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 <email@example.com>
Discounting later parodies and novelty films, this was the last major American film to make use of silent film conventions such as title cards for dialogue. The very last dialogue title card of this film (and thus, it can be said, the entire silent era) belongs to The Tramp, who says "Buck up - never say die! We'll get along." See more »
When the wrench gets stuck on the bolt, Chaplin loses hold of it, but he has it in his hand when the foreman comes by. See more »
[Listening to a phonograph record]
The Mechanical Salesman:
Good morning, my friends. This record comes to you through the Sales Talk Transcription Company, Incorporated: your speaker, the Mechanical Salesman. May I take the pleasure of introducing Mr. J. Widdecombe Billows, the inventor of the Billows Feeding Machine, a practical device which automatically feeds your men while at work? Don't stop for lunch: be ahead of your competitor. The Billows Feeding Machine will eliminate the lunch hour, increase your production,...
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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.