• Charlie Chaplin’s comedy classic Modern Times may have been made in 1936, but the critics reviewing Criterion’s new, restored editions of the film are finding it to be as sharp as ever. “More than seventy-five years later, the film shines with fresh relevance as it makes its debut in a decidedly modern format: the Blu-ray disc,” writes Jen Chaney in the Washington Post. She goes on to state that its “brand-new quality isn’t merely a result of the visual upgrade. The themes in Modern Times, which grapples with the dehumanizing impact of industrial progress and the struggle to stay employed in a dour economy, seem just as applicable to 2010 as they did to the Great Depression era. Chaplin’s Little Tramp may spend his days tightening screws in a factory, but I suspect plenty of contemporary cubicle workers can relate.”

    DVD Talk’s Jamie S. Rich also notes the relevance (and newfound spiffiness) of this “last great masterpiece of the silent era,” highlighting not only Chaplin’s film’s inspiring message—“If you’re ever feeling pessimistic about what tomorrow holds, just put Modern Times in your Blu-Ray player, and you’re sure to smile”—but also its “extraordinary restoration.” And Matt Hough at Home Theater Forum raves, “One of the cinema’s greatest comedies comes to Blu-ray looking for all the world like a new film. Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times is one of the classics of American cinema, and this complete edition with terrific bonuses is a not-to-be-missed treat. Highest recommendation!”

    More from Dave Kehr, in the New York Times, and Glenn Kenny, who gives a shout-out to one of the special supplements included with the film, the 1916 short The Rink, which he calls “exhilarating” and says it features “some of the funniest and most frenetic stunt work in the entirety of Chaplin’s career.”

1 comment

  • By Michael Koresky
    December 16, 2010
    06:48 PM

    I still love this movie, and I've seen it maybe a dozen times. I think it's good for children, too.