No list is perfect, and IMDB’s top 250 is no exception, but it’s still my go-to to fill in my lack of movie going experience. As I try to watch more of the best movies ever made I wondered what an older movie was like, and what better way to see than to watch the oldest movie that managed to crack the top 250, in 1921’s The Kid, which is so old that you can watch it for free on YouTube.
For those who haven’t seen it (which I assume is everybody reading this) the film is about a baby abandoned by his mother who couldn’t afford to raise him. Charlie Chaplin ends up finding him, and they get into various hi-jinks.
Is it a good movie? That’s a difficult question to answer.
On the one hand I can fully recognize the quality writing, acting, and production (for 1921). But at the end of the day it’s a silent film, and I actually had a harder time getting through it than I did Battlefield Earth.
That feels almost sacrilegious to say. To put a movie below Battlefield Earth is to put it in the same league as Batman and Robin, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. Perhaps it is because I’m an uncultured swine, but it’s incredibly difficult for me to get through a movie that has no audio. Through no fault of it’s own it simply isn’t a movie I can enjoy.
Which begs the question, do you judge a movie by today’s standards or by the standards of the time. Most think you should judge it for it’s time, but when I grade movies I base it on how much I enjoy watching it now. I don’t grade on a curve.
So while it pains me to do it, and it’s completely unfair, I have to give it a poor grade. When you have to take multiple breaks to get through a 1 hour movie, that means it’s just not that enjoyable. I give it a 2/10.