Cinema: The New Pictures: Feb. 17, 1936

Modern Times (Charles Chaplin) is the first picture made by its star since City Lights (1931) and his third in seven years. In it, Chaplin sings one song but does not speak. The other actors are heard only when the action permits their voices to be mechanized through phonographs, television sets, radios. A musical score, written by Chaplin, accompanies the film.

City Lights was produced when talkies were both so novel and so bad that silence helped rather than hindered the picture. No such advantage aided Chaplin with Modern Times. Even in 1936, however,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!