Modern Times

Modern Times

4.3 10

Cast: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Chester Conklin

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

This episodic satire of the Machine Age is considered Charles Chaplin's last "silent" film, although Chaplin uses sound, vocal, and musical effects throughout. Chaplin stars as an assembly-line worker driven insane by the monotony of his job. After a long spell in an asylum, he searches for work, only to be mistakenly arrested as a Red agitator. Released after foiling… See more details below

  • Checkmark 50% Off The Criterion Collection  Shop Now
  • Checkmark AFI's Top 100 Movies  Shop Now

Overview

This episodic satire of the Machine Age is considered Charles Chaplin's last "silent" film, although Chaplin uses sound, vocal, and musical effects throughout. Chaplin stars as an assembly-line worker driven insane by the monotony of his job. After a long spell in an asylum, he searches for work, only to be mistakenly arrested as a Red agitator. Released after foiling a prison break, Chaplin makes the acquaintance of orphaned gamine (Paulette Goddard) and becomes her friend and protector. He takes on several new jobs for her benefit, but every job ends with a quick dismissal and yet another jail term. During one of his incarcerations, she is hired to dance at a nightclub and arranges for him to be hired there as a singing waiter. He proves an enormous success, but they are both forced to flee their jobs when the orphanage officials show up to claim the girl. Dispirited, she moans, "What's the use of trying?" But the ever-resourceful Chaplin tells her to never say die, and our last image is of Chaplin and The Gamine strolling down a California highway towards new adventures. The plotline of Modern Times is as loosely constructed as any of Chaplin's pre-1915 short subjects, permitting ample space for several of the comedian's most memorable routines: the "automated feeding machine," a nocturnal roller-skating episode, and Chaplin's double-talk song rendition in the nightclub sequence. In addition to producing, directing, writing, and starring in Modern Times, Chaplin also composed its theme song, "Smile," which would later be adopted as Jerry Lewis' signature tune.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Charles Chaplin's last "silent" film hilariously satirizes Depression-era social ills through the Tramp's disastrous encounters with the industrial age. Chaplin turns his factory worker's nervous breakdown into comic set pieces involving an automated feeding machine, an inability to stop tightening bolts, and, most famously, his entrapment in machinery gears. In a potent satire of authoritarian idiocy, Chaplin repeatedly ends up in jail for stumbling into worker riots and "Communist" protests, yet his ability to quell a prison break while accidentally hopped up on cocaine (!!) earns him the sheriff's respect. Paulette Goddard's fetching Gamin helps Chaplin find work as a singing waiter, but police intervention leaves their togetherness as their only hope. Accompanied by a Chaplin-composed score (including "Smile") and synchronized sound effects, numerous bits of business showcase Chaplin's silent gift for physical comedy, including a department store roller skate and maneuvers with a food tray. In a send-up of talking pictures and technology's dehumanizing effects in general, the only voices heard in the movie (save for Chaplin's gibberish song and his fellow waiters' warbling) come from the factory's Orwellian telescreen P.A. system, a phonograph, and a radio. Three years in production, Modern Times became another international success for Chaplin (though it was banned in Germany and Italy) and one of the signature works of his career.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2010
UPC:
0715515064811
Original Release:
1936
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:27:00
Sales rank:
876

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Chaplin Worker
Paulette Goddard Gamine
Henry Bergman Cafe Owner
Chester Conklin Mechanic
Hank Mann Burglar
Louis Natheaux Burglar
Allan Garcia President of a Steel Corporation
Richard Alexander Convict
Edward M. Kimball Actor
Jack Low Worker
Cecil Reynolds Prison Chaplain
Juana Sutton Woman with Buttoned Bosom
Norman Ainsley Actor
Bobby Barber Worker
Stanley Blystone Sheriff Couler
Gloria DeHaven Gamin's Sister
Chuck Hamilton Worker
Lloyd Ingraham Prison Governor
Walter James Assembly Line Foreman
Edward J. Le Saint Sheriff Conlon
Wilfred Lucas Juvenile Officer
Murdock MacQuarrie J. Widdecombe Biddle
Fred Malatesta Waiter
Mira McKinney Minister's Wife
Frank Moran Convict
James C. Morton Assembly Worker
Ted Oliver Biddle's assistant
John Rand Convict
Sammy Stein Turbine Operator
Harry Wilson Worker
Charles "Heinie" Conklin Workman
Frank S. Hagney Shipbuilder
Stanley "Tiny" Sandford Burglar

Technical Credits
Charles Chaplin Director,Score Composer,Producer,Screenwriter
Henry Bergman Asst. Director
Charles Hall Production Designer
Ira Morgan Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
David Raksin Musical Arrangement
Russell J. Spencer Production Designer
Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh Cinematographer

Read More

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Modern Times
1. A Story of Industry [6:47]
2. Billows Feeding Machine [7:18]
3. "He's Crazy!!!" [5:08]
4. "Liberty or Death" [2:00]
5. The Gamine [2:23]
6. Nose Powder [5:38]
7. Trouble Outside [1:49]
8. Number Seven [6:03]
9. Dire Straits [5:24]
10. Fantasy Life [3:09]
11. Night Watchman [5:05]
12. Hungry Visitors [3:53]
13. Paradise [5:33]
14. Mechanic's Assistant [8:33]
15. Red Moon Cafe [7:45]
16. Singing Waiter [:56]
17. "Buck Up" [7:29]
1. Color Bars [2:09]
1. "Essentially a Silent Film" [6:47]
2. À nous la liberté [7:18]
3. Second Factory Sequence [5:08]
4. "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" [2:00]
5. Paulette Goddard [2:23]
6. From Vaudeville to Independence [5:38]
7. Labor Unrest of the 1930s [1:49]
8. Bodily Functions [6:03]
9. Raksin, Powell, and Newman [5:24]
10. "Smile" [3:09]
11. Roller-Skating Skills [5:05]
12. Roland Totheroh [3:53]
13. "Spiritual Escapees" [5:33]
14. Chester Conklin [8:33]
15. Original Ending [7:45]
16. The Gibberish Song [:56]
17. "An Unknown Future" [7:29]
1. Color Bars [2:09]
Disc #2 -- Modern Times
1. Introduction [6:18]
2. Chaplin's World Tour [4:13]
3. Modern Times [5:59]
4. Silence and Sounds [4:21]
5. Goddard, and Gamine [3:18]
6. The Film's Ending [:01]

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >