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Paul Jensen

MODERN TIMES (1936) 5 stars

Released almost a decade after sound had arrived, this silent movie was Chaplin's swan song to silent cinema. It was also the last time he played The Tramp. It seems there was no place for this classic character in our modern world. The film pokes fun at sound and it's also the first time we hear Chaplin speak on screen. In a brilliant move, he sings gibberish. Paulette Goddard is adorable as his co-star (and Chaplin's soon-to-be wife). There's such charm and pure cinematic joy in watching our hero roller-skate, dangerously blindfolded, in a shopping mall after hours. Then of course there's the cocaine-sniffing scene: hysterical and genius. It may very well be the finest silent film ever made and it remains one of my top ten greatest comedies.

Genre: Comedy
Director: Charlie Chaplin