Skip to main content

#032 Charlie Chaplin: Modern Times vs. A Countess from Hong Kong



Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Charlie Chaplin's best and worst rated films, Modern Times (1936) and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), respectively. Nate continues to get off topic every five minutes, Austin won't stop coughing, and they're both ageist. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Damien Chazelle's Whiplash (2014) and Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this clip from Buster Keaton's The Cameraman where they show off some innovative cinematography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qcAS1ZmoWA

A Countess from Hong Kong Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: Natascha, a White Russian countess, stows away on a luxury liner at Hong Kong, determined to seek a new life in America. Natascha hides in the cabin of Ogden Mears, a millionaire diplomat, thereby causing an endless stream of misunderstandings and complications.
  • Ratings: IMDb 6.1 | RT 60% C / 43% A
  • Released: 1967
  • Director: Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator, City Lights)
  • Writer(s): Charlie Chaplin
  • Cinematographer: Arthur Ibbetson (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)
  • Notable actors: Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Sydney Chaplin, Tippi Hedren
  • Budget: $3.5 million
  • Box office: $1.1 million (domestic)
  • Fun Facts:
    • Sophia Loren did not get along with Marlon Brando during shooting, especially after the day they were doing a love scene and he commented, "Did you know you have black hairs up your nostrils?"
    • While Marlon Brando had always greatly admired Charles Chaplin's work and looked upon him as "probably the most talented man the [movie] medium has ever produced," the two superstars did not get along during the shooting of this movie. In his autobiography, Brando described Chaplin as "probably the most sadistic man I'd ever met." Chaplin, on his side, said that working with Brando simply was "impossible."
    • During filming in 1966 at England's Pinewood Studios, the 77-year-old Charles Chaplin was walking around outside discussing ideas when his foot got caught in a grate and he broke his ankle. It was the first serious injury he ever sustained.
    • The first film by Charles Chaplin to not only be in widescreen (which he disliked; see A King in New York (1957)), but in color as well.

Modern Times Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.6 | RT 100% C / 95% A
  • Released: 1936
  • Director: Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator, City Lights)
  • Writer(s): Charlie Chaplin
  • Cinematographer: Ira H. Morgan and Roland Tetheroh (The Great Dictator, City Lights)
  • Notable actors: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard
  • Budget: $1.5 million
  • Box office: $1.4 million (domestic)
  • Fun Facts:
    • Discounting later parodies and novelty films, this was the last major American film to make use of silent film conventions, such as title cards for dialogue. The very last dialogue title card of this film (and thus, it can be said, the entire silent era) belongs to The Tramp, who says "Buck up - never say die! We'll get along."
    • Charles Chaplin allows the Tramp to speak on camera for the first time during the restaurant scene, but insisted that what the Tramp says be universal. Therefore, the song the Tramp sings is in gibberish, but it is possible to follow the story he tells by watching his hand gestures.
    • Charles Chaplin devoted eight days to filming the department store roller-skating scene where he skates blindfolded on the edge of the fourth floor, coming within inches of falling over the edge into the deep stairwell below. The dangerous large drop was actually a painted scene on a pane of glass carefully placed in front of the camera to align with the existing set and create the illusion of great height.

  Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0  
 

Check out this episode!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trainwreck

No contemporary filmmaker has chronicled the messy human experience with the eye and ear of a comedic cultural anthropologist like JUDD APATOW. Hits as varied as those he’s directed, like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and those he’s produced, like Superbad and Bridesmaids, are all unified by their honest, unflinching, comic look at how complicated it is to grow up in the modern world. Apatow has also built a history of helping break distinctive new comedy voices into the mainstream, from Seth Rogen to Lena Dunham, among many others. Now, in his fifth feature film as a director, Apatow again brings a portrait of an unforgettable character, and a portrayal by a breakout new comedy star, together in a film written by and starring AMY SCHUMER (TV’s Inside Amy Schumer) as a woman who lives her life without apologies, even when maybe she should apologize. U n d o u b t e d ly, S c h u m e r h a s b e e n s t e a d i ly achieving cultural notoriety of her own. From her bruta

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack? MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK: A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Inglourious Basterds

Episode 219 - Inglourious Basterds This week we are celebrating 10 years of Brad Pitt and his band of merry men wreaking havoc in Nazi Germany in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, Inglourious Basterds.