101 Funniest Screenplays

Chaplin’s masterwork about man and machines, and the film in which he literally became caught in the gears of mechanization. Released in 1936, when Hollywood had gone the way of the talkie, Modern Times was mostly a silent, and even those characters who spoke did so through other media – a corporate boss, for instance, barking instructions to his factory workers through a closed-circuit screen. Chaplin himself is heard, but singing gibberish. There are set pieces that forever astonish for Chaplin’s physical genius, not least when he becomes a guinea pig for a newfangled invention called The Feeding Machine. Amid the Great Depression, the film – Chaplin’s last as The Tramp – was an immense success as both comedy and social commentary, at a time when many were unemployed and hungry, and hardly able to afford all that rolled off assembly lines with such blazing speed.