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Modern Times
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Modern Times More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Solid comedy with great story and drama

Author: 851222 from Lithuania
28 June 2015

Greetings from Lithuania.

"Modern Times" (1936) is my first movie which i saw that features Charles Chaplin. Saw it first time in 2015, but nevertheless it's a great movie. Comedy here is truly funny, and it's not just a comedy. It tells a story, with some underlying themes that are still kinda topical till this day – technology is changing, evolving, and if you are not keeping pace with it, you will have some hard times like our hero of this movie.

Acting here is very solid, actually i was surprised of how well acted this movie was – no one overreacted. Story itself is interesting and movie is very well paced – at running time 1 h 27 min it almost never drags and is entertaining from start till finish.

Overall, "Modern Times" is a black and white silent movie (there are some sounds actually) which safely can be viewed for the first time even in 2015 – 79 years after it's original release. It has some truly genuine comedic situations, it tells good story and pacing of picture is very solid. Maybe it is not possible to review this movie correctly now because it's very old, but great movies are great movies – they can be viewed no matter what.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Dejan_Ostojic from Bosnia and Herzegovina
27 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The hands of the cinema clock were set back five years last night when a funny little man with a microscopic mustache, a battered derby hat, turned up shoes and a flexible bamboo cane returned to the Broadway screen to resume his place in the affections of the film-going public. The little man—it scarcely needs be said—is Charlie Chaplin, whose "Modern Times," opening at the Rivoli, restores him to a following that has waited patiently, burning incense in his temple of comedy, during the long years since his last picture was produced.

That was five years ago almost to the day. "City Lights" was its name and in it Mr. Chaplin refused to talk. He still refuses. But in "Modern Times" he has raised the ban against dialogue for other members of the cast, raised it, but not completely. A few sentences here and there, excused because they come by television, phonograph, the radio. And once—just once—Mr. Chaplin permits himself to be heard.

Those are the answers to the practical questions. They do not tell of Mr. Chaplin's picture, or of Chaplin himself, or of the comic feast that he has been preparing for almost two years in the guarded cloister in Hollywood known as the Chaplin studio.

But there is no cause for alarm and no reason to delay the verdict further: "Modern Times" has still the same old Charlie, the lovable little fellow whose hands and feet eyebrows can beat an irresistible tattoo upon an audience's or hold it still, taut beneath the spell of human tragedy. A flick of his cane, a quirk of a brow, an impish lift of his toe and the mood is off; a droop of his mouth, a sag of his shoulder, a quick blink of his eye and you are his again, a companion in suffering. Or do you have to be reminded that Chaplin is a master of pantomime? Time has not changed his genius.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good one

Author: carljessieson from United States
8 April 2015

I love these black and white, old classics! Why does it seem like they did more with their films when they had less technology available to them? They don't have that ~Hollywood Magic~ that does their effects for them, it was all camera tricks and carefully strategized, one-chance-to-get-the-shot filmmaking and it is beyond impressive.

I enjoyed watching this! Full of cool and clever special effects and plenty of moments to make you laugh. Chaplin did such a good job of creating such a silly little character. The story was creative and fascinating, with imaginative concepts and energetic cinematography. It was a fun watch for sure. Delightfully absurd, yet it did give voice to the woes of unemployment and the voracious appetite of capitalism at the price of some disposable human equipment. Silliness with a sting. I recommend it!


Bye love you

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Current times

Author: Martino Sanzovo from Warsaw
6 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The mechanized and standardized world made of levers, bolts, department stores and lifts is too difficult, or probably too ordinary, for the "honest and trustworthy" Charlie Chaplin, who always ends up trapped in his times. But did this world really change a lot when nowadays we walk to the subway (or we drive in crowded streets) like cattle in order to reach our working place? In fact, what Charlie Chaplin and the beautiful Paulette Goddard (a close up of her face after The Little Tramp is arrested for the theft of a loaf of bread is magnificent) really wants from modern times is a small, decent house where to have dinner together, an apple to grab by stretching your arm outside the window and fresh milk from a cow. Charlie Chaplin doesn't need to speak on the screen (while talking pictures were already widely produced since late 20's) to deliver his brilliant view on 1936's world; and even when he does talk during the floor show towards the end of the movie, we don't need to understand what it is said to appreciate once more his talent and genius. There are two moments that stand out during the movie: the feeding machine that feeds The Little Tramp on the assembly line in the first part of Modern Times (note also some similarities later when the mechanic assistant feeds his boss). And the splendid final scene when before fading out, The Little Tramp invites The Gamin to smile while walking on an empty street at dawn; a scene that alone is worth a full movie, a smile that becomes the essence of the use of trying. This last moment is full of hope and full of humanity; things that we still struggle for in our modern times.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

From opening to closing shots, this is another of Chaplin's masterpieces

Author: charlywiles from United States
10 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A put-upon little man tries to make it in an increasingly manic and confusing world and always seems to fall victim to circumstance, but he meets his soulmate in a poor girl of the streets and together they team up to take on what may come.

Chaplin's final silent film and the final film in which he plays his iconic "Little Tramp" character is not only consistently hilarious, but is a perfect commentary on the struggles of the common man during the Depression. He plays one of the hordes who slave away for low wages while the upper classes while away in their idleness.

Charlie is at his best here and the film contains many memorable scenes, including his being caught in the giant machinery of a factory, his inadvertent leading of a protest march which lands him in jail, his blindfolded excursion on roller skates, his delightful song in the cafe and the memorable final scene as he saunters arm-in-arm down the road and into the sunset with his wonderful costar, Paulette Goddard, as the picture fades out. The have nothing but hope - and each other.

The film is brilliantly performed by Chaplin and the supporting cast, masterfully directed and superbly shot and edited. Even though the film is largely silent, save for sound effects and a few snippets of dialogue, there are few title cards. This is because the film is so expertly acted and directed they are not necessary. The story can be easily followed with only the bare minimum of titles.

Everyone has their own favorite Chaplin film (mine is "City Lights"), but this ranks with the best of his work. It is a masterpiece of cinema.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious n touching film.

Author: Takethispunch from Greenland
23 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Modern Times portrays Chaplin as a factory worker employed on an assembly line. There, he is subjected to such indignities as being force-fed by a malfunctioning "feeding machine" and an accelerating assembly line where he screws nuts at an ever-increasing rate onto pieces of machinery. He finally suffers a nervous breakdown and runs amok, throwing the factory into chaos. He is sent to a hospital. Following his recovery, the now unemployed factory worker is mistakenly arrested as an instigator in a Communist demonstration. In jail, he accidentally ingests smuggled cocaine, mistaking it for salt. In his subsequent delirium, he avoids being put back in his cell. When he returns, he stumbles upon a jailbreak and knocks the convicts unconscious. He is hailed as a hero and is released.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Modern Times

Author: quinimdb from United States
22 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the 1930s, technology was increasing faster than people could've imagined 30 years ago, and factories were simply becoming normal at this point. The world was moving faster than ever before, and I'm sure the workers at the factories couldn't help but feel like they were being used as just another cog in the machine. "Productivity" became more important than the workers well being and big company bosses - as well as the machines themselves - seemed to be controlling the workers. The machines seemed to be taking jobs from the actual human beings and this feeling is perfectly conveyed in Charlie Chaplin's great "Modern Times".

I don't need to go into an in depth analysis to point out the parts of the film that convey these points but the most impressive aspect of this film is how genuinely funny it manages to be while making this point. From the lunch machine and the Tramp's mental breakdown to the entire jail scene, this is by far the funniest Chaplin movie I've seen yet, and one of the funniest silent films I've seen.

Speaking of the lunch machine, the film's main point is perhaps portrayed with more clarity and hilarity in this scene than any other scene in the film, and that point is this: Humans aren't machines, and machines aren't perfect, and neither of those should be treated as such.

As well as that bit of commentary it has a sweet story involving a young homeless girl and the Tramp and an optimistic ending in which they literally walk off into the sunset. It may sound trite, but in this story there's no telling if they'll be OK, the important thing is that they believe they will and they shouldn't stop trying, and that seems to be the most important thing to Charlie Chaplin, who seems to convey this message in one way or another in every film he makes.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

My Second Charlie Chaplin film

Author: jameslinton-75252 from United Kingdom
19 April 2016

Just like City Lights, Modern Times utilises Charlie Chaplin's comedic skill. Being a silent film, all of the humour comes from physical comedy and slapstick which is where Chaplin shines. The technical skill that went into getting certain shots and sequences was just incredible, especially the sequence where Chaplin is sucked into the factory machine and has to navigate his way around all of the different cogs.

This notwithstanding the film isn't perfect. Like City Lights, Modern Times didn't hold my interest throughout. I did get a little bored at times.

Read my full review here:

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Chaplin's Satire on the Failings of Modern Society: Last of "The Little Tramp"

Author: romanorum1 from Rhode Island, United States
10 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"A story of industry, of individual enterprise - humanity crusading in the pursuit of happiness" … In the opening scene we see a herd of moving sheep which morphs into a mass of humanity (the working class) rushing to work in the early morning. Everyone in the throng is anonymous, like a vision of 1927's "Metropolis." In the president's office of a modern factory, the Electro Steel Company, the magnate occupies himself with a puzzle and reads his newspaper. He turns on his closed-circuit television to check out his workers in the vast complex (yes, TV was already available in the 1930s although its use was limited).

Our hero Charlie is struggling to keep up his repetitive job on the incredibly fast endless conveyor belt. What is the uncaring mogul's response on the intercom to the turbine operator? "Mack, section five, more speed!" Charlie, who tightens bolts on a plate, becomes a nervous wreck, and staggers away on break time. There are absurd moments like the Billows human feeding machine, which is designed to feed men fast without wasting time on an entire lunch hour, improving production. Charlie is the guinea pig, and the machine fails (spilled soup, fast- spinning corn, desert shoved into his face). When he returns to work, his foreman is merciless (work, work, work). Charlie is forced on the conveyor belt into the insides of the gargantuan machine, moving along large gears. Although Charlie is helped out, he becomes a madman. Sent to the psycho ward of a hospital, he has his nervous breakdown cured. He is without a job, however. Trying to avoid excitement in a busy city is difficult, especially with fire engines, traffic noise, crowds, etc. Charlie picks up a flag (likely red) that fell from a lumber truck and inadvertently discovers that he is leading a Communist demonstration. He is promptly arrested.

In a parallel story attractive Paulette Goddard (a 30-year old gamin, far too old to play a juvenile) steals bananas at a wharf and hands them out to poor folks. She and two younger sisters (the smaller one is Gloria DeHaven, who grew up to be a beautiful actress) are motherless, with the father unemployed. The depression rages and the girls' father dies in a demonstration. The gamin's two sisters are sent to an orphanage. Meanwhile in prison Charlie is exposed to the effects of "nose powder" (cocaine). Subsequently, Charlie thwarts a jail break, an action that first gets him a comfortable cell, and later a pardon. As he is unemployed he does not really want the pardon. While Charlie is walking the city streets, the hungry urchin steals a loaf of bread and runs into him. Charlie and the gamin meet for the first time, and Charlie helps her out of trouble. He takes a fancy to her (as he did in real life). In the meantime Charlie gets a job as a department store night watchman. After hours he lets the waif in, to eat and sleep courtesy of the store (lots of slapstick here, with Charlie floundering on roller skates). Charlie fails after lasting the night and is arrested again.

After spending ten days in jail he is released; the gamin is waiting for him. She is thrilled to tell him that she found shelter in an abandoned shack by the ocean. There is more slapstick here: Charlie dives into shallow water; a board falls on his head inside the shack; his chair crashes through the weak floor. When he discovers that factories are reopening, he rushes to one of them and gets a job as a mechanic's helper. The machinery that they work on is as dangerous as they come: huge exposed gears and rollers with no guards or covers (or machinery lock-out procedures in place). The mechanic is soon trapped neck down between gears; Charlie tries to feed him his lunch during the noon break. The message? Machines dominate the working man. Before long the workers strike and there is a riot. Charlie is arrested yet again. Meanwhile our waif gets a job as a dancer in a restaurant/café. Finally, out of her rags, the gamin looks clean and glamorous. After Charlie is released she helps him get a job at the establishment as a singer/waiter. Charlie passes as a singer, but you just know that the duck dinner will not make it to the customer (more slapstick)! They soon lose their jobs, but Charlie tells the scamp to cheer up.

In the last scene, as they walk away together from the viewer along the center stripe of a rural road – two bindle stiffs – we hope for something optimistic. What will happen to them? Not only does the Tramp not conform to the modern world, but also Chaplin implies that the deck is stacked against the poorer classes. The waddling vagabond himself has no support system: family or funds or stability. As they disappear into the sunset, we say goodbye to the Tramp for all time. Note that Charlie Chaplin, well into his forties, walks away with a supposed teenager. Of course, in real life that's just what he did; Charlie always liked young girls. For instance, at age 54 in 1943 he married Oona O'Neill, who was age 18. The movie has mostly title cards with exceptions. Talkie sounds (sound effects) - that seem to be dubbed recordings, not synchronized sound - come from the radio, intercom, barking dog, Charlie singing, people clapping (but no speech). Chaplin obviously did not enjoy progress; sound killed The Little Tramp. Yet its lack is not detrimental to this particular motion picture. Chaplin – writer, producer, director, actor – made only two films per decade from the 1930s through the 1950s, and only five after "Modern Times." All in all, "Modern times" is so well done that it probably belongs on USA's Top 100 listing along with "City Lights" (1931).

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Deifying Modern Times As The King Of Classic Comedy Was True

Author: the-fearless-america from United States
21 April 2016

Splendid.. The second's of Chaplin's best. A Modern Times, where it's beauty will be remembered in our next generation. No matter any new movies appear later, Modern Times have It's self-perpetuating charisma to stand still as a beautifully-written classic. All the universality exist in this black and white moving picture. You can watch it anytime, anywhere, and with anybody without any age range.

From incredible lead performance, where it's script was unspoken. With a mind-blowing writing about politic, hard-work, and sacrifice, no other comedies could stand any chance to compete to Modern Times. They will be discretely forgotten rather than Modern Times which always haunt the audience's mind for a longgg time.. With a remarkable cinematic ending, no one dare to disgust. Worshiping Chaplin as a beyond is very very easy.. Because all of His creation is just... All Masterpieces..

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