Modern Times Modern Times

Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin

Modern Times (Criterion Blu-Ray)


1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • United States
  • 1936
  • 87 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #543

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.


A factory workerCharlie Chaplin
A gaminePaulette Goddard
Café proprietorHenry Bergman
Big Bill and workerStanley J. Sandford
MechanicChester Conklin
BurglarsHank Mann
Louis Natheaux
The gamine’s fatherStanley Blystone
President, Electro Steel Corp.Allan Garcia
Cell mateDick Alexander
Prison chaplainDr. Cecil Reynolds
Chaplain’s wifeMyra McKinney
J. Widdecombe BillowsMurdoch McQuarrie
Billows’s assistantsMr. Ainsley
Ted Oliver
Juvenile officerWilfred Lucas
Sheriff CoulerEdward LeSainte
Turbine operatorSam Stein
Woman with buttoned bosomJuana Sutton
WardenJohn Ince
WorkersJack Low
Walter James
Angry café patronLloyd Ingraham
WorkmanHeinie Conklin
ConvictJohn Rand
Head waiterFred Malatesta
The gamine’s sistersGloria DeHaven
Gloria Delson


DirectorCharlie Chaplin
WriterCharlie Chaplin
ProducerCharlie Chaplin
PhotographyRoland Totheroh and Ira Morgan
Assistant directorCarter DeHaven
Art directorsCharles D. Hall and Russell Spencer
MusicCharlie Chaplin
Music arrangementEdward Powell and David Raksin
Musical directorAlfred Newman
Music recordingPaul Neal and Frank Maher
Visual effectsBud Thackeray
Production managerAlfred Reeves

Disc 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

Film Essays

Modern Times: Exit the Tramp

By Saul Austerlitz November 16, 2010

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 . . . Read more »

Big Screen


Repertory Pick: Chaplin’s Final Silent Film in Iowa City

December 28, 2017

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



Timothy Brock on Restoring Charlie Chaplin’s Sound

By Hillary Weston May 26, 2016

Last week, conductor and composer Timothy Brock led the New York Philharmonic in a live orchestral performance of the score to Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film City Lights. The next day, he stopped . . . Read more »


The Funniest Films Ever Written

November 12, 2015

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. . . . Read more »



Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More

November 06, 2015

As part of the launch of the new French streaming video service La Cinetek—which was founded by the filmmakers Pascale Ferran (Bird People), Cédric Klapisch (Chinese Puzzle), and Laurent Cantet . . . Read more »


Photo Galleries


Cover Story

February 22, 2011

This week, Time is all too happy to judge a movie by its cover. Gilbert Cruz, an editor at the magazine, has compiled a list called “Top 10 Cool Criterion Collection Covers.” Cruz’s taste in . . . Read more »


Top Ten by Design

January 07, 2011

If you’re a movie lover, you’re probably overdosing on year-end top ten lists these days. Odds are, though, none of the ones you’ve seen are quite like this one by Sam Smith, the graphic . . . Read more »


Powers’s Picks

December 03, 2010

’Tis the season for DVD gift guides, and critic John Powers is quick out of the gate with a lineup of movie recommendations for NPR’s Fresh Air. Among his top choices are works by two great . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: Modern Times

November 23, 2010

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 . . . Read more »

Film Essays

Modern Times: Exit the Tramp

By Saul Austerlitz November 16, 2010

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 . . . Read more »


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