Friday, September 30, 2022

Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk.

Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin's last 'silent' film, was filled with sound effects and was made when everyone else was making 'talkies.' Charlie turns against modern society, the machine age, (The use of sound in films ?) and progress.

Firstly we see him frantically trying to keep up with a production line, tightening bolts. Then he is selected for an experiment with an automatic feeding machine, but various mishaps leads his boss to believe he has gone mad.

The idea of the film was apparently given to Chaplin by a young reporter, who told him about the production line system in Detroit, which was turning its workers into nervous wrecks. In the film, Charlie becomes literally trapped in the machine.

This was one of the films which, because of its political sentiments, convinced the House Un-American Activities Committee that Charles Chaplin was a Communist, a charge he adamantly denied. He left to live in Switzerland, vowing never to return to America.

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