, who attacks the Tramp as a result. The Mother breaks up the fight, but it starts again after she leaves and the Tramp keeps beating the “Big Brother” over the head with a brick between swings until he totters away.

Shortly afterward, the Mother advises the Tramp to call a doctor after the Kid falls ill. The doctor discovers that the Tramp is not the Kid’s father and notifies authorities. Two men come to take the boy to an orphanage, but after a fight and a chase, the Tramp and the boy remain side by side. When the Mother comes back to see how the boy is doing she encounters the doctor, who shows her the note (which he had taken from the Tramp); she recognizes it as the one she left with her baby years ago.

Now fugitives, the Tramp and the boy spend the night in a flophouse. Its proprietor learns of a $1,000 reward offered by the authorities and takes the Kid to the police station, while the Tramp is asleep. As the tearful Mother is reunited with her long-lost child, the Tramp searches frantically for the missing boy. Unsuccessful, he returns to the doorway of their humble lodgings, where he falls asleep, entering a “Dreamland” where his neighbors have turned into angels and devils. A policeman awakes him and drives him off to a mansion. There the door is opened by the Mother and the Kid, who jumps into the Tramp’s arms, and he is welcomed in.