Modern Times Response I believe the movie Modern Times, written, directed, scored, and produced by Charlie Chaplin, was Chaplin's way to show, through comedy, the struggle between man and machine; and, people trying desperately to find intrinsic happiness during that depressive time. Mankind, as expressed by the movie, was at the mercy of the machines, the bosses, and the clocks in order to obtain the needs of food and shelter. The machines become a motif from the beginning of the film. In the montage at the beginning, the film portrays man to be quite minute compared to the machine, somewhat of a bug trying to scurry to get to the job. Machines are portrayed through out the film in this way. The scene in the beginning when is when Chaplin gets sucked into the machine and spit back out is later mirrored in the film when the Chaplin and the mechanic are working on a huge machine, and the head mechanic gets sucked into the machine.
At that point, Charlie feeds the mechanic just as the machine fed him earlier. This was Chaplin's way of expressing, through comedy, how the machinery was dehumanizing people during the Industrial Era. Everything from the machinery to the people was forced to move faster obligated by the boss and the clock.
The clock quickly became another motif in the film. The idea of "beating the clock" became very evident from the opening shot of the film; the film begins with just showing the face of a clock ticking while rolling the opening credits. Next, all of the workers were shown punching in on the time clocks. Moreover, Chaplin is shown many times punching the clock himself including him punching the clock on his breaks, at lunchtime, and at the department store. Lastly,