Modern Times So far from lacking unity, Modern Times on the contrary is the film in which the level of acting style is best maintained, controlling thus the style of the gags and even of the script. The ideological significance never impinges from without on the comic flow of the gags. It is the imperturbable logic of the latter that utterly exposed the absurdities of our society. Andre' Bazin, 1948
Point to Consider What are the major tensions or values in the film? What is the position of the "working man" in this film? How is he portrayed? Can you note any comparisons with His Girl Friday? What is the role of "the machine," literally and symbolically? How does it relate to the working man? How does it relate to Chaplin's vision of modern society?
What are the varying positions of the wealthy, the bosses, the cops, and the inventors? How do they relate or fail to relate to the working man? What is the role of love in the film? How do these lovers contrast with those of His Girl Friday? How are "lawbreakers" portrayed? How do they relate to Chaplin's vision of modern society?
What role does Communist agitation play in the film? Are there comparisons with His Girl Friday? What is the visual style of the film? Why is it appropriate for the themes of the film? How does the social satire function in the film? Can you point to some of Chaplin's targets? Can you describe his satirical methods