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Modern Times (1936)

 -  Comedy  -  25 February 1936 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 104,811 users   Metascore: 96/100
Reviews: 188 user | 110 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:
Charles Chaplin ...
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
Edit

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 All (69) »

Taglines:

He stands alone as the greatest entertainer of modern times! No one on earth can make you laugh as heartily or touch your heart as deeply...the whole world laughs, cries and thrills to his priceless 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 film shares many themes with René Clair's À Nous la Liberté (1931). That film's production company Tobis Film sued Charles Chaplin upon the release of Modern Times (1936) to no avail. They tried again after World War II, this time settling with Chaplin out of court. Clair - who was a great admirer of Chaplin - was thoroughly embarrassed by Tobis Film's course of actions. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) Chaplin accidentally hits the cop with a stone and three of them grab him. The gate in the background (the smallest) is open, but in the next shot, it's closed. 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

Referenced in Brief Film Reviews: My DVD/Blu-Ray Collection (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Prisoner's Song
(1924) (uncredited)
Written by Guy Massey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hilarious comedy with a serious message
10 September 2000 | by (Louisville, USA) – See all my reviews

"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. 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.


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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
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Had Chaplin been influenced by Metroplis(1926)? regie-4
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