The Great Dictator

Film

Comedy

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Time Out says

Chaplin acts the roles of Hitler (alias Adenoid Hynkel) and a Jewish barber who returns as an amnesiac, decades after an accident in World War I, totally unaware of the rise of Nazism and the persecution of his people. The representation of Hitler is vaudeville goonery all the way, but minus the acid wit and inventive energy that Groucho Marx managed in his impersonation of authoritarianism gone berserk in Duck Soup. Mr Nobody is eventually carted away to a concentration camp, which leads to a reversal of roles when the barber escapes and is mistaken for Hynkel on the eve of the invasion of Austria. Cue for an impassioned speech about freedom and democracy calculated to jerk tears out of the surliest fascist, in a manner startlingly similar to Hitler's very own delivery.

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Martin

This is a comment on VG's review of the film. "Vaudeville goonery"? Were you by any means intoxicated when watching this movie? Beneath the "Vaudeville goonery" there were always a profound element in Chaplin's movies and The Great Dictator is not an exception. "Calculated to jerk tears"? It's the best speech I have read/heard so far. It turns out that the speech can be applied even today and probably for a long time. It appeals to the human virtues and makes an obvious but strong case. You would have to be cynical beyond comprehension to call this a "calculated to jerk tears"-speech. Or maybe just not have paid much attention.

Martin

This is a comment on VG's review of the film. "Vaudeville goonery"? Were you by any means intoxicated when watching this movie? Beneath the "Vaudeville goonery" there were always a profound element in Chaplin's movies and The Great Dictator is not an exception. "Calculated to jerk tears"? It's the best speech I have read/heard so far. It turns out that the speech can be applied even today and probably for a long time. It appeals to the human virtues and makes an obvious but strong case. You would have to be cynical beyond comprehension to call this a "calculated to jerk tears"-speech. Or maybe just not have paid much attention.