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Plot: Chaplins last 'silent' film, filled with sound effects, was made when everyone else was making talkies. Charlie turns against modern society, the machine age, (The use of sound in films ?) and progress. Firstly we see him frantically trying to keep up with a production line, tightening bolts. He is selected for an experiment with an automatic feeding machine, but various mishaps leads his boss to believe he has gone mad, and Charlie is sent to a mental hospital... When he gets out, he is mistaken for a communist while waving a red flag, sent to jail, foils a jailbreak, and is let out again. We follow Charlie through many more escapades before the film is out. Runtime: 87 mins Release Date: 24 Feb 1936
Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times 1936 is the final film to feature the great actor/director/writer's most easily recognizable incarnation: The Tramp. Here is a character that is so ingrained in the collective conscious of modern film audiences that many recognize him despite the fact that they have not seen a single Chaplin film. Indeed, several iconographic studies have labeled The Tramp with his worn hat, distinctive mustache, dusty suit, cane, and trademark waddle as the single most identifiable fictional image in history.Still, the film that perhaps most influenced the creation <more>
and thematic realization of Modern Times was not even a silent one. The Jazz Singer, which debuted in 1927, five years before Modern Times began production, is perhaps the most important watershed film in the industry's century-old history. In the film, comic great Al Jolson stands up in front of the audience and...sings. And as Millard Mitchell said in Singin' in the Rain, the public was suddenly in a frenzy for "Talking pictures! Talking pictures!" Sadly, with the advent of synchronized sound and dialogue, the world of silent filmmaking began to slip into obscurity with audiences and studios now viewing it as obsolete and undesirable. Nevertheless, Chaplin continued his passion for the subtle craft by creating City Lights 1931 , which many critics and academics consider one of the greatest films ever made, but by the time Modern Times was released, Chaplin was one of the last directors left clinging to a dying art.Modern Times is not an entirely silent film, there are dialogue snippets and sound effects , but if you look closely, every character with dialogue excluding Chaplin himself is being mocked. Even when The Tramp opens his mouth the only time he ever did so in a film , the words are nonsensical, defying the burgeoning convention that dialogue is mandatory for substance, entertainment, and quality.Despite the film's status as one of the greatest comedies of all-time, it is hard to ignore the political component. In his movies, Chaplin often exhibited a great mistrust for authority and progress, as often embodied through the social elite, the police, and wealthy entrepreneurs. The irony of the film's title, then, is two-fold. It connects with Chaplin's own bitter feelings regarding his moribund art form, but also refers to the plight of the working classes during the Great Depression long working hours with little job security and meager salary, while the upper classes remain wealthy and bide their idle time The world was changing fast, and Chaplin foresaw that many of these changes were far from beneficial.As we watch The Tramp struggle through the modern, mechanized world, we laugh at his antics and the absurdity of their results, but we can also feel pain and pity. He is clearly a man who does not belong. Indeed, The Tramp can almost be thought of as a misfit who has passed through a membrane from some alternate reality and unwittingly fallen into our familiar world notice that he does not have a name or identification of any kind, and as far as we know, he has no friends, family, funds, or history .He takes on assembly lines, feeding machines, department stores, policemen and various other mass-oriented aspects of the industrialized world all which demand and exhibit sameness and conformity , but The Tramp and his symbolic extension, the individual never seem to fit.This is, consequently, why Modern Times is also one of the most poignant love stories ever put on film. The only character who is on the same level as The Tramp is a young, homeless woman who is referred to as "The Gamin" and is played by Chaplin's then-wife, Paulette Goddard. These two are brought together by the fact they have almost nothing except the will to live and continue forward, despite adversity. Both are nameless, neither has a home, and they each have no money or material possessions.It is here that Chaplin makes his most poignant and saddening statement about modern living. The Tramp and The Gamin are the only characters who exhibit individuality and idealism, yet they are also the ones lowest on the social and economic food chain. The conclusion of the film, which most likely reflects upon Chaplin's own emotions, is tinged with sadness, but also a lingering hopefulness that resonates as loudly and clearly today as it did more than sixty years ago.Then there is, of course, the comedy, which is the stuff of legendary status. Some of the most memorable comic images in film history are found in Modern Times. These include The Tramp's bout with an assembly line and his resulting twitches , his unfortunate encounter with "nose-powder", the moment when he quite literally becomes a cog in the wheels of industry, and his epic struggle to bring roast duck to an angry customer.In my opinion, however, the two standout moments are the scene in a department store involving a blindfold and some rollerskates the most exquisite moment of comedy in the film and the sequence where The Tramp is submitted to the mad whim of an out-of-control feeding machine the most uproarious moment in the film .These are just a handful of moments that make Modern Times the enduring masterpiece that it is. On a personal level, the aspect of the film that resonates strongest with me is its appeal to the idealistic misfit in all of us. In our hearts, many of us long for the simplicity and exuberance with which The Tramp and The Gamin live life with attention to the bare essentials and an absence of need for materialism and modern trappings .As Chaplin so skillfully shows, however, our modern times make this lifestyle a faded dream, lost among the sheep-like herds of men and women scurrying through a modern metropolis that only Fritz Lang could make seem darker and more devoid of true humanity. Still, the final image of Modern Times refuses to let the film end on an exclusively tragic note and demonstrates that the individual is still alive and may yet find his way in an ever-changing world.
Hilarious comedy with a serious message (by Chris-268)
"Modern Times" is in my top 5 films, and #2 in my list of favorite comedies. Charles Chaplin is arguably the most talented human being, nevermind film maker, that ever lived. I first saw this treasure about 8 years ago, and I watched it again recently to make sure that it really WAS funny, and that I had not given it too much praise because it was simply a Chaplin film. "Modern Times" passed my test with flying colors. I laughed hysterically from start to finish. Each and every scene is innovative, well thought out, and executed with the genius that only Chaplin possessed. <more>
Among my favorite scenes are the "automatic worker-feeding machine"; the jail scene in the cafeteria when The Tramp accidentally sprinkles cocaine on his food, thinking it is salt; and the roller skating scene in the department store. No special effects or computer animation, just pure, simple, genius.The storyline in "Modern Times" is purposefully naive, a trick Chaplin used time and again to bring a profound humanitarian quality to his films. Watching this film is comparable to watching a Warner Bros. cartoon, which coming from me is a sincere compliment. The level of physical comedy in "Modern Times" is on par with the masterful short films of Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and others.Finally, as was the case with most of his later films, "Modern Times" is a serious social commentary. Its message is as relevant today as it was more than sixty years ago when it was released. In fact, it is arguably even more relevant today, and unless the world changes drastically in the future it will continue to be. "Modern Times" is essentially the story of a simple but extremely kind man caught in the traps of industrialized society. The opening scene, which compares a crowd of workers boarding the subway to a flock of sheep, is Chaplin's warning against standardization, mechanization, and other facets of life which rob men and women of their individuality. Chaplin always tried to speak for the downtrodden, because despite his enormous success and wealth, he never forgot where he came from. In the end, "Modern Times" is a reminder that no matter how bad things are, you can still smile. Charles Chaplin has made more people smile than almost any other, and his legacy of love and laughter lives on in his films. Its up to us to keep his legacy alive.
Charlie Chaplin's own deeply impoverished past plays an extensive role in the theme of his film Modern Times, which is probably the most potent of his dozens of films that deal with the difficult lives of th (by Anonymous_Maxine)
It is a testament to Chaplin's filmmaking skills that he is able to impose such significant meaning on what really boils down to little more than a series of comedy skits strung together on an apparently flimsy clothesline of a plot. Indeed, the cinematic value of Modern Times is unquestionable, but it is ironically noteworthy that such a simple and even blocky plot is made into such a memorable film experience and delivers such a strong, time-transcending message about poverty stricken populations. It is no secret that Charlie Chaplin was more or less dragged into the sound era against <more>
his will. In the early part of the 20th century, he had built a tremendous career as a silent film actor, and had created a character, the Tramp, that was purely a silent film character who could not be transported into the sound era. Charlie had built his career and his popularity with the Tramp, and the coming of sound to the cinema meant the end of that character as illustrated by Robert Downey Jr.'s Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 film Chaplin, `The Tram CAN'T talk. The minute he talks, he's dead.' . Chaplin delivers to the world a cynical satire about modern technology as well as his own ode to the silent film with Modern Times.Charlie plays the part of a man who works a dehumanizing position in a factory in which he is little more than a component of a machine, and he is controlled like a pawn by the menacing boss, who we see mostly as a looming face on a tremendous television screen. Clearly, the most memorable scenes in the film involve something to do with the factory, such as Charlie's brief trip into the innards of the machine, as well as his warm-hearted efforts to feed lunch to a man who has inadvertently become lodged in a machine, with only his head free. However, there is a very noteworthy but fairly subtle subplot that quietly reveals Chaplin's fondness for the silent film.The first and most obvious thing is that for the most part, this is a silent film. There are intertitles, there is precious little dialogue, and the film's main character doesn't utter a sound until near the end of the film. But there are also a lot of other things that more subtly hint that silent films are better than sound films. For one thing, the only intelligible words spoken in the film are done so through some sort of barrier. There is the factory boss speaking demandingly through the television screen, and the feeding machine company speaking through the radio as they try to sell the feeding machine to the factory boss. This becomes the most obvious by the fact that anyone speaking on screen - such as the factory boss as he tells the men that the feeding machine is not practical - only does so in intertitles. We know that dialogue can be put in the film, but Chaplin chooses only to do this in a detached and mechanized way.There is also a very strong example of Chaplin's endless sympathy for poor people at several points in this film. The most significant example of this is his interactions with the Gamin, played by Paulette Goddard, as well as his nearly constant contempt toward the police. After the scene where he gorges himself at a small diner note that the window said `Cafeteria: Tables For Ladies' , he casually calls an officer into the diner and tells him to pay the tab, unable to pay it himself. As he is handcuffed to the officer, he gets a cigar from a nearby vendor and hands some large candy bars to a couple of small children nearby, who look to be the type of children who are never sure where their next meal is going to come from. Charlie plays a hard working, lower class man in Modern Times, and no matter how badly he just wants to get some good work and earn a living so that he can buy a house for himself and Paulette, things constantly seem to go wrong for him. It seems that this bad luck is used to suggest that poor people are not poor as a result of their own shortcomings, but because they just can't seem to work their way up to a better life, no matter how hard they try. This social commentary is intertwined with such skillful intricacy with the story about Chaplin's love of silent film that there is really no switching back and forth between the two. Modern Times strikes me as especially memorable because it is a very simple story that is punctuated by a series of comedy skits, yet it also delivers several different messages that are important to society as well as to the filmmaker himself. In this way, the movie almost seems to deliver these strong messages without the audience even being aware that they are being presented with these issues. It is a great way to mix entertainment with important societal topics, and Charlie's decision to finally have the Tramp utter vocalized speech is done so in an endlessly watch-able song and dance scene, adding to the immeasurable number of film skits for which Charlie Chaplin will be remembered and loved.
As relevant today as it was then - and still very funny (by gogoschka-1)
Part satire, part slapstick comedy, part melodrama; the great pioneer of film, Charles Chaplin, has created his own monument with this film. At the same time, 'Modern Times' was Chaplin's last goodbye to the era of silent film - which, remarkably, had already ended almost a decade earlier.After nearly 80 years, this screen marvel still makes me laugh, cry - and think about the ongoing automatization of practically every trivial little thing in our lives. Modern times, indeed. To me, this film is as entertaining and funny today as I imagine it was then, and it's certainly as <more>
relevant as it was then. The tramp still rules. My vote: 9 out of 10.Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
Usually you watch old films trying to be generous with your criticism because of the huge difficulties the directors and actors faced those days. This one is a miracle. A comedy that stands tall even in today's cinema, starring perhaps the best comedian who lived on earth. At some parts it is hilarious, but the social message Chaplin wants to pass is always there, making Modern Times even more important. The love story is also very sweet and Paulette Goddard is a remarkably beautiful woman! So what to say about this man's genius? Charlie Chaplin acts, directs and even composes the <more>
music! And by all means he does a magnificent job. You can find great symbolism and a lot of political references, we all have to remember that Chaplin was accused of being a communist which of course was a pride for intellectuals, given their accusers . I have unlimited respect for the Great Charlie Chaplin.
Solid comedy with great story and drama (by 851222)
Greetings from Lithuania."Modern Times" 1936 is my first movie which i saw that features Charles Chaplin. Saw it first time in 2015, but nevertheless it's a great movie. Comedy here is truly funny, and it's not just a comedy. It tells a story, with some underlying themes that are still kinda topical till this day – technology is changing, evolving, and if you are not keeping pace with it, you will have some hard times like our hero of this movie.Acting here is very solid, actually i was surprised of how well acted this movie was – no one overreacted. Story itself is <more>
interesting and movie is very well paced – at running time 1 h 27 min it almost never drags and is entertaining from start till finish.Overall, "Modern Times" is a black and white silent movie there are some sounds actually which safely can be viewed for the first time even in 2015 – 79 years after it's original release. It has some truly genuine comedic situations, it tells good story and pacing of picture is very solid. Maybe it is not possible to review this movie correctly now because it's very old, but great movies are great movies – they can be viewed no matter what.
Charlie the rebel, Charlie the poet, Charlie the invincibly human,,, (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
"Modern Times" begins with a shot of sheep going down a runway followed by a shot of workers entering a factory Charlie is set down in the midst of industrial civilization, which is dominated by machinery and in which men are organized into mechanical units, Capital and Labor Charlie's real enemies are no longer the Cop or the Boss, with whom he can always enter into some human relation, but a vast impersonality, invisible and invulnerable "Modern Times" offered a variety of minor attractions: it featured Chaplin's wife, Paulette Goddard; it had wonderful <more>
gags; it indulged in tricks of sound which came to the very edge of being dialog But what did the picture mean, what was it trying to say? Because Chaplin charged his usual enormous percentage for it, and because of foreign receipts, "Modern Times" made money, but exhibitors were not happy at the limited audience turnout For the majority, the new Charlie was too serious; for the minority, not serious enough Since the picture seemed to be about the dehumanizing effect of machinery, intellectuals called upon Chaplin to join them in reorganizing machine culture to some more human scale of things Off the screen, Chaplin said nothing On the screen, his anarchic hostility for any kind of machine culture expressed itself in scenes like that in which Charlie is fed by a machine and that in which, crazed by the assembly line, he runs into the street, his arms moving convulsively like two pistons Charlie the rebel, Charlie the poet, Charlie the invincibly human, had been turned into a machine
Spoilers herein.Here's a strange opinion: I think `City Lights' is one of the best and most important films ever made. It will always be required viewing for cineliteracy. This one is superficially similar, but not nearly as enjoyable or novel.Yes, the factory sets are well architected to participate in Chaplin's ballet. Yes, the then current Mrs Chaplin has an aggressive feline sensuality. Yes, Charlie's energetic approach and commitment is admirable. Yes, this is highly visual, especially compared to the word gags of the Marxes. But too many elements have become already <more>
formulaic.In `City,' there was a clear dependency of concept, clear to us as viewer but built into the story as well: we knew that at root this was a coherent statement coming from one mind rather than the common case, films designed by committee.we knew that the goal was to amuse us in the tradition of the British stage: fun at all costs using clever extensions of extremely familiar notions and techniques. The world of abstractions into which we agreeable enter was known beforehand and part of the amusement; how they are bent is part of the amusement.clearly subservient to all this was the creation of the character in a context of social situations. The relative importance of those was important: `City' was intended as a creative endeavor whose success depended on a collaboration between him and what we brought. But look what has happened to `Modern.' The situation: the Tramp, the technology and personal context of the movie, social injustice all have taken on lives of their own and become additional participants in the contract. No longer can we `let our guard down' and participate. Now we have to worry about how to receive the `message' of the movie.In this project, the hierarchy is all reversed. There is an element of overt social commentary, something that would become even more evident with the Hitler film. But there it is so bold and imaginative it is admirable in its own right.There is also the elevation of the familiar over the novel. There is no innovation here, in fact the whole idea is to emphasize the familiar. He himself is guilty of the same mechanical thinking he criticizes. That's the strange thing for me: the same recipe in two films with the slightest variation on emphasis: one is transcendental, the other amusingly troubled.Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
Charles Chaplin masterpiece finds him playing a factory worker who becomes involved in problems and strikes (by ma-cortes)
This mostly silent movie deals with a little man , a disgraced factory worker who goes insane from his repetitious job at an assembly líne . At the same time the exigent boss demands him for greatest efficiency and speed at work . As the unfortunate man moving from hapless factory worker to singing waiter and ultimately triumphing along the way .An interesting and thought-provoking Chaplin film encompassing the tyranny of Machine over man, this great film has more relevance nowadays than ever. The pic contains a sour denounce on capitalism , industrialization and human explotiation . This is <more>
a vintage flick much in the fashion that sound films offended his pantomimist's sensibilities . This is a silent movie , being the only dialogue a song sung by Chaplin in gibberish Italian .Chaplin gives an awesome and sympathetic performance as a labourer who goes crazy and triumphs over adversity , just as Charles the film director proved victorious over sound . Chaplin also composed the score which incorporates the charming tune : Smile. His spouse to be Paulette Goddard is attractive in the femenine lead , playing a poor orphan. Look for a young Gloria de Haven , as one of Paulette Goddard's Sisters . She is the real-life daughter of Chaplin's assistant director .The motion picture was masterfully directed by Charles Chaplin .This was one of the longest ones to that date . Chaplin previously directed 2 or 3 reel short movies, such as : Our hero, The fireman, Night at the show , The adventurer, The floorwalker, The cure , The inmigrant , The circus , Burlesque on Carmen , among others . After that , he made long feature films such as : The gold Rush , The kid , City lights , The great dictator , Monseur Verdoux , Limelight, A king of New York and his last one : A countess from Hong Kong . Rating 8/10 . Better than average . Well worth watching .