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Modern Times (1936)

G  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 February 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 128,766 users   Metascore: 96/100
Reviews: 201 user | 115 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

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


(as Charlie Chaplin)


(as Charlie Chaplin)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
A Factory Worker (as Charlie Chaplin)
Henry Bergman ...
Tiny Sandford ...
Big Bill (as Stanley Sandford)
Hank Mann ...
Stanley Blystone ...
Al Ernest Garcia ...
Richard Alexander ...
Prison Cellmate (as Dick Alexander)
Cecil Reynolds ...
Mira McKinney ...
Minister's Wife (as Myra McKinney)
Murdock MacQuarrie ...
J. Widdecombe Billows (as Murdoch McQuarrie)
Wilfred Lucas ...
Edward LeSaint ...
Sheriff Couler (as Ed Le Sainte)
Fred Malatesta ...


Chaplins 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


Laugh . . . Cry and Thrill To his Genius . . ! See more »


Comedy | Drama


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Masses  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,507 (USA) (9 January 2004)


$163,245 (USA) (22 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During filming, Paulette Goddard was still working for less than $100 a week as a chorus girl for the Goldwyn Studios. See more »


The wire holding the flag on the back of the truck is clearly visible. See more »


A gamin: [Last lines] What's the use of trying?
A factory worker: Buck up - never say die. We'll get along.
See more »


Featured in Monsieur de Funès (2013) See more »


How Dry I Am
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Simply hilarious!
20 September 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

OK so in essence this movie perhaps is like the just as brilliant French comedy "À nous la liberté" but "Modern Times" is a real classic on its own right. To be honest I think that some Chaplin movies and other classic comedies in general are a bit overrated but "Modern Times" always had been a movie which I enjoyed watching.

"Modern Times" is Charlie Chaplin's protest about the fast growing modern industrial society (seems a like a pretty silly to protest against now days of course). It makes fun of industrialism, with as a result some highly amusing and innovative sequences, when things start to go wrong in the factory, when the tramp starts to loose his mind. This spoof and protest however got him in trouble though, since the American government was not amused by it and labeled him as a communist from that moment on. After that Chaplin left to live for the rest of his love in Switzerland and he never returned to America.

Although the movie does feature sound in it, the movie is still shot as a silent movie and also features hardly any dialog in it. It makes this movie of course quite unique and I actually wonder if the movie would had been better if it did feature full sound and more dialog in it. I really don't think so though. Charles Chaplin of course always had been a king of slapstick and silent comedy.

Chaplin is in good form in this movie. He shows off his silly antics as his famous tramp character, although in this movie his character is simply listed as 'A factory worker'. His timing and execution is fine as always and provides the movie with moments that will make you laugh, guaranteed. Also Paulette Goddard is fine and looking lovely in this movie. She married Chaplin the same year but then again which co-star didn't Chaplin had a fling with throughout his life.

Like so often he also directed and wrote the movie. With this he shows that he not just had a talent for comedy acting but also really for comical writing and directing. For a silent slapstick movie the movie simply features a good and likable story. Also the directing is done with lots of pace and sense for timing.

It also has some great looking sets, for factory sequences of course most obviously.

A great Chaplin classic!



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