The Kid was Charlie Chaplin's feature film directorial debut. He wrote, produced, directed and starred as his most famous character, The Tramp alongside child actor Jackie Coogan. This film is considered one of the greatest pictures of the silent era, and was a box office success in the year of its release, 1921. It also created Coogan into the first child star of cinema. Before The Kid Coogan was a vaudeville performer.
Chaplin pulled directly from his childhood of working on welfare in London to create the storyline for the film. This is what has made the film so enduring to audiences and critics alike in that Chaplin would reveal his private life so vulnerably on screen. This created a richness and an emotional connection which a majority agree is the reason the film performed so well and continues to be one of the greatest films ever created in the history of cinema. It is also one of Chaplin's masterpieces and a firm statement about his artistic ability to craft story through character while providing a cinematic spectacle of the day for the enjoyment of the people who were coming to watch in theaters.