FILM TALK Episode #3: Modern Times (1936) Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard – Championed by Phil Campbell

This week’s FILM TALK features one of Charlie Chaplin’s greatest films, Modern Times, his iconic 1936 statement on the effects of the mass production on the world. The film sees his familiar tramp character struggling to survive in a modern industrial society and stars Paulette Goddard, alongside Charlie, who wrote, directed and produced the film.

The astonishing film classic, Modern Times is, like so many of Charlie Chaplin’s films, a comedy with a stong sense of social comment. We see his familiar tramp character struggle to survive in the industrialised world of the 1930s, a clear comment on the terrible conditions many faced during the high unemployment of the Great Depression. The tramp is a factory worker who falls in love with an orphaned girl, Ellen Peterson played by Paulette Goddard and who struggles to hang on to her and build a world for them. The cast also includes Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford and Chester Conklin.

Modern Times was Chaplin’s first talkie, which began production in 1934 and had an incredibly long production schedule as Charlie wrote, produced and directed the film step-by-step, until it was finally released in 1936. Over fifty years later it was deemed a film of great cultural significance by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

FILM TALK is all about us reviewing and appreciating the greatest films ever made. Each week we publish a new video reviewing and discussing a different classic film that is destined for our list of the 100 greatest films in cinema history, at least the greatest films in our opinion. We take an in-depth look at our chosen film, providing a detailed critical review, while also delving into the film’s background, exploring how it was made and the filmmakers behind it, with a quick dip into fascinating trivia to help provide a rich appreciation of our film that week.

FILM TALK is introduced by RABBIT & SNAIL FILMS’ director, Richard Edwards and each week his is joined by one of our regular contributors, including author, journalist and broadcaster Morris Bright MBE, The Hammer Runners, Phil Campbell and Brian Reynolds, who have worked in the industry since the late 1960s and film guru, historian and collector, Mark Priest, whose passion for the cinema knows no bounds.

This edition of FILM TALK features Phil Campbell, one half of the wonderful Hammer Runners, who along with Brian Reynolds wrote Running Scared, a great insight life as runners at the iconic Hammer Films during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Brian is also a member of our FILM TALK team, but was away on holiday when this episode was recorded.

Visit the FILM TALK page to find out more about our contributors and our series, you can also find our growing list of the 100 greatest films ever made.