Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936)

By Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 26, 2022 | In Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast

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James and Thomas continue their discussion of the Vatican film list with Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece Modern Times, included on the list in the category of Art.

Released in 1936, Modern Times is both Chaplin’s last silent film and his first talkie—his character, the Little Tramp, is silent and the only time we hear people talking is when their voices are mediated through technology, such as on the radio or through an intercom system. This depersonalized and one-way approach to the human voice on film reflects not only a commentary on modern communications but also Chaplin’s personal aversion to the sound era.

The film is not just filled with hilarious gags, but contains intelligent social commentary as the Tramp tries and fails to fit into the world of industrialized labor, and really any other part of the modern social order.

Chaplin not only wrote, directed and starred in this film, he composed the musical score and made the sound effects.

Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/

Criteria is hosted by Thomas V. Mirus and James T. Majewski.

Thomas is a pianist living in New York City. He is Director of Podcasts for CatholicCulture.org and hosts the Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

James is the Director of Customer Relations for CatholicCulture.org. A stage, film, and voice actor based in New York City, he is the host and narrator for Catholic Culture Audiobooks. See full bio.

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