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 <email@example.com>
Publicity records indicate four hundred people were hired for the café scene, and photographs exist of Charles Chaplin himself, on a high tower, directing hundreds of other extras in the opening crowd shot, as opposed to the usual practice of assigning such a task to a second unit director. See more »
(at around 46 mins) 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 »
The laserdisc edition contains an extra scene that the film was never released with. An extra verse of the Tramp's gibberish song "Titina" appears (33 seconds in length) at Chapter 13: frames 36235 - 37009 which corrects a continuity jump. This was obviously a last minute removal on Chaplin's part, before the initial release, but was never removed from his 35mm lavender preservation masters which were used to master the laserdisc. The last verse of the Tramp's gibberish song is also shown as a deleted scene on the Chaplin Collection version of Modern Times and with lyrics to it as a karaoke piece. See more »
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.