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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to some accounts, working together on the film put a strain on Charles Chaplin and Paulette Goddard's relationship. Contrary to the way young actresses were presented on screen, Paulette was to wear shabby clothing and no make-up as the Gamin. When she showed up for filming with her hair beautifully coiffed, he dumped a bucket of water over her head. See more »
The Bellows Feeding Machine moves closer to the boss's desk between shots. 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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As relevant today as it was then - and still very funny
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 relevant as it was then.