Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Great Dictator

Satire is always tricky to tackle. It can either work or flop. Most times it doesn't work. It's only those rare examples that stand out.

In this case, it's Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator. It's clear early on that it's a jab towards Hitler and Nazism, and yet it's still amusing. No surprise that it got banned in Germany and other Nazi-occupied countries.

This was also Chaplin's first sound film. And boy, does he use it well. Whether it be Hynkel's gibberish German or the barber's impassioned speech, Chaplin knew how to capture the essence from a good scene.

The Great Dictator, although not my favorite Chaplin, provided enough amusement for me. Chaplin wanted to make a statement with this film and he succeeded in doing so. A film that has stood the test of time.

My Rating: *****


  1. This is my favorite Chaplin, right alongside Limelight (in my opinion one of the most criminally under seen films out there). Mostly for the message and the speech, but also because I really liked the way Chaplin made the film apart of its time. He later said had he known the true extent the Nazis atrocities he never would have made it, I think looking back it would have been all the more reason to.


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