The iconic film The Kid was released 100 years ago this month. It was a full-length silent comedy-drama film written, produced, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin, with Jackie Coogan as his adopted son and sidekick.
We probably all know Chaplin’s life story but Coogan was a Hollywood star, too. He worked in movies and TV until his retirement in the 1980s. If you know anyone who has seen the 1970s TV series The Addams Family, they will know him as Uncle Fester.
If you’ve not seen the film, it’s on YouTube – click here to watch The Kid.
Chaplin was undoubtedly more successful but Buster Keaton was his equal (more on him another time) and I’ve noticed that there has been a resurgence of interest in Laurel & Hardy – perhaps since the 2018 release of Stan & Ollie.
After silent films came the 1927 romantic-drama-musical The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson.
Have you watched the classic Singin’ in the Rain, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds (the mother of Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia in the Star Wars films)? This 1952 rom-com-musical was filmed in glorious technicolour. It was set in the 1920s, with a storyline that addressed the cross-over from silent film to ‘talkies’. It should definitely be on all movie enthusiasts’ must-watch lists. Similarly, The Artist, 2011.
Why do tragedies seem to cluster together? Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds both died at the end of December 2016 and it was in January 2016 (can’t believe it’s been five years) that David Bowie and Alan Rickman departed.
Last year started OK but quickly deteriorated with coronavirus and various lockdowns. We all know how well 2020 turned out. This year has begun the same way that the last year ended but all hopes rest on the coronavirus vaccines protecting us so maybe things will improve over the next few weeks.
And… always look on the bright side of life!