← Back to Reviews

Modern Times (1936)
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
Genre: Comedy, Drama

I liked Paulette Goddard so much in Modern Times that I decided to use her as my lead photo And why not? She's exhilarating, she's dynamic and she brightens up every scene she's in. As much as I liked her in Chaplin's The Great Dictator, I liked her even more here as a poor street waif. The film refers to her as a 'gamine' which is French for mischievous imp...and that perfectly describes her role in the classic film. I loved the banana scene where she's stealing bananas from a boat and throwing them with an enthusiastic glee to the hungry kids on the dock. What amazes me most about Paulette is that she looks so contemporary and so real, that I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the produce section at the grocery store pondering whether bananas should be free or not

Chaplin is great, of course. I've enjoyed every single film of his I've seen. And I want to see more. So I was glad that this classic got nominated. Chaplin is so innovative as a director that all of the stunts 'the little tramp' does looks so effortless. Loved the entire scene in the factory with the big machinery which I swear was real! Of course after the film I read that those huge clogs and gears were made of rubber and wood...but damn what a great set piece! And just thinking of the automated feeding machine that poor Chaplin encountered, makes me laugh!

Modern Times marks an end of an era. It was the last of Chaplin's silent films. Yes he does sing and we do hear voices, but those come from mechanical contraptions. Which I thought was quite clever and of course it is clever it's a Chaplin film: Written by, directed by, produced by, music by and starring the one and only Charlie Chaplin.