Modern Times (1936)

Arguably the first great superstar of film, Charlie Chaplin was the man known simply as the Tramp in his silent movies. For this reason Modern Times seems like the perfect bridge between the early silent era and the age of talkies starting in the late 1920s. Chaplin had many successes earlier including The Gold Rush (1926) and City Lights (1931). However people wanted to hear talking and soon enough everyone would have to make the transition or else die out. Because of Chaplin’s popularity he was able to make one last great silent picture. From that point on however it got a lot louder in theaters.

In this film the iconic Tramp character finds himself up against modern technology and the Great Depression. The whole movie seems to be critiquing factories, the police, the economy, and even modern film by using little actual dialogue. With that being said, this is a great film which exhibits everything that made Chaplin famous. He still has that walk, that mustache, and new hilarious antics to accompany everything else. Yet again there is a love story, between a tramp and a beautiful homeless girl played by Paulette Goddard (Only in the movies). Despite all the hardships they face this resilient pair amazingly still have hope. Fittingly, in the end the two lovebirds walk off into the background, seeming to bring the end of the Chaplin era, but also leaving us with a feeling of hope for the future.

5/5 Stars