The Great Dictator
Once again - the whole world laughs!
Chaplin plays two totally opposite roles in his first "talkie," giving a superb display of his boundless talent for both inspired comedy and powerful drama. One of his masterfully drawn characters is a Jewish barber facing the constant threat of storm troopers and religious persecution. The other is the great dictator, Hynkel, a brilliant lampoon of Adolph Hitler that is awesome proof of Chaplin's pantomime genius. The movie's famous highlight comes in its final scene, when Chaplin steps out of character and addresses the camera with an eloquent plea for the triumph of reason and humanity over mindless militarism.
I really can't say much about The Great Dictator. More than almost any other film, it speaks for itself louder and more succinctly than any human other than Mr. Chaplin himself ever could. Also, I don't want to add anything to it, nor do I have the capacity. Doing so would dirty up the pristine honesty and earnestness Mr. Chaplin obviously poured into it. This is his soul laid bare, and then flayed open. It feels almost sacrilegious to try and augment or dissect it, at least personally.
The only commentary I have is that watching The Great Dictator caused a terrible sensation of depressed hilarity. I'm not angry at Mr. Chaplin for causing that strange and disorienting feeling. I'm…
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
It is amazing how time treats films. Some films lose their effect and meaning. Some stay the same. The Great Dictator gets stronger every day.
Which is odd, because when you watch Charlie Chaplin's 1940 political satire, it seems very specific to the time, and is almost the same as nearly any other WWII era propaganda film. Chaplin's portrayal of Hitler is certainly over the top, but where he differs from other portrayals is that he's not completely a caricature. Instead, through all of the slapstick, there's something humanizing about the way Chaplin plays him. He's wonderfully naive, and just seems to have boyish dreams of being a world emperor.
This is wonderfully shown…
I will always return to this film for that final monologue.
It is one of the most beautifully written speeches ever put to film.
Fiercely political. Gut-bustingly hilarious. Surprisingly heartfelt. This is the life if Adolf Hitl... Oops. I mean Adenoid Hynkel.
The Great Dictator is the classic film directed by, and staring Charlie Chaplin. I wanna thank Sven Rump for recommending me Chaplin for the Adapted April Challenge. It rekindled my interest in Charlie Chaplin's filmography, and when I spotted this movie on the Criterion Collection in the store today, it was only natural that I picked it up. I was not disappointed either. The timeless classic is as good as ever. The BluRay transfer is especially sharp and the supplements are great. The Great Dictator was here long before I was born, and will be here long after I die. This film…
Thought I would check this out in advance of Sacha Baron Cohen's newie, in case there are any interesting comparisons to be drawn. I do find some of Chaplin's material feels dated compared to Lloyd, Keaton and Laurel & Hardy, but there are some great comic set-pieces here - it's the stupid, low-key stuff like Chaplin fumbling with a live grenade that still connects. The message is much more on-the-nose than contemporary audiences are used to, and Chaplin's off-the-cuff closing speech sounds a little bit too good to be true - although perhaps it's exactly what his 1940 audience wanted, or needed, to hear.
Chaplin's first "talkie" is also my very first Chaplin film. Let's just say it won't be the last...
I've given Charlie Chaplin a lot of chances, but he just doesn't do it for me at all.
Really funny stuff. Charlie Chaplin is probably the best at this style of comedy. Charlie Chaplin's first sound movie and he's just as funny as in his silent stuff. I do wonder how this movie went over when it was released. I can't imagine somebody now making a movie mocking a very serious situation and having it go over well.
The previous Charlie Chaplin film I'd seen, The Gold Rush, was very enjoyable but ultimately just escapism. The Great Dictator is a different beast entirely. The film is a blatantly obvious satire of Nazi Germany and dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini and I applaud Chaplin for making a film like this when he did. The satire of course is very funny and bold. There are also a lot of great physical gags and Chaplin himself gives great performances as both the Jewish barber and as the dictator Hynkel. Unfortunately the film has some problems. Certain scenes go on longer than they should and there's a weird scene where the lead female just speaks to the camera. But the film's…
in 1940, The world's most famous man created a film for a public takedown of the world's most infamous man.
Chaplin is somehow able to weave in the horrors of the World War II with his brand of slapstick comedy. Any lesser artist and this mix would come off as either hallow or insensitive. But every joke that is played for a laugh leaves a biting sting to the fascist regime in his crosshairs. Each laugh compounds to form a single message to that failed artist in Berlin: We're both tramps playing pretend, and now the whole world knows.
Part of my 100 Movies, 100 Years Project, Year 1940
"We've just discovered the most wonderful, the most marvelous poison gas. It will kill EVERYBODY!"
I wasn't ready for this.
This film accomplishes something that so few films have ever done. It manages to be both a laugh-out-loud slapstick comedy as well as a searing, heartfelt, emotionally-draining humanistic drama. Charlie Chaplin shows once again that he is a master of physical comedy but he also busts out some seriously rad dramatic chops, especially during the famous ending speech. The last five minutes of this film had me in tears. Actual tears. Bravo, Mr. Chaplin.
There isn't too much I can say that hasn't already been said. This…
The Great Dictator is not an easy film to watch at times, and it’s arguably more difficult to review. It’s funny, but it’s sometimes hard to laugh at. Given what we now know, it’s perhaps even harder. It winds up walking that tightrope between importance and enjoyability, and it’s a situation where it’s almost impossible to keep the balance. Nevertheless, it’s a film that is definitely worth checking out. Read full review.
Sometimes, the simpler things are, the more enjoyable they are. Take the old computer game Pong for instance, i could play that for hours on end without getting bored and it's just two white lines knocking a white dot back and forth. The same rule applies to a lot of Charlie Chaplin work. It's simple, somewhat predictable laughs but he pulls it off so effortlessly. The Great Dictator has plenty of these 'slapstick' moments delivered with accuracy.
This was the first non-silent film Charlie Chaplin did. It was a clear platform for him to view his political beliefs quite openly and he made no attempt to hide his blatant mocking of Adolf Hitler. Whilst Chaplin was largely berated for this…