8.5/10
166,585
232 user 127 critic

Modern Times (1936)

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

Director:

(as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

(as Charlie Chaplin)
Reviews
Popularity
3,846 ( 524)

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ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #39 | 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
A Factory Worker (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Henry Bergman ...
Tiny Sandford ...
Big Bill (as Stanley Sandford)
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Burglar
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Gamin's Father
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Prison Cellmate (as Dick Alexander)
Cecil Reynolds ...
Minister
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Minister's Wife (as Myra McKinney)
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J. Widdecombe Billows (as Murdoch McQuarrie)
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Juvenile Officer
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Sheriff Couler (as Ed Le Sainte)
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Cafe Head Waiter
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Storyline

Chaplin's 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

Taglines:

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


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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,507, 9 January 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$163,245, 24 October 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

By late spring 1935, Charles Chaplin was working sixteen to eighteen hours a day on Modern Times, often sleeping on a cot at the studio. See more »

Goofs

(at around 17 mins) In the factory, when Charlie messes with the big machine, he pulls some levers out. Shortly after, he squirts oil on the other factory worker, and the levers are still out. Inbetween these shots, is a short clip where the levers are back in their original position. See more »

Quotes

President of the Electro Steel Corp.: [first lines]
President of the Electro Steel Corp.: Section 5, speed her up, 401.
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Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Flubber (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Prisoner's Song
(1924) (uncredited)
Written by Guy Massey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hilarious work of genius
27 August 2001 | by See all my reviews

Hilarious, touching, anarchic, revolutionary, realist, surreal, of its time, timeless - Modern Times is a multifaceted work of genius. When it's over and you recall the number of sight gags and magic sequences Chaplin has packed into 85 minutes, it is incredible - the conveyer belt and nut turning; Chaplin caught in the cogwheels; the feeding machine; the Red Flag march; the "nose powder"; the roller skating ballet; the waiter with tray caught up in the dance (my favourite); the gibberish song - and many more. Then there is his mixing of silent and sound techniques, making the best of both worlds, not falling between stools as some directors might have done.

Of course, there is also a political and social dimension; many of the scenes refer to the impact of technical advances, of bureaucracy, and of the then current depression, on the ordinary "little man". And it is the little man, the individual caught up in society's complex machinery, whom Chaplin championed. He may have sympathised with left-wing political parties and unions in so far as they supported ordinary working people, but Chaplin's essential beliefs are enshrined in the final "words" and shot, with him telling Paulette Godard, that she should keep smiling, they will get along, as they walk, a couple of individuals, into an uncertain future. Beyond politics, the individual has to rely on his or her own resources and spirit to survive.


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