8.5/10
222,400
324 user 119 critic

Modern Times (1936)

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)
Reviews
Popularity
4,135 ( 69)
Top Rated Movies #37 | 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Chaplin ... A Factory Worker (as Charlie Chaplin)
Paulette Goddard ... A Gamin
Henry Bergman 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 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
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Storyline

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 <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cane used by Charles Chaplin in this movie was sold at auction in July 2013, to an anonymous buyer, for $350,000. See more »

Goofs

(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. In between these shots, is a short clip where the levers are back in their original position. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
President of the Electro Steel Corp.: Section 5, speed her up, 401.
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Alternate Versions

The said 33 seconds last minute removal is this: "After the girl takes the diamond from the fat man, she had it checked and she found out that it was a fake diamond." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Smashing Time (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Je Cherche après Titine
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Léo Daniderff
Lyrics by Marcel Bertal and Louis Maubon
Performed by Charles Chaplin
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User Reviews

Hilarious work of genius
27 August 2001 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

Hilarious, touching, anarchic, revolutionary, realist, surreal, of its time, timeless - Modern Times is a multifaceted work of genius. When it's over and you recall the number of sight gags and magic sequences Chaplin has packed into 85 minutes, it is incredible - the conveyer belt and nut turning; Chaplin caught in the cogwheels; the feeding machine; the Red Flag march; the "nose powder"; the roller skating ballet; the waiter with tray caught up in the dance (my favourite); the gibberish song - and many more. Then there is his mixing of silent and sound techniques, making the best of both worlds, not falling between stools as some directors might have done.

Of course, there is also a political and social dimension; many of the scenes refer to the impact of technical advances, of bureaucracy, and of the then current depression, on the ordinary "little man". And it is the little man, the individual caught up in society's complex machinery, whom Chaplin championed. He may have sympathised with left-wing political parties and unions in so far as they supported ordinary working people, but Chaplin's essential beliefs are enshrined in the final "words" and shot, with him telling Paulette Godard, that she should keep smiling, they will get along, as they walk, a couple of individuals, into an uncertain future. Beyond politics, the individual has to rely on his or her own resources and spirit to survive.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Masses See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,809, 28 December 2003

Gross USA:

$163,577

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$457,688
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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