Country: USA
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Screenwriter: Charlie Chaplin
Stars: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Stanley Sandford, Chester Conklin

The Little Tramp—Charlie Chaplin’s beloved character who made his debut in 1914—takes his final bow in fine form in Modern Times, as he tries his best to adapt to the changing world around him. And the post-Depression challenges he faces aren’t too different from the ones we face today: unemployment, poverty, and the ongoing trend of machines replacing people in the workplace. (The scene in which Chaplin literally becomes a cog in the wheel of a machine is a feat of physical comedy that is as laugh-out-loud funny today as anything Will Ferrell's doing.)

Proof that images speak louder than words, Modern Times is the perfect title as it defines the plot and Chaplin’s rather ironic decision to trash the script that had already been written and shoot the movie as a silent film in the heyday of talkies. —JW