Charles Chaplin

Modern Times

Modern Times

Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard). With its barrage of unforgettable gags and sly commentary on class struggle during the Great Depression, Modern Times—though made almost a decade into the talkie era and containing moments of sound (even song!)—is a timeless showcase of Chaplin’s untouchable genius as a director of silent comedy.

Film Info

  • Charles Chaplin
  • United States
  • 1936
  • 87 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #543

Special Features

  • Restored 2K-resolution digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary from 2010 by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson
  • Two visual essays, by Chaplin historians John Bengtson and Jeffrey Vance
  • Program from 2010 on the film’s visual and sound effects, with experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
  • Interview from 1992 with Modern Times music arranger David Raksin, plus a selection from the film's original orchestral track
  • Two segments cut from the film
  • All at Sea (1933), a home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard, with a score by Donald Sosin and an interview with Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge
  • The Rink (1916), a Chaplin two-reeler
  • For the First Time (1967), a short Cuban documentary about first-time moviegoers seeing Modern Times
  • Chaplin Today: “Modern Times” (2003), a program with filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
  • Three theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and (Blu-ray only) a piece by film scholar Lisa Stein that includes excerpts from Chaplin’s writing about his 1930s world tour

    New cover by Sam Smith

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • Restored 2K-resolution digital transfer, created in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary from 2010 by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson
  • Two visual essays, by Chaplin historians John Bengtson and Jeffrey Vance
  • Program from 2010 on the film’s visual and sound effects, with experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
  • Interview from 1992 with Modern Times music arranger David Raksin, plus a selection from the film's original orchestral track
  • Two segments cut from the film
  • All at Sea (1933), a home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard, with a score by Donald Sosin and an interview with Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge
  • The Rink (1916), a Chaplin two-reeler
  • For the First Time (1967), a short Cuban documentary about first-time moviegoers seeing Modern Times
  • Chaplin Today: “Modern Times” (2003), a program with filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
  • Three theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and (Blu-ray only) a piece by film scholar Lisa Stein that includes excerpts from Chaplin’s writing about his 1930s world tour

    New cover by Sam Smith
Modern Times
Cast
Charles Chaplin
A factory worker
Paulette Goddard
A gamine
Henry Bergman
Café proprietor
Stanley J. Sandford
Big Bill and worker
Chester Conklin
Mechanic
Hank Mann
Burglars
Louis Natheaux
Stanley Blystone
The gamine’s father
Allan Garcia
President, Electro Steel Corp.
Dick Alexander
Cell mate
Dr. Cecil Reynolds
Prison chaplain
Myra McKinney
Chaplain’s wife
Murdoch McQuarrie
J. Widdecombe Billows
Mr. Ainsley
Billows’s assistants
Ted Oliver
Wilfred Lucas
Juvenile officer
Edward LeSainte
Sheriff Couler
Sam Stein
Turbine operator
Juana Sutton
Woman with buttoned bosom
John Ince
Warden
Jack Low
Workers
Walter James
Lloyd Ingraham
Angry café patron
Heinie Conklin
Workman
John Rand
Convict
Fred Malatesta
Head waiter
Gloria DeHaven
The gamine’s sisters
Gloria Delson
Credits
Director
Charles Chaplin
Writer
Charles Chaplin
Producer
Charles Chaplin
Photography
Roland Totheroh
Photography
Ira Morgan
Assistant director
Carter DeHaven
Art directors
Charles D. Hall
Art directors
Russell Spencer
Music
Charles Chaplin
Music arrangement
Edward Powell
Music arrangement
David Raksin
Musical director
Alfred Newman
Music recording
Paul Neal
Music recording
Frank Maher
Visual effects
Bud Thackeray
Production manager
Alfred Reeves

From The Current

Modern Times: Exit the Tramp
Modern Times: Exit the Tramp
To make a silent film in 1931, four years after The Jazz Singer, was to buck the trend in a film industry rapidly divesting itself of silence. To make another in 1936, nearly a decade after the advent of sound, appeared downright perverse. Charlie…

By Saul Austerlitz

Choking Chaplin

Anatomy of a Gag

Choking Chaplin

In the image of the Little Tramp choking, Chaplin found the perfect motif for evoking the horrors of hunger and modern consumption.

By David Cairns

Dancing Chaplin

Anatomy of a Gag

Dancing Chaplin

In some of his most elaborately choreographed set pieces, the silent-comedy master confronted the chaos of the world with balletic grace and rhythmic precision.

By David Cairns

How Sam Smith Finds Inspiration in the History of Poster Art

Studio Visits

How Sam Smith Finds Inspiration in the History of Poster Art

The longtime Criterion collaborator behind our covers for Japón, House, and Modern Times combines his love for film and design in his vividly colorful artwork.

Chaplin’s Final Silent Film in Iowa City

Repertory Picks

Chaplin’s Final Silent Film in Iowa City

Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times sets up shop on the big screen at Iowa City’s FilmScene this week.

Timothy Brock on Restoring Charlie Chaplin’s Sound
Timothy Brock on Restoring Charlie Chaplin’s Sound

During the conductor and composer’s visit—a day after he’d led the New York Philharmonic in a live orchestral performance of the score to City Lights—we talked about his love for early cinema, the delicate process of restoring Chaplin’s mus

By Hillary Weston

The Funniest Films Ever Written
The Funniest Films Ever Written

The Writers Guild of America has just assembled a list of the “101 Funniest Screenplays” of all time, which pays tribute to comedy classics ranging from Buster Keaton's The General to James L. Brooks’s Broadcast News.