The Little Tramp finds work at a fast-paced factory and struggles to contend with the demands of the industrialized world, winding up in and out of jail while also falling in love with a kind orphan girl.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Modern Times is indeed ahead of it's time. In fact, its socioeconomic satire is still quite relevant now. Chaplin has a critical eye, and his ideologies are conveyed through slapstick comedy, resulting in a timeless cinematic pleasure!
"Modern Times" not only contains one of the finest Chaplin scores (and we know today that he really took care about every detail of instrumentation in dictating his coworkers how to write it down... in spite of what he told in public) but also some of the most iconic sequences of all his films like the song scene, the demonstration, the factory sequence, the roller skates scene and of course the beautiful last shot.
His first talkie fortunately doesn't have too much talk, but it benefits from Chaplin's score and his wonderful song is sung in a delightful nonsensical mixture of the Romance languages. His confrontation with the modern working world gives the honest origin to his tramp and his night in the department store fills that consumer palace with the properly somnolent spirit where outrageous coincidence is oddly right.
A damning indictment of modernism in a post-industrial era where the welfare of the people was sacrificed in aid of advancement; that is, creating a culture at its technological peak regardless of toil on the populace. Chaplin's comedy/satire has a shrewd eye for critique, disguising his contentious ideological stance behind slapstick and the naivety of the tale's protagonist. Chaplin was a genius.
This is the quintessence of Chaplin, that's in the edge of capitalism trying to teaches a lesson: how was living after The Great Depression in a neurotic society that was marching through equality against fascism. When paradise was a lost home far away from the city and prison could be better than living at the expense of a job, people were puppets that spinned the gears for the wealth of people that already had it.
The greatest time capsule of a movie and Chaplin's peak. Each episode in this story is a little comedic revelation. From the skating in the
mall sequence to the LOL factory sequences, this may be the most consistently hilarious movie ever made. I also love that the female was more of a partner rather than a love interest. Finally, that song at the end is a brilliant middle finger to sound cinema.