Film Club Review – The Kid
This is one of Chaplin’s earliest features (actually I think it is his earliest) and sees the tramp raising an abandoned orphan. There’s the usual Chaplin slapstick and emotional impact, and more emotion in this film than expected. The opening was a little blase but once the kid gets to be 5 years old it picks up more. I love watching the kid throw rocks into people’s windows. Something about that kind of juvenile misbehaving makes me laugh.
The movie takes a dramatic turn when the cops try to take the kid away from the tramp, leading to a chase sequence where the tramp must get the kid back. Its quite heartfelt to see how fiercely the tramp will fight. Then it goes into this bizarre angel dream which I didn’t really buy into.
The Kid is pretty solid. The kid himself gives a natural silent performance of mischief and there’s some good set pieces, though none on the level of City Lights or Gold Rush. But the biggest strength is the emotional context of this relationship between two down-on-their-luck companions.
Review by “Doomsday” Greg
After a German U-boat torpedoes a ship, a handful of survivors get aboard a single lifeboat. They quickly pick up another survivor, a German sailor from the U-boat which was also sunk. Their distrust slowly turns to acceptance at the German helps them stay alive at sea, however as the days wear on they begin to realize that the German may have ulterior motives.
For a movie set aboard a lifeboat, this is a pretty fast-paced, well executed movie. It’s also ballsy; it treats its characters and situations like real people instead of ‘Hollywood’ folks for whom everything works out in the end (the baby dying for instance). The characters, although confined to their 1940s mannerisms, seemed well developed and balanced. The suspense was on-par as usual for Hitchcock and it ultimately resulted in a simple yet entertaining movie.
Lifeboat is a film that has just about everything you would expect given the premise, however there are enough little quirks to make it seem fresh and unpredictable among the tropes that it’s still highly enjoyable.
A- so says Doomsday