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A poor, unwed woman gives birth to a baby boy and the father, an artist, refuses to look after the child or help her in any way. Unable to raise her son alone, the woman leaves him in an expensive car with a note explaining her situation. However, the car is stolen by thieves, who throw the baby and the note away. The two are later found by the Tramp. The Tramp hesitates, but ultimately takes care of the child and names him John.
Five years pass, and the child becomes the Tramp's partner in minor crime, throwing stones to break windows that the Tramp can then repair. Meanwhile, the woman becomes a wealthy star. She does charity work among the poor to fill the void of her missing child. By chance, mother and child meet, but do not recognize each other.
When the boy becomes sick, a doctor comes to see him. He discovers that the Tramp is not the boy's father. The Tramp shows him the note, but the doctor merely takes it and notifies the authorities. Two men come to take the boy to an orphanage, but after a fight and a chase, the Tramp regains his boy. When the woman comes back to see how the boy is doing, the doctor tells her what has happened, then shows her the note, which she recognizes.
The fugitives spend the night in a flophouse, but the manager, having read of the $1000 reward offered for the child, takes him to the police station to be united with his ecstatic mother. When the Tramp wakes up, he searches frantically for the missing boy, then returns to doze beside the now-locked doorway to their humble home. In his sleep, he enters "Dreamland," with angels in residence and devilish interlopers. He is awakened by a policeman, who places the Tramp in a car and rides with him to a house. When the door opens, the woman and John emerge, reuniting the elated adoptive father and son. The policeman, happy for the family, shakes the Tramp's hand and leaves, before the woman welcomes the Tramp into her home.
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In Boardwalk Empire Edit
Nucky Thompson invites his paramour Margaret Schroeder and her two children, Teddy and Emily, to see The Kid at the Royal Theatre in the night of February 13 1921. However, shortly before they are to leave, Nucky's manservant Eddie Kessler phones him and tells that there is a man waiting to meet him at his office in the Ritz Carlton Hotel and that it is urgent. Since the man refuses to speak over the phone, Nucky tells Margaret to leave without him and that he will meet them later at the theatre. However, the man turns out to be Deputy US Attorney for the State of New Jersey Solomon Bishop and Nucky is immediately arrested by the New Jersey State Police, accused of fraud in the previous year local election. Margaret and Teddy are left vainly waiting for Nucky and growing more impatient as the movie goes on. ("21")