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Modern Times (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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The Criterion Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard
  • Directors: Charles Chaplin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ZYU3T6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Modern Times (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New audio commentary by Chaplin biographer David Robinson
  • Two new visual essays, by Chaplin historians John Bengtson and Jeffrey Vance
  • New program on the film's visual and sound effects
  • Interview from 1992 with Modern Times music arranger David Raksin
  • Chaplin Today: "Modern Times" (2004), a half-hour program
  • Two segments removed from the film
  • Three theatrical trailers
  • "All at Sea" (1933), a home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Charlie Chaplin
  • "The Rink" (1916), a Chaplin two-reeler highlighting his skill on wheels
  • "For the First Time" (1967), a Cuban documentary short
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and more!

  • Editorial Reviews

    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.

    Customer Reviews

    A comedy about a factory worker who goes insane by the machines of the modern age!
    nymph_150
    Chaplin is making a silent film using sound technology, meaning he has the option to take the best of the both worlds.
    Andrew McCaffrey
    Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times is one of my favourite films and arguably one of the best films ever made.
    Scottamer

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on July 30, 2004
    Format: DVD
    MODERN TIMES opens with its credits being printed out over a close-up image of a clock ticking interminably forward. The film's first real shot is of mindless sheep being herded through gates, which fades into an image of factory employees exiting a subway stop on their way to work. Looking at this from a modern standpoint, one can only think that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    This is a film that I can watch over and over again. It's not just that it's an incredibly funny film. It's not just that its satire of modernization and industrialization still rings true today. It's that each aspect of the filmmaking pulls together to form something greater than each individual part. The story ranges from big topics concerning the Great Depression and dehumanization, while successfully balancing that with the small love story between the tramp and the gamin. In a theme that would be revisited even more powerfully in LIMELIGHT, the two characters need each other, depend on each other and simply have no reason to exist without the other. The comedy tickles while the tragedy touches. No other director in film history managed to find that equilibrium with such skill.

    This is rightly hailed as the last great silent movie, albeit one made several years after sound has become the norm. I still get a kick out of the fact that the only intelligible voices come solely from machines. Chaplin is making a silent film using sound technology, meaning he has the option to take the best of the both worlds. His next film, THE GREAT DICTATOR, wouldn't quite get this mixture right, but it's a success here. The film can go for several minutes at a time with no meaningful talking or sound effects, and then suddenly jump into an unexpected gag involving voice.
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    30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Scottamer on January 25, 2011
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times is one of my favourite films and arguably one of the best films ever made. The movie remains incredibly funny while also managing to be a significant artistic achievement in cinema design and social commentary. For Chaplin fans, it marks the last appearance of his "little tramp" character and, not coincidentally, his last film without full synchronized sound. The film does include music, sound effects, and the occasional voice, including a segment at the end where we get to hear the tramp sing a short nonsense song. However, as a film released 10 years into the sound movie era, the film is also something of an enigma. It presents perhaps the most famous silent film character in a film that purports to be silent, yet it features futuristic factory machinery (reminiscent of Metropolis) and large close-circuit flat screen video displays that would have looked almost like science fiction back in the 1930's.

    This new Blu-ray release from Criterion continues their standard of releasing historically important films with significant audio/video remastering and a variety of enticing special features. However, in this case, Criterion is competing with an already excellent release of this film on DVD from Warner/mk2 in 2003. The new Criterion release mentions that the "new" transfer was created in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna, who were also credited with the previous Warner/mk2 release. I am not sure if this release actually includes a new transfer or just an upgrade of the existing one to 2K-resolution for Blu-ray. I performed a side-by-side comparison of both versions, and the Criterion Blu-ray version contained noticeably better detail and superior contrast.
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    27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stephen H. Wood on September 8, 2006
    Format: DVD
    The more I watch it, the more I feel that Charlie Chaplin's sublime silent MODERN TIMES (1936) is his finest film. THE GOLD RUSH (1925) is too desolate for my tastes, and CITY LIGHTS (1931) does not have the exquisite Paulette Goddard (then Chaplin's wife) as leading lady. MODERN TIMES is more episodic than other Chaplin features--six or seven one reel comedies strung together for 83 minutes. There are two incomparable segments set in a dehumanizing factory (in this silent film, the boss speaks over surveillance photography)--Chaplin gets caught inside the gears of a machine, while much later his boss, Chester Conklin from the Keystone Kops, has the same thing happen during lunch hour. It is hysterical to see Chaplin feed lunch to the upside down head of Conklin inside the machine. It is also pricelessly funny when Charlie is guinea pig for a new mechanized lunch demonstration that fails miserably.

    Meanwhile, out along the waterfront (location work was done at San Pedro harbor), an indomitable Paulette Goddard watches as her father is killed by a mob, feeds bananas to children, and is helped by Chaplin out of a robbery of food when she is starving. The scenes with Goddard are heartbreakingly lovely, while Charlie is having a great time in prison--no work to do and free food! "Can't I please stay longer?" he asks the warden on a title card as he is being paroled. He will get his wish when he inadvertently becomes the leader of a labor rally waving a red Communist flag.

    Eventually, Chaplin and Goddard set up housekeeping together in a waterfront shack. She tags along when he gets a job as an all night watchman in a department store. Paulette tries on a fur coat and goes to sleep on a bed up on the fourth or fifth floor. Charlie will wake her before the store opens.
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    Any news about other Chaplin films coming to Blu-ray?
    These have never been out on Blu-Ray, only DVD, and even those are out of print now.

    Looks like Criterion has bought the rights for all the ones you mentioned plus Monsieur Verdoux & Limelight.

    Most of the movies haven't been slated for release yet, but The Great Dictator comes out on... Read More
    Apr 18, 2011 by Nick Vanetta |  See all 5 posts
    Why aren't the Harold Lloyd films on blu ray? Be the first to reply
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