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Modern Times Soundtrack - Now Online

By the time Modern Times was released in 1936, talking pictures had been established for almost a decade. The Chaplin archives reveal that Charlie Chaplin contemplated making Modern Times as his first “talkie”, but in the end he used sound effects, sparse recorded voices - like the factory manager on a video-surveillance screen in the men’s restrooms – and his own musical score, which he began working on in 1935.

Later the song SMILE from the film became a classic, still sung and recorded by many.

In the coming days, we’ll publish a new track from the original soundtrack once a day on Youtube so you can listen from anywhere! Subscribe to our Youtube channel and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with our daily posts.

You can also get the full soundtrack on:
- iTunes
- Spotify
- Deezer
- Amazon

Coldplay Concert Intro

Coldplay have licensed from our office the use of Chaplin’s legendary final speech from The Great Dictator to open their current “A Head Full of Dreams Tour”.

Watch the original speech here:

Timothy Brock on Restoring Charlie Chaplin’s Sound

CC with Abe Lyman Orchestra circa 1925

Chaplin’s archive does contain the entire, full, orchestrated scores. But Chaplin, as a filmmaker, was making changes all the time, sort of trial and error, and he was that way as a composer as well. He would compose a piece of music, they would make a short score of it and orchestrate it, and he would sit down with the orchestrator and tell him what to do. They’d make a full score, they’d make parts for the forty to sixty musicians, and then they would listen to it, and he’d go, “Hmm, no, I don’t like that, let’s have the oboe do this line instead, on trumpet here . . .” So players were writing stuff down all the time, because he was dictating the changes he was listening to. All of those changes were done on the parts, or on pieces of paper they attached to the parts. I found music for Modern Times on the back of laundry receipts and paper menus and things like that, whatever scraps of paper players could find at the last moment and write down some notes. - Timothy Brock

Read more about the delicate process of restoring Charlie Chaplin’s music in a new interview of Timothy Brock on Criterion’s website.