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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(at around 48 mins) Charles Chaplin devoted eight days to filming the department store roller-skating scene where he skates blindfolded on the edge of the fourth floor, coming within inches of falling over the edge into the deep stairwell below. The dangerous large drop was actually a painted scene on a pane of glass carefully placed in front of the camera to align with the existing set and create the illusion of great height. See more »
(at around 33 mins) During the visit of the Minister in jail, Charlie sits next to the Minister's wife and they make funny noises. The distance between them varies between shots. See more »
See That Little Man Over There? Remember When No One Was Better?
Charles Chaplin seemingly had been pushed out of the movie business by the early-1930s due to the advent of sound (a medium that just never seemed right with him). Chaplin, probably the best film-maker/performer of the 20th Century, did not despair though. He fought back with heart and emotion and by 1936 "Modern Times" was a major box office and critical success. It is a movie that quietly showed a man suffering through a world of change. As a factory worker in the film, Chaplin tries to cope with the industrial revolution and tries to make it through a quickly changing U.S. economy. He finds love with vagrant Paulette Goddard (who ended up marrying Chaplin in real life) and the two come together and lean on one another in a world of uncertainty and change. "Modern Times" is one of those films that will put a smile on your face, but it could make you weep just as easily. Chaplin's world was changing (and not necessarily for the better from his point of view) and he wanted to express the variations in his old way of doing things and the new way everyone else had accepted. Goddard is also probably the best actress to match Chaplin's charm in one of his pictures. Their love for one another (even though the marriage lasted a relatively short amount of time in real life) just seems to shine on the silver screen and they have a chemistry that is sweet and heart-warming. Beautifully made, wonderfully written, perfectly performed, smart, insightful and always brilliant, "Modern Times" is another film from Chaplin that will brand itself on the souls of all true lovers of the cinema. 5 stars out of 5.
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