The Great Dictator


D: Charles Chaplin

United Artists (Charles Chaplin)

USA 🇺🇸 1940

129 mins


W: Charles Chaplin

DP: Karl Struss & Rollie Totheroh

Ed: Willard Nico

Mus: Meredith Willson

Charles Chaplin (Herr Hynkel / A Jewish Barber), Paulette Goddard (Hannah), Jack Oakie (Napolini), Reginald Gardiner (Schultz), Henry Daniell (Garbitsch)

A Charlie Chaplin classic, although it is quite heavy-going in parts, as it pokes fun at an incredibly difficult subject (although it should be noted that the whole truth of the Nazi regime was not fully apparent when the film was released in 1940).

Chaplin does a great job aping Adolf Hitler in this satire, in which he also has a Jewish barber fighting oppression from the streets of the Ghetto.

The slapstick does work, but it's in the serious moments that the film becomes onerous, especially in the lengthy speech at the end which almost breaks the fourth wall as Chaplin instructs us all to love each other, or whatever and turns this into the very propaganda piece that it set out poking fun of in the first place.


Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator
Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator