New Release: Modern Times Criterion DVD and Blu-ray

Modern Times movie scene with Charlie ChaplinHigh-end DVD and Blu-ray supplier Criterion Collection brought silent movie genius Charlie Chaplin to its label for the first time on Nov. 16, 2010, with the release of Chaplin’s 1936 Modern Times, the last movie for the comedian’s Little Tramp character, on DVD and Blu-ray.

The black-and-white 87-minute classic comedy, released in theaters almost a decade after talking movies were introduced, is a commentary on class struggle during the Great Depression, something audiences can still identify with now.

Criterion restored Modern Times with a new high-definition digital transfer and uncompressed monaural soundtrack for the Blu-ray edition.

Special features on the DVD and Blu-ray releases are:

  • new commentary by Chaplin biographer David Robinson
  • two new visual essays by Chaplin historians John Bengtson and Jeffrey Vance
  • new program on the film’s visual and sound effects with experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt
  • 1992 interview with Modern Times music arranger David Raskin
  • half-hour 2004 program Chaplin Today: Modern Times with filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
  • two segments removed from the film
  • three theatrical trailers
  • 1933 All At Sea home movie by Alistair Cooke featuring Chaplin, Modern Times co-star Paulette Goddard and Cooke, plus a new score by Donald Sosin and a new interview with Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge
  • 1916 The Rink Chaplin two-reeler highlighting his skill on wheels
  • and the 1967 Cuban documentary short For the First Time about a projectionist who shows Modern Times to first-time moviegoers,

The package also includes a booklet with an essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz and a piece by film scholar Lisa Stein that includes experts from Chaplin’s writing about his travels in 1931 and 1932.

The DVD was priced at $29.95 and the Blu-ray at $39.95.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.