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>
Supposedly was to be Charles Chaplin's first full sound film, but instead, sound is used in a unique way: we hear spoken voices only when they come from mechanical devices, a symbol of the film's theme of technology and dehumanization. Specifically, voices are heard from:
(at around 17 mins) In the factory, when Charlie messes with the big machine, he pulls some levers out. Shortly after, he squirts oil on the other factory worker, and the levers are still out. Inbetween these shots, is a short clip where the levers are back in their original position. See more »
The opening credits on the 2003 DVD release have been digitally changed to insert a new copyright notice. The 2003 DVD release includes, in its supplementary material, a deleted scene in which Chaplin unsuccessfully tries to cross a busy street. 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.