Hunger, Slapstick, “Modern Times”

Of course, modern times in the 1936 Modern Times, by Charles Chaplin, means the Depression.  Chaplin’s Tramp and Paulette Goddard need work, and although they find it, they unexpectedly lose it.  But then find it again.  The objective is to stay one step ahead of hunger.  However, modern times means something else as well: that the world of industry dehumanizes workers for the sake of profit.

To bring the theme to the present, is this not what goes on today with wage theft?

The harried Tramp suffers in the satire, even being driven to a zany nervous breakdown.  He recovers, though, in what is a socially conscious but hilarious and very charming comedy.  Unfortunately, the film is pretty anticlimactic, but by the time the anticlimax is reached I’m tired of all the slapstick anyway.  That’s how I am about slapstick.  This despite my enjoyment of Modern Times, one of Chaplin’s best.

Cropped screenshot of Paulette Goddard from th...
Cropped screenshot of Paulette Goddard from the trailer for the film So Proudly We Hail!. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Charlie Chaplin The Tramp debuted in 1914 -- p...
Charlie Chaplin The Tramp debuted in 1914 — pre-1923 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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