Skip to main content

Festival Charlie Chaplin

Modern Times



11:00 — Bâtiment des Forces Motrices


Concert film

Partenaire de prestige


Timothy Brock

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin
Modern Times

the music

The movie

Subjected to the infernal production rate of the factory, a model worker suddenly has a nervous breakdown and goes mad. From hospital, to prison, to unemployment, the Little Tramp gets caught up in the sprockets and cogs of modern industrialization. That is, until he comes across a beautiful orphaned gamine, whom he helps escape from the police. How to break free from the constraints of modern life? Chaplin provides a critical look at productivity in the early 20th century… and well beyond!

The music

By the time Modern Times was released, talking pictures had been established for almost a decade. Till now, Chaplin had resisted dialogue, knowing that his comedy and its universal understanding depended on silent pantomime. This time though he weakened to the extent of preparing dialogue, and even doing some trial recordings. Finally he thought better of it, and as in City Lights uses only music and sound effects. Human voices are only heard filtered through technological devices - the boss who addresses his workers from a television screen; the salesman who is only a voice on the phonograph.

As he had done for City Lights Chaplin composed his own musical score, giving his arrangers and conductors a harder time than usual, with the result that the distinguished Hollywood musician Alfred Newman walked off the film.

Modern Times © Roy Export S.A.S.
Music from Modern Times © Roy Export Co. Ltd. & Bourne Co. All right reserved.

OSR Live

video thumbnail


Symphonie N° 5

Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 16 February 2022 at Victoria Hall, Geneva

video thumbnail

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphonie N° 4 en si bémol majeur op. 60

Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 30 July 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva