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 <email@example.com>
This was always intended to be Charles Chaplin's first talkie. He even went as far as writing a dialogue script and experimenting with sound. However, because Chaplin intended the film to feature his Little Tramp character, sound seemed inappropriate. Consequently the film was made using silent techniques, shot at 18 frames per second and then projected at 24 frames per second, which gave the slapstick sequences a more frenetic feel. See more »
After a brick hits the police officer all the officers go over to the tramp. The gate he is in front of is open at first with a wheelbarrow in the gate opening. This position of the gate and wheelbarrow occur for two or so scenes. In the last scene the gate is suddenly closed and the wheelbarrow has been moved to outside of the gate. See more »
[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,...
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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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