The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator

DVD - 2011
Average Rating:
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In Chaplin's first talkie, he plays the duel role of dictator Adenoid Hynkel and a Jewish barber who is a dead-ringer look-alike for der Nutsie...and who thwarts his plans for world domination.
Publisher: [Irvington, NY] : The Criterion Collection, [2011]
Edition: Special fullscreen ed
ISBN: 9781604654233
1604654236
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (125 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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a
akirakato
Jan 23, 2017

This is a 1940 American political comedy written, directed, produced and scored by Charlie Chaplin.
Chaplin plays both a ruthless fascist dictator and a persecuted Jewish barber.
Chaplin and French film-maker René Clair viewed Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" together at a showing at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
While Clair was horrified by the power of the film, crying out that this should never be shown or the West was lost, Chaplin laughed uproariously at the film.
He used it to inspire many elements of "The Great Dictator."
Repeatedly viewing "Triumph of the Will", Chaplin could closely mimic Hitler's mannerisms, and made Hynkel's rally speech near the beginning of this film, delivering German-sounding gibberish in a caricature of Hitler's oratory style.
You could laugh your head off, if not to death.

p
Patrick_35
Jan 04, 2016

When Chaplin started production Hitler was still admired and he was told it would be a mistake to make the picture. There are a few scenes which don't work(Paulette Godard speaking directly to the camera and overacting--strange because in his silent phase Chaplin always had his cast underact) but many more that do--his mimicry of Hitler using Germanic sounding gibberish at the beginning still makes me laugh, his enounters with the storm troopers, and of course his balletic sequence with the globe. As usual, Chaplin was using his own money to finance the film so no one could tell him what to do. Not his best--I think City Lights and Modern Times are better--but certainly his bravest. And, of course, light years ahead of what anyone could put out now.

l
Libraryman1_0
May 02, 2014

Classic Chaplin film is the first "talkie" The Little Fellow would make. Charlie here plays a dual role. That of the Jewish Barber in the Ghetto and the maniacal Dictator of Tomania Adenoid Hynkel. Wonderful acting blends in with the comedic moments so neither supercede the other. An at times biting satire of the Nazis and of Adolph Hitler himself, The Great DIctator is one of Chaplin's most daring film ventures and is one to see.

m
martyrofevil
Sep 10, 2013

Definitely hilarious and impressive but I feel it's somewhat limited by it's concept.

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

Quite a bold and gutsy undertaking for The Little Tramp's first talkie at the onset of WWII. The mesmerizing, silent 'ballet' with Adenoid Hynkel poetically and symbolically bouncing the globe about was genius. And that final speech... after being muzzled for years in all those silent movies, and fueled by his disgust for fascist inhumanity, Charlie just *unleashed*!! A magnanimous social commentary from a prolific man. FIVE STARS.

j
jswolfmcguire
Jul 27, 2012

I had never seen many of Chaplin's films, and 70 years after making this movie, his genius is still very much evident in The Great Dictator. The bouncing world globe scene is funny and brilliant---I hit rewind to watch it several times. The barber giving a shave in rythm to the Hungarian Dance music is inspired and was spoofed years later when Bugs Bunny did it with the Barber of Seville cartoon. It's still just wonderful! Don't miss the scene in which 3 men try to jump in a trunk---I had to rewind several times just to laugh hard again at that. And his speech at the end was just awesome, (to use a current colloquialism), and still very relevant. Jack Oakie was great casting as Napoloni, and the others obviously gave their best for Charlie. I am now a huge Chaplin fan.

a
AtomicFez
Aug 08, 2011

Some films never age, and this is one of them.

The luminous scenes of the title character playing with the globe, and the sequence of him meeting the obvious double of Mussolini, are well-known and spoken of highly for a reason: they are wonderfully crafted bits of ballet and physical comedy respectively.

The real show-stopper is the speech at the end, which is lead into by way of about five minutes of reality being created on the screen about the invasion and occupation of Austria. Heavy handed words and message, but one has to remember the time.

At this point, word of what Hitler was doing was finally leaking out to the common people, and the USA was not yet part of the Allied forces. For Chaplin to *not* make this film would have been impossible, given his intelligence and humanitarian ethics.

m
missy2
Mar 30, 2010

An adroit study by Chaplin of Facism long before Hollywood had the nerve to criticize Hitler and his followers directly. This was a very brave film to make in the US (before the US joined the war) and before many were willing to criticize Hitler openly. This is film as social conscience and a funny film, too! Chaplin shines in his dual roles as the Fuhrer and the Little Tramp. Dated, a bit preachy, but a film that needed to be made at the time it was made. Luckily for us, Chaplin was around to make it in his own brilliant style.

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m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

Commander Shultz: "Strange, and I thought you were an Aryan." A Jewish barber: "No. I'm a vegetarian."

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel): "...I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible... Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich, and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way." (cont'd)

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel) (cont'd): "Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness -- hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent, and all will be lost." (cont'd)

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel) (cont'd): "The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world; millions of despairing men, women, and little children... victims of a system that makes men torture, and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed... the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish." (cont'd)

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel) (cont'd): "Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes... men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men! Machine men, with machine minds, and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate. Only the unloved hate; the unloved, and the unnatural." (cont'd)

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel) (cont'd): "Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written, the kingdom of God is within man -- not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power -- the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power, to make this life free, and beautiful... to make this life a wonderful adventure! Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all UNITE!" (cont'd)

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel) (cont'd): "Let us fight for a new world, a decent world, that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise! They never will! Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people! Now let us fight, to fulfill that promise! Let us fight, to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, LET US ALL UNITE!!"

m
Monolith
Mar 29, 2013

A Jewish Barber (as Adenoid Hynkel): "Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow! Into the light of hope, into the future! The glorious future, that belongs to you, to me, and to all of us. Look up, Hannah! Look up!" Mr. Jaeckel: "Hannah, did you hear that?" Hannah: "Listen..."

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