1940s The Great Dictator (1940)

Published on April 17th, 2007 | by Chris

0

The Great Dictator (1940)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On April 17, 2007
Last modified:October 4, 2012

Summary:

I highly recommend this film, if nothing else just to see Chaplin in a rare speaking role, and his ability to execute such a serious-yet-dead-funny picture.

The Great Dictator (1940)Man, all I can say about this one is this. Excellent stuff. This gem from 1940 pits master comedian Charlie Chaplin absolutely tearing apart the European dictatorships of the time. Before the US even got involved.

You'll find yourself in a mix of laughing hysterically and just in jaw-dropping disbelief at some of the scathing parody here. Chaplin brilliantly pulls off the dual role of 'Adenoid Hynkel' and 'The Jewish Barber', and Jack Oakie's 'Benzino Napolini' is equally magnificent.

However, at times the gags can get a little tiresome and repetitive. Especially some of the faux-Deutsch ramblings. And the whole bit with the 'balloon' globe went on just a hair too long, and had a rather predictable ending... But for some reason you could almost imagine "that other guy" doing the same thing....

And the end of the film brings a downright somber ending to the rest of the laugh-fest. However I think this is 100% on purpose, and brings the entire film to a sharp point. Without it, I doubt it would have carried the same punch, and would have been dismissed as just another comedic journey. The monologue here is one of the best written and moving bits I've heard in a long time.

I highly recommend this film, if nothing else just to see Chaplin in a rare speaking role, and his ability to execute such a serious-yet-dead-funny picture.

The Great Dictator (2 Disc Special Edition) The Great Dictator (2 Disc Special Edition)
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Description

Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft's absorbing documentary, "The Tramp and the Dictator," backgrounds Chaplin and Hitler (who were born a few days apart) and gives a detailed account of The Great Dictator's production...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: G (General Audience)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Paulette Goddard
  • Jack Oakie
  • Reginald Gardiner
  • Henry Daniell

Features

  • The U.S. was not yet in World War II when Chaplin leveled his comedy arsenal at Der Fuehrer by playing the dual roles of Hitler-like Adenoid Hynkel and a Jewish barber who is a dead-ringer look-alike for der Nutsie. Puns, sight gags and slapstick abound as Chaplin skewers fascism, balancing his attack with poignant scenes of a ghetto in the clutches of storm-trooping terror. Immortal bits include

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible irony and maybe the greatest speech ever made in a movie, November 24, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Dictator (Amazon Video)
How ironic that maybe the greatest speech in the history of movies was given by the very actor who was renowned for silent movies.How ironic that the 2 dictators parodied in this movie very likely watched this movie.How ironic that Charlie's speech mentioned the aeroplane and radio as great tools to unite people,while little did he know that the internet could be an even greater tool to unite people,and with this very speech itself being a great tool to unite people when shared over the internet!

I found the entire movie entertaining,but in my view the speech alone makes it merit a 5 star rating.Here is the text of the speech:

"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... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars best hero actor, March 26, 2017
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great on disk i was looking for this on dvd and has a 2nd disk for the trailers and more on the poltics on this classic great movie that was so miss understood
his speach at the end was so anti nazi and bring out evan back then in his speach civil writes and much what still goes on.. chaplin was way ahead his time and brings out the hate about jews and hitler before the war. . nobody would listen in those days about this. real great actor and devoted to the truth about the nazis hate of the jews and what was going on before ww 11 and what did happen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great Chaplin, May 9, 2015
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The Great Dictator, The most successful film Charlie Chaplin ever made. It was released in 1940 and before our country entered the war. Chaplin is the Great Dictator of Tomania and a simple Jewish Barber. The film came out before any really knew about the death camps and murder of 6,000,000 Jews. There is a scene were Chaplin, as the Great Dictator dances with a world shaped globe that is very haunting. Here is a man who wants to rule the World. The Jewish Barber is mistaken for The Great Dictator near the end of the film and delivers one of the greatest anti-war speeches in the History of Cinema. There is comedy and drama. The acting is great and I enjoyed the film. Chaplin is a great actor, writer and Director. There were those who were friends with Hitler in high places that did not want this film released. It was an important film at the time and help Americans realize that Hitler was dangerous.
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The Great Dictator (1940) Chris

Summary: I highly recommend this film, if nothing else just to see Chaplin in a rare speaking role, and his ability to execute such a serious-yet-dead-funny picture.

4.5


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



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