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The Kid (1921)

As early as the 1920s, studios began to recognize the importance of star power and began showcasing the names of popular actors in addition to the movie titles. The bigger the star, the bigger the name appeared on the poster. Popular stars such as Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) were often involved not only in the production of their films, but in the design of their posters as well. 

As reflected in one its famous opening titles (“A picture with a smile, and perhaps a tear”), The Kid was one of the first films to combine drama with comedy, a signature style that characterized many of Chaplin’s future films.  In the film, Chaplin plays the endearing “Tramp.” The abandoned child is played by Jackie Coogan (1914–1984), who would later become the first major movie child star. In the film, both the Tramp and the Kid resort to scamming people in order to survive.

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