The Great Dictator / Diktátor

fiction / 1940 / USA / bw / 124 min.

The looming threat of a military conflict sped up Charles Chaplin’s decision to make a contribution to the protection of freedom and its ideals. In his film The Great Dictator, he took a stand of categorical refusal towards fascism and its leaders. With the whole world watching, he uncovered the wretchedness and cruel ludicrousness of Adolf Hitler and captured the abnormality and derangement of fascism: Chaplin’s dictator Hynkel merges sentiment with animalistic bellowing into the microphone. He’s a weak man with an inferiority complex and a pathological sense of superiority at the same time. In the film, Chaplin also portrays a persecuted Jewish barber. The two characters are oddly similar to the point of confusion… For Hynkel’s speeches, Chaplin created a fake language that meets all the requisites of rhetorical German, and later made great use of it in a love scene as well.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Screenplay: Charles Chaplin
Photography: Roland Totheroh, Karl Struss
Editor: Willard Nico
Music: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Paulette Goddard, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert, Maurice Moscovich, Emma Dunn, Grace Hayle, Carter de Haven