Modern Times (1936)

2014 #55
Charles Chaplin | 83 mins | DVD | 1.33:1 | USA / English | U / G

Modern TimesCharlie Chaplin satirises technology and modernisation in arguably the last film of the silent era. It actually has a synchronised soundtrack, primarily for music and effects, but also dialogue — though “we hear spoken voices only when they come from mechanical devices, a symbol of the film’s theme of technology and dehumanization.” The irony is it was that technological progress which rendered Modern Times the last hurrah for the era Chaplin remains most identified with.

Stand-out sequences include Chaplin and co-workers battling a speedy production line, and him being the test subject for a new machine designed to feed workers quickly.

4 out of 5

Modern Times was viewed as part of my What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…? 2014 project, which you can read more about here.

In the interests of completing my ever-growing backlog, I decided to post ‘drabble reviews’ of some films. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a drabble is a complete piece of writing exactly 100 words long. You’ve just read one.