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Modern Times (1936)

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Modern Times (1936)


Charlie Chaplin

Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Modern Times is Chaplin’s take on the desperate employment and fiscal conditions that people faced during the Great Depression that hit the world between the 1930s and lasted till the late 1930s or mid-1940s. Charlie Chaplin took the depression and the problems it caused and found a way to make you laugh it off. Modern times is an addition to the classic movies of the last 100 years, as it stands out as one extremely funny movie, that you have to see before you leave the earth.

Modern times is a movie done in 1936, that depicts Chaplin’s take on the modern world and what industrialization brought with it. Set during the Great Depression era the movie’s plot is about how the tramp was coping with the depression and with him was an orphan who too was struggling with the causes of the depression.

Our Tramp also discovered that life in jail is better than life outside.

Chaplin had long been against “talkie” and his last film before this City Lights(1931) was a silent film and he began preparing for this flick in 1934, and it was supposed to be his first "talkie", but he later abandoned the idea of making a talkie because he felt the world was not ready to hear the tramp talk.

The movie does have some dialogue, but that can be found in the early scenes soon after the movie went back to the silent film genre. Nearing the ending there is a scene where Chaplin’s tramp had to sing to keep his job, this scene was the first film where Chaplin's voice is heard in any movie. The song that the tramp sang (the song is known as The Nonsense Song) was Léo Daniderff's comical song Je cherche après Titine. This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie as Chaplin's version of Léo Daniderff's song was all gibberish with the lyrics being a mixture of French and Italian words in a nonsensical manner that it made no sense but his comical gestures tell the story of what he actually meant.

The movie’s opening scene shows where the tramp was in a factory and he had to keep up with the speed of production, this scene has been used by many filmmakers even Disney and in the sitcom I Love Lucy used the idea.

Modern Times, is my 2ndfavorite Chaplin movie after City Lightsand the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) rated the movie78 in its list of 100. There is no reason why you should not get a feel of one of the best Chaplin’s film out there, so find it and watch it.


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