Modern Times

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Modern Times

Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard

One of the pioneers in American cinema was the great Charlie Chaplin. In 1936 he wrote, directed, and starred in this classic film. The movie was his last “silent” film and featured many sound effects. By 1936 “talkies” were being made and Chaplin took one last stab at silent films with this great movie. The film starred Chaplin as the memorable Tramp as well as Paulette Goddard.

The film follows a young factory worker (Chaplin) as he suffers indignities at the hands of the factory boss. Later he in committed in an insane asylum and when released he is jailed after being mistaken for a communist. Finally he foils a jailbreak and is released. There he finds himself in love with a poor young lady (Goddard) who also falls for him. Together they struggle to make a better life.

Like all great silent films the words mean little as the physical acting does all the work. Chaplin was a genius and a master of his craft and Modern Times is a great example of his talents.

This film features one of the great beauties of the 30’s with Paulette Goddard. Later her and Chaplin would live together for close to six years. Their marital status was never clear but they parted as friends and she went on to future successes in Hollywood. She would star in films like Pot O Gold and So Proudly We Hail which would also earn her an Oscar nomination.

The era of silent films was ending but Chaplin made this film despite the changing business. Like the main character in Modern Times Chaplin was rebelling against the new technology and they way it would change the world. This is a fun film and one worth taking the time to see. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 87 minutes

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4 comments

  1. One of the most interesting things about this film is I believe it’s one of the only Charlie Chapman films that shows him actually walking “into the sunset” with the heroine of the story. His other films usually have him alone by the end. Just interesting seeing that he was also romantically involved with her in real life :)

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    1. It’s definitely an interesting dynamic. The film almost captures that budding romance as it began. She might be one of the most attractive female stars in American film history and he was definitely a catch in his day.

      Like

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