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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.
For this edition of a comedy masterpiece, Criterion has assembled a delightful collection of supporting materials--some new, some old, all lovely. The new stuff begins with a feature-length commentary by Chaplin biographer David Robinson, who knows as much about Charlie Chaplin as any person alive. Also new are visual essays on the film's production; its special visual and sound effects (much more interesting than you might expect); and John Bengston's nifty tour of various Los Angeles locations used in the film, including the stretch of road seen in the final fade-out. Even more spectacular is an 18-minute 8 mm short called "All at Sea," created by future author and Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke--essentially a home movie of a trip Cooke took with Chaplin and Paulette Goddard aboard Chaplin's yacht, during a weekend cruise to Catalina Island in 1933. (A new interview with Cooke's daughter provides the fascinating tale behind the long-lost little film, including the fact that Chaplin directed some of the rapturous shots of Goddard.) Also seen in an interview (from 1993) is composer David Raksin, who assisted Chaplin in the devising of the score of Modern Times.
Two very brief deleted scenes from Modern Times are here, and so is Chaplin's 1916 short "The Rink," which has some great roller-skating material. Carried over from previous DVD issues: an excellent 26-minute "Chaplin Today" piece featuring the Dardenne brothers, who speak insightfully about the social concerns of Modern Times, and a 10-minute Cuban documentary, "For the First Time" (1967), which depicts a peasant village witnessing their first movie--you can guess which film it is. --Robert Horton
A masterpiece of comedy and social commentary. Brilliantly written, acted and directed by the incomparable Charlie Chaplin. Easily his most important film. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sophia
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|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|