Published on April 17th, 2007 | by Chris0
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)
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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 InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: G (General Audience)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
- Charles Chaplin
- Paulette Goddard
- Jack Oakie
- Reginald Gardiner
- Henry Daniell
- 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
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.