IMDb > Modern Times (1936)
Modern Times
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Modern Times (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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8.6/10   115,227 votes »
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Charles Chaplin (written by)
View company contact information for Modern Times on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 February 1936 (USA) See more »
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 »
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Very amusing. See more (193 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Chaplin ... A Factory Worker (as Charlie Chaplin)

Paulette Goddard ... A Gamin
Henry Bergman ... Cafe Proprietor
Tiny Sandford ... Big Bill (as Stanley Sandford)

Chester Conklin ... Mechanic
Hank Mann ... Burglar
Stanley Blystone ... Gamin's Father
Al Ernest Garcia ... President of the Electro Steel Corp. (as Allan Garcia)
Richard Alexander ... Prison Cellmate (as Dick Alexander)
Cecil Reynolds ... Minister
Mira McKinney ... Minister's Wife (as Myra McKinney)
Murdock MacQuarrie ... J. Widdecombe Billows (as Murdoch McQuarrie)
Wilfred Lucas ... Juvenile Officer
Edward LeSaint ... Sheriff Couler (as Ed Le Sainte)
Fred Malatesta ... Cafe Head Waiter
Sammy Stein ... Turbine Operator (as Sam Stein)
Juana Sutton ... Woman with Buttoned Bosom
Ted Oliver ... Billows' Assistant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norman Ainsley ... Billows' Silent Assistant (uncredited)

Bobby Barber ... Worker (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Assembly Line Worker Next to Big Bill (uncredited)

Gloria DeHaven ... Gamin's Sister (uncredited)
Gloria Delson ... Gamin's Sister (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Shipbuilder (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Chuck Hamilton ... Worker (uncredited)
Pat Harmon ... Paddywagon Policeman (uncredited)
Lloyd Ingraham ... Frustrated Cafe Patron (uncredited)
Walter James ... Assembly Line Foreman (uncredited)
Edward Kimball ... Doctor (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Jack Low ... Worker (uncredited)
Buddy Messinger ... Cigar Counterman (uncredited)
Bruce Mitchell ... Paddy Wagon Policeman (uncredited)
Frank Moran ... Convict (uncredited)
James C. Morton ... Assembly Line Relief Man (uncredited)
Louis Natheaux ... Burglar (uncredited)
J.C. Nugent ... Department Store Section Manager (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Gypsy in Police Patrol Wagon (uncredited)
John Rand ... Other Waiter (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Worker (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Chaplin  (as Charlie Chaplin)
Writing credits
Charles Chaplin (written by) (as Charlie Chaplin)

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin (music composed by) (as Charlie Chaplin)
Cinematography by
Ira H. Morgan (photography) (as Ira Morgan)
Roland Totheroh (photography) (as Rollie Totheroh)
Film Editing by
Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Willard Nico (uncredited)
Casting by
Al Ernest Garcia (uncredited)
Production Design by
Charles D. Hall (uncredited)
Art Direction by
J. Russell Spencer (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Charles D. Hall (settings)
J. Russell Spencer (settings) (as Russell Spencer)
Makeup Department
Elizabeth Arden .... makeup artist: Mr. Chaplin and Miss Goddard (uncredited)
Production Management
Alfred Reeves .... general production manager (uncredited)
Jack Wilson .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carter DeHaven .... assistant director
Henry Bergman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Hal Atkins .... props (uncredited)
William Bogdanoff .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Bob Depps .... props (uncredited)
Joe Van Meter .... purchasing agent (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Bud Thackery .... process photography (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Max M. Autrey .... still photographer (uncredited)
Don Donaldson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Morgan Hill .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Mark Marlatt .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ted Minor .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Frank Testera .... gaffer (uncredited)
Music Department
Frank Maher .... music recordist
Paul Neal .... music recordist
Alfred Newman .... conductor
Edward B. Powell .... music arranger (as Edward Powell)
David Raksin .... music arranger
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Girwood Averill .... projectionist (uncredited)
Catherine Hunter .... press representative (uncredited)
Della Steele .... script clerk (uncredited)
Joe Van Meter .... purchasing agent (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Chile:TE | Denmark:A (2003) | Netherlands:6 (re-rating) (2000s) | Netherlands:AL (re-rating) (1955) | Netherlands:AL (re-rating) (1945) | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1936) | Norway:7 | Portugal:M/12 (R-10) | Portugal:M/6 (original rating) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:G | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #1596) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:6 (nf) (bw)

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: When Charlie goes to let the gamin into the department store, the escalators are off, allowing him to rush down the stairs going up. However, when he goes back downstairs and notices the burglars, the escalator is working, allowing him to do his stunts.See more »
A gamin:[Last lines] What's the use of trying?
A factory worker:Buck up - never say die. We'll get along.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Sleeper (1973)See more »
How Dry I AmSee more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is a gamin?
See more »
11 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Very amusing., 10 March 2004
Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA

Arguably Charlie's best film. Maybe not his funniest but his best because there's so much more to it than the Keystone Kops kind of pratfalls that he so commonly used.

Frankly I don't know how the guy did it, being so consistently humorous without using any words. All of it depends on a story simple enough to be followed visually and on Chaplin's genius for mime and situation construction. There ARE some words spoken on screen -- this was his last holdout against talking pictures -- but none of them involve people speaking directly to one another. There is a song at the end with gibberish lyrics. And the rest of the speaking is always filtered through some mechanical medium, a record player, a radio, a television set.

Charlie was accused of communism somewhere along the line and pretty much thrown out of the country, after which he lived in Switzerland. You couldn't tell he was a Commie from this movie. It comments on its time, of course, the Great Depression, and Charlie and Paulette Goddard are two poor people. Management is shown as callus, playing with a jigsaw puzzle and reading newspapers while the workers slave away on the assembly line. There is even a communist demonstration. But it's all played for laughs. One of those red warning flags falls off the back of a truck passing down an empty street. Charlie picks up the flag and waves it, shouting after the truck. As he begins to hurry after the truck, still shouting and waving, a horde of dissatisfied workers silently falls in behind him and he's arrested. Poor people steal, but they only steal food. If having sympathy for the unemployed is communism then roughly one American out of three was a communist, because that's roughly what the unemployment rate was. "Modern Times" is no more communistic than, say, "My Man Godfrey" or "Salt of the Earth" or "The Grapes of Wrath."

Besides that, Charlie is no classical Marxist. Marxism posited a transition from "false consciousness" (the feeling that one's miserable poverty was due to personal failure or bad luck) to "class consciousness" (the realization that exploitation by the property owners was at fault). Charlie is no activist. He fumbles every job he gets. The other workers are hardly sympathetic. Charlie's not a working class hero but a black sheep. The opening shot of the herd of sheep hurrying past the camera includes one black sheep in the middle of the flock and it's hard to imagine that this was accidental.

Actually, Charlie had lost a lot of respect in America because he had an eye for young girls. His second marriage resulted from a sixteen-year-old girl's (faked) pregnancy. Paulette Goddard, who became his third wife, maybe and maybe not, was twenty when this movie was made, and Charlie was forty-three. In any case -- boy, if you want to get Americans heated up just combine sex with politics. A sure-fire winner for the puritans. (It may have cost Goddard the part of Scarlet O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind" because she may have been living in sin with Charlie at the time.)

I don't want to spell out too many of the gags because I don't want to spoil them but be alert for the feeding machine that goes berserk and shoves lug nuts down Charlie's throat and hits him in the face with a corn cob. Charlie looks as if he's strapped helplessly into his seat, but his hands were free under the rotating table so that he could manipulate the fiendish devices himself.

The first time I saw this movie was in the Arts Theater on Springfield Avenue in Irvington, New Jersey. When Paulette Goddard first appeared, the man on my right chuckled and said, "Now that's a good-looking babe." On my left, my marmorial ex laughed out loud during the feeding machine episode for perhaps the only time in her life. There can be no higher recommendation.

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