More than a decade into the Sound era, Chaplin wrote and directed one last largely silent classic, released in 1936. "Modern Times" is partly an indictment of unthinking progress and mechanization. At first, Chaplin is a factory worker frantically trying to keep up tightening bolts on the production line. Selected to test a new automatic feeding machine, he is alternately fed and battered by the invention, and his boss becomes convinced he's gone mad and packs him off to the hospital. Once out, he picks up a red construction flag and is mistakenly jailed as a communist agitator. He foils a jailbreak and is released. Along with a pretty orphaned homeless girl (Goddard, "the gamin"), our hero tries unsuccessfully to hold a series of different jobs -- security guard in a department store, singing waiter -- all with hilarious results. There are some voices in this movie, all of which pointedly issue from mechanical devices, and toward the end Chaplin sings a song of entirely nonsense language. Not quite as consistent as "City Lights" or epic as "The Gold Rush," but a very entertaining and thought-provoking work nonetheless.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus