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

5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, didn't expect too, but long, takes some determination to make to the end., August 2, 2017
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This review is from: The Great Dictator (Amazon Video)
Long, very long, but totally worth it. Just have to remember the subject matter and time it was created. I didn't expect to like it, but days later I caught myself telling people about it. Obviously one of the greatest speeches EVER at the end, and it was a long slow build to it, but I enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IN THE MIDST OF FUNNY YOU FIND SERIOUS TRUTH, March 15, 2017
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This review is from: The Great Dictator (Amazon Video)
It is funny that a man known for silence spoke one such a influential speech. I had seen this movie when I was 17.5 years old and had not known the name of it until recently at 35 years old. Though I had wanted to see the movie again this entire time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You DON'T want to live your life without having seen this movie!, November 5, 2013
By 
RunningTooSlow (Northern Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
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What a classic! Charlie Chaplin's first "talkie" movie is a funny yet poignant look at the human condition, by contrasting the power hungry dictator (unmistakable reference to Hitler) with a humble tailor from the small town. This story borrows from the classic Mark Twain story of "The Prince and the Pauper," but instead of the two *wanting* to switch places, circumstances throw the two into places they didn't want to be in. Oddly enough, Chaplin stated later that he would not have made the film had he known about the actual horrors of the Nazi concentration camps at the time, but it's knowing of the horrors that makes this film even more important of a warning. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 92% rating, which is almost unheard of!
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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


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


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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