Modern Times

( 10 )

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 ...
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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.
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Special Features

New, restored 2K-resolution digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson; Two new visual essays, by Chaplin historians John Bengtson and Jeffrey Vance; New program on the film's visual and sound effects, with experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt; Interview from 1992 with Modern Times music arranger David Raksin, plus a selection from the film's original orchestral track; Two segments cut from the film; All at Sea (1933), a home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard, with a new score by Donald Sosin and new interview with Cooke's daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge; The Rink (1916), a Chaplin two-reeler; For the First Tim (1967), a short Cuban documentary about first-time moviegoers seeing Modern Times; Chaplin Today: "Modern Times" (2003), a program with filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; Three theatrical trailers; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and a piece by film scholar Lisa Stein that includes excerpts from Chaplin's writing about his 1930s world tour
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/2010
  • UPC: 715515064712
  • Original Release: 1936
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Special Edition / B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 7,953

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
Jack Low Worker
Dr. Cecil Reynolds Prison Chaplain
Juana Sutton Woman with Buttoned Bosom
Norman Ainsley
Bobby Barber Worker
Stanley Blystone Sheriff Couler
Gloria de Haven 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
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2010

    Great movie- too bad shipping info is wrong

    I ordered this DVD over a month ago and it still has not shipped even though it continues to say "Usually Ships in 24 Hours."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Watch out for misleading statements from B&N

    Barnes and Noble is continuing to show this is available on their website as a preorder. They cancelled my order stating they couldn't get it from their supplier. Criterion indicates they still intend to release this on November 16. Good luck!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just great!

    I highly recommend this movie for anyone

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2002

    Modern Satire

    I love this movie! It is a movie my whole family can sit down and enjoy! It holds my six year old brother's attention for the whole entire movie. Charlie Chaplin was and still is one of the funniest people who ever lived. He should be number one on everyone's list.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews