A lowly factory worker with a knack for mischief, Chaplin finds himself in some interesting situations. His fast paced job at the factory drives him to insanity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time puts him in jail, and his inability to stay out of trouble leads him to multiple run-ins with the police.
Chaplin is both lovable and hilarious in Modern Times, while managing to invoke thoughts about progress, technology and capitalism into the viewer. Chaplin was famous for pushing the limits in this movies, and was actually banned from returning to the US by FDR on suspicion of being pro-communist.
This was actually the first movie where Chaplin speaks during a movie, and marked the end of an era. I really appreciated the comedy that he brought to every scene, without speaking a word. It was simple. So simple I really only noticed that I was laughing when I noticed I was just sitting on the sofa with a smile on my face.
Did you know?
- The film originally ended with Charles Chaplin's character suffering a nervous breakdown and being visited in hospital by the gamin, who has now become a nun. This ending was filmed, though apparently only still photographs from the scene exist today (they are included in the 2003 DVD release of the film). Chaplin dropped this ending and shot a different, more hopeful ending instead.
- A full dialogue script was written for the film, as Charles Chaplin had intended to make a complete talkie. According to a documentary on the DVD release, Chaplin went so far as to film a scene with full dialogue before deciding instead to make a partial talkie.
- According to a fall 1935 issue of Variety, Charles Chaplin was expected to run behind schedule on the release of the movie as he tweaked the soundtrack. He also wanted to chop over 1,000 feet of film from his then existing cut.
When to See It: Sunny, happy day!!! Be ready to smile!!!
Run Time: 1.5 hrs