Modern Times, starring Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard

Modern Times

 Summary of Modern Times,  (1936), starring Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard



Modern Times begins with Charlie Chaplin as Charlie the Little Tramp gainfully employed at a factory. However, the strict regimentation is driving him to the brink … Then over the brink, when the factory owner has him as the “guinea pig” € for a “time-saving” feeding machine. This leads to Charlie spending time in a mental hospital.   Cured after his breakdown, he is arrested and jailed when he innocently picks up a red flag that has fallen off the back of a truck and runs down the street to return it — €”just when a communist demonstration comes around the corner. He meets Paulette Goddard as ‘€˜The Gamin’ (a street urchin) in the back of the police van, who has also been arrested for stealing bread. From then on the theme is about the two trying to get along in … modern times

A King in New York - Charlie Chaplin, Michael Chaplin

A King in New York

movie review of A King in New York (1957) starring Charlie Chaplin, Dawn Addams



There are some people who consider A King in New York to be a bitter screed against the United States of America by Charlie Chaplin, after his exile from it.   I totally disagree; I would say that it’s a satire, poking fun at parts of America that need to be deflated, but with a true love for the country.   Take, for example, this quote by Charlie Chaplin’s character, King Shahdov, from early in the film:

“If you knew what it means to breathe this free air, this wonderful, wonderful America, its’ youth, its’ genius, its’ vitality.   The glamor of it all — New York! America!’

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, starring Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Claire Trevor, Allen Jenkins

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, starring Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Claire Trevor, Allen Jenkins

Editorial review of  The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, courtesy of Amazon.com

Buy The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse from Amazon.com  The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse is a  stylish, often amusing crime drama, this 1938 feature revolves around a central, improbable plot twist that consciously serves its casting against type: as the eponymous doctor, Edward G. Robinson, who had helped define the Warner Bros. style for gritty gangster sagas, jettisons his signature snarl in favor of a plummy, vaguely English accent that underlines his urbane sophistication. Dr. Clitterhouse is a creature of privilege who embarks on a criminal life not out of desperation, but rather through intellectual curiosity; instead of slouch hats and suits, he has marcelled hair and first appears in white tie and tails. He begins pulling off “perfect” jewel thefts as research into the criminal mind, but his gradual immersion in New York’s shadowy demimonde of thieves and fences eventually finds the good doctor between those two worlds.

Black Legion starring Humphrey Bogart, Dick Foran, Ann Sheridan

Black Legion

Black Legion (1936) starring Humphrey Bogart, Dick Foran, Ann Sheridan, directed by Michael Curtiz

Editorial review of Black Legion, courtesy of Amazon.com

Buy Black Legion from Amazon.com Humphrey Bogart at a Klan-like meeting in Black LegionBlack Legion – One of Humphrey Bogart‘s earliest starring vehicles, this 1936 melodrama typifies the Warner Bros. touch in its modest but potent production values and Depression-era social acumen. Prompted by contemporary news reports of new neofascist groups targeting political and religious minorities, the script conjures up a shadowy, Klan-like organization preying on factory workers to set them against blue-collar immigrants. Bogart is Frank Taylor, a hard-working drill-press operator hoping for a promotion that can help him better provide for his adoring wife and cherubic young son. Frank’s coworkers reassure him he’ll snag the foreman’s post, but when a studious young Polish American gets the nod, Frank’s bitter disappointment sets the stage for the tragedy that follows.

Babes in Toyland (1961) starring Ray Bolger, Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk, Ed Wynn

Babes in Toyland [Annette Funiceello]

Babes in Toyland (1961) starring Ray Bolger, Annette Funicello, Tommy Sands, Ed Wynn

Babes in Toyland (1961) starring Ray Bolger, Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk, Ed Wynn

Buy Babes in Toyland from Amazon.com I am a large fan of Laurel and Hardy’s  March of the Wooden Soldier. It’s a wonderful children’s story for adults. Which, among other things, had a live-action version of Mickey Mouse appear. This was done with Walt Disney’s permission, since he and producer Hal Roach were close friends. In the same way, Walt Disney’s version of the story, Babes in Toyland had a comedy team impersonating Laurel and Hardy. And although I saw it many years ago as a child, I was eager to see it again as an adult.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, starring Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lorre, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Michael Ansarra

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) starring Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Robert Sterling, Frankie Avalon, produced by Irwin Allen

Buy Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea from Amazon.com Walter Pidgeon, Robert Taylor and Peter Lorre discuss the Admiral's plan in Voyage to the Bottom of the SeaFirst, I’d like to point of the positive points of Irwin Allen‘s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea — and that begins with the fine acting by all involved. Some of my favorite actors appear here, including Walter Pidgeon (Forbidden Planet), Peter Lorre (M), etc.

The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe - DVD

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe - DVDThe Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe

Buy The Day the Earth Stood Still from Amazon.com The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the classic science fiction movies, and with good reason. The acting is excellent, as are the special effects and cinematography – and with a message that still resonates, decades later.

The Great Dictator - where Charlie Chaplin mocks Nazism in general, and Adolph Hitler in particular

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator, starring Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert



The Great Dictator, possibly the most well-known of Charlie Chaplin’s films, was a timely satire on Nazisim and fascism in general, and Adolph Hitler in particular. In it, Charlie Chaplin plays a double role — €” Adenoid Hynkel, autocratic dictator of Tomania who blames the Jewish people for all of society’s ills, and a Jewish Barber who happens to be the spitting image of Hynkel.

I'll Be Seeing You, starring Joseph Cotton and Ginger Rogers, with Shirley Temple

I’ll Be Seeing You

I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) starring Joseph Cotten, Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple

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In short, I‘ll Be Seeing You is a wonderful film.  It’s set towards the end of World War II, where a veteran (played very well by Joseph Cotten) is suffering from what we would now call PTSD.  He’s jumping at any sound, and thinks that he’s likely to be attacked at any moment. His doctors at the VA are letting him out from the psych ward, to see how well he’s able to function in normal society. On his train ride, he meets a beautiful young lady (played very well by Ginger Rogers), a lady who’s also out on furlough — from prison.