Cast: Ainsley Norman; Alexander Richard; Barber Bobby; Bergman Henry; Blystone Stanley; Chaplin Charles; Conklin Chester; Conklin Heinie; Garcia Al Ernest; Hagney Frank; Hamilton Chuck; Harmon Pat; Ingraham Lloyd; James Walter; Kimball Edward; LeSaint Edward; Low Jack; Lucas Wilfred; MacQuarrie Murdock; Malatesta Fred; Mann Hank; Messinger Buddy; Mitchell Bruce; Moran Frank; Morton James C.; Natheaux Louis; Nugent J.C.; Oliver Ted; Powell Russ; Rand John; Reynolds Cecil; Sandford Tiny; Stein Sammy; Wilson Harry; DeHaven Gloria; Delson Gloria; Goddard Paulette; McKinney Mira; Sutton Juana; Morgan Ira H.; Totheroh Roland; Nico Willard; Averill Girwood; Hunter Catherine; Steele Della; Van Meter Joe; Hall Charles D.
Taglines: He stands alone as the greatest entertainer of modern times! No one on earth can make you laugh as heartily or touch your heart as deeply…the whole world laughs, cries and thrills to his priceless genius!
Laugh . . . Cry and Thrill To his Genius . . !
You’ll never laugh as long and as loud again as long as you live! The laughs come so fast and so furious you’ll wish it would end before you collapse!
Storyline: Chaplins last ’silent’ film, filled with sound effects, was made when everyone else was making talkies. Charlie turns against modern society, the machine age, (The use of sound in films ?) and progress. Firstly we see him frantically trying to keep up with a production line, tightening bolts. He is selected for an experiment with an automatic feeding machine, but various mishaps leads his boss to believe he has gone mad, and Charlie is sent to a mental hospital… When he gets out, he is mistaken for a communist while waving a red flag, sent to jail, foils a jailbreak, and is let out again. We follow Charlie through many more escapades before the film is out.
The idea of the film was apparently given to Chaplin by a young reporter, who told him about the production line system in Detroit, which was turning its workers into nervous wrecks. In the film, Charlie becomes literally trapped in the machine and, in one of his finest patches of comic invention, is battered and buffeted by an automatic feeding machine introduced by his bosses to save time and money. Cured after his breakdown, he is arrested when he picks up a red flag that has fallen off the back of a lorry, and runs down the street to return it, exactly the same time as a left-wing demonstration comes round the corner. He meets ‘The Gamine’ in the back of the police van, who has also been arrested for stealing bread. From then on the theme is about two nondescripts trying to get along in modern times. “Smile, though your heart is breaking …”