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Modern Times (1936)

 -  Comedy  -  25 February 1936 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 97,771 users   Metascore: 96/100
Reviews: 183 user | 108 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

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(as Charlie Chaplin)

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Title: Modern Times (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
A Factory Worker (as Charlie Chaplin)
...
Henry Bergman ...
Tiny Sandford ...
Big Bill (as Stanley Sandford)
Chester Conklin ...
Hank Mann ...
Stanley Blystone ...
Al Ernest Garcia ...
Richard Alexander ...
Prison Cellmate (as Dick Alexander)
Cecil Reynolds ...
Mira McKinney ...
Minister's Wife (as Myra McKinney)
Murdock MacQuarrie ...
J. Widdecombe Billows (as Murdoch McQuarrie)
Wilfred Lucas ...
Edward LeSaint ...
Sheriff Couler (as Ed Le Sainte)
Fred Malatesta ...
Cafe Head Waiter
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Storyline

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. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

machine | tramp | invention | jail | police | See more »

Taglines:

Laugh . . . Cry and Thrill To his Genius . . ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Masses  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,507 (USA) (9 January 2004)

Gross:

$163,245 (USA) (22 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The singers in the restaurant are also heard, and some scenes include sound effects. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene of the film, when the tramp and the gamin are walking towards the camera, the sun is behind them (as seen by their shadows). When the camera angle switches, the sun is now in front of them. See more »

Quotes

[Listening to a phonograph record]
The Mechanical Salesman: Good morning, my friends. This record comes to you through the Sales Talk Transcription Company, Incorporated: your speaker, the Mechanical Salesman. May I take the pleasure of introducing Mr. J. Widdecombe Billows, the inventor of the Billows Feeding Machine, a practical device which automatically feeds your men while at work? Don't stop for lunch: be ahead of your competitor. The Billows Feeding Machine will eliminate the lunch hour, increase your production,...
See more »

Connections

Featured in For the First Time (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from Modern Times
(1935) (uncredited)
(Later known as "Smile")
Music by Charles Chaplin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Always modern
4 March 2004 | by (MEXICO) – See all my reviews

Somehow, this very old film is particularly modern today and the exaggerations are not really sooo extreme compared with the real world. The humans, enslaved by the machines and by those who control them, become more and more small and insignificant, like the hero of this very funny comedy (one of the best in the history) that speaks about very ugly things in a very amusing way. The Tramp, is not a tramp in the beginning. He has a real job in a modern factory, that almost kills him, as the factory becomes more and more modern. He becomes a tramp when he stays without a job. Picking up red flags in the street can get you in a big problem with the police, who are there to serve and protect the rich. An honest man can stay honest even in prison and get benefits from this. Even a new job. But honesty is not really enough. Trouble is always around the corner and modern society doesn't permit you to make a new start easily.

Love gives you wings, or at list hope and the power to continue. A beautiful girl of the streets is more than our hero is asking for and he is ready to do whatever necessary. Even put his safety in danger to take care of her. And she, appreciates this. In the end, when everything is lost once again, all they are left with, is each other and that's all they really need.

For the first time is his cinema career, our Tramp will find a girl that will stick with him and support him. (Chaplin obviously felt with Paulette Goddard something that he didn't feel for his earlier women, and I don't blame him).

And this story of modern times, like all of Chaplin's films will end up with an optimistic feeling in a unhappy end. Never is everything lost.

With obvious inspiration from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and maybe René Clair's "À nous la liberté", it made the strongest point about THE where we 're going, in all the cinema of the 30's (I think) 8) and with only Marx bros' "Duck soup" being able to stand anywhere close to it. Maybe the most complete, funny and mature creation of the best comedian of the seventh art, with a lot more than a non stop production line of great jokes to offer. If made without a single joke, this film would still be one of the greatest of all of our modern times.


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How can you like this movie? bob_k_23
Will I laugh at this? martinfrom1
What about for young children? pmanuele
Chaplin claims this movie has no social significance SArber
I don't get it. ricaniusrhubarb
Had Chaplin been influenced by Metroplis(1926)? regie-4
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