The transition from slapstick to sentiment was a matter of feeling and discretion in arranging sequences.
From My Autobiography: “Gouverneur Morris, author and short-story writer who had written many scripts for the cinema, often invited me to his house. `Guvvy,’ as we called him, was a charming, sympathetic fellow, and when I told him about The Kid and the form it was taking, keying slapstick with sentiment, he said: ‘It won’t work. The form must be pure, either slapstick or drama; you cannot mix them, otherwise one element of your story will fail.’ We had quite a dialectical discussion about it. I said that the transition from slapstick to sentiment was a matter of feeling and discretion in arranging sequences. I argued that form happened after one had created it, that if the artist thought of a world and sincerely believed in it, no matter what the admixture was, it would be convincing. Of course, I had no grounds for this theory other than intuition. There had been satire, farce, realism, naturalism, melodrama and fantasy, but raw slapstick and sentiment, the premise of The Kid, was something of an innovation.”