• Three Reasons: The Great Dictator Three Reasons: The Great Dictator

    Those are our three reasons. What are yours?

22 comments

  • By David Hollingsworth
    April 19, 2011
    02:52 PM

    1) The many brilliant visual gags. 2) One of Chaplin's greatest films. 3) A very strong satire, with an edge.
    Reply
  • By Robin
    April 19, 2011
    04:28 PM

    This film has few redeeming qualities. I sat down, knowing it was a Chaplin film, and watched it for twenty minutes before I realised that the character gurning in front of me was actually him. Like all vanity projects, it isn't as clever as it thinks it is.
    Reply
  • By LJ
    April 19, 2011
    04:51 PM

    1) Charles Chaplin (enough said) 2) Jack Oakie and Paulette Goddard backing him up 3) A sweet takedown of Totalitarianism
    Reply
  • By Robert
    April 19, 2011
    05:17 PM

    First off, Robin, please, LIGHTEN UP! Not everything Chaplin did was a laugh a minute vehicle. My reasons: 1) It is a brilliant satire of something that really shouldn't be satirized. There is a fine line and Chaplin danced along it brilliantly! 2) Paulette Goddard. Enough said.... 3) For this to be Chaplin's first true sound film, what a way to start! The ending speech, though a little overzealous in spots, is absolutely beautiful!
    Reply
    • By Barry Moore
      August 19, 2014
      04:39 PM

      'City Lights' and 'Modern Times' are both true sound films, both having optical soundtracks synchronized to the visuals and integral to the films' effectiveness. 'The Great Dictator' stands as Chaplin's first true talkie.
  • By Patricia
    April 19, 2011
    06:52 PM

    1. That Chaplin got away with it. 2. The "Globe" dance set to "Lohengrin" 3. Jack Oakie
    Reply
  • By JOHN POWERS
    April 19, 2011
    06:57 PM

    Chaplin's ballet with the globe is haunting and beautiful. I disagree that Hitler should not be 'satirized.' The references to what Jews went through is dated and rather patronising. Still, a must-see film which really is 'classic' (a term so often thrown about carelessly).
    Reply
  • By terry pagitt
    April 19, 2011
    07:14 PM

    First of all what are it's unredeeming qualities? I wouldn't call it a vanity project either! It is actually sublime in it's silliness. Maybe you were in the wrong mood, but the film is truly one of Chaplin's best.
    Reply
  • By John D.
    April 19, 2011
    08:53 PM

    Three reasons: 1. Chaplin's brilliant takeoff on Hitler's ranting. 2. The moral seriousness behind all the clowning. 3. His final line: "Look up, Hannah, look up..." (Hannah was his late mother's name.)
    Reply
  • By Mike
    April 19, 2011
    08:54 PM

    1) Comical materialization of Chaplin's unease with modern society (cont'd) 2) Chaplin speaking first, and virulently, against tyranny/fascism/genocide while Hollywood turned a very blind or ignorant eye 3) And finally, as someone else said...Paulette Goddard
    Reply
  • By Yorgo Douramacos
    April 19, 2011
    11:13 PM

    First of all, who are any of us to deny Chaplin his vanity. The man tended it, cultivated it and earned every ounce. He made The Little Tramp. What have you done? So, why The Great Dictator? 1. For all of its vainglorious craftsmanship. 2. Because those whom it makes laugh it makes cry. Those whom it doesn't make cry it makes cringe. Those who have no opinion have not seen it. 3. Because Chaplin slaved, labored and obsessed as though his character, his craft and his audience mattered.
    Reply
  • By Rob
    April 20, 2011
    12:40 PM

    1. Because Chaplin was brave enough to take on Hitler and totalitarianism before the rest of the world did 2. Because the visual gags, most especially the globe scene, are so precious in their ridicule of a devil-man in thrall with himself and his ideas 3. Because Chaplin is a genius who made us see the world differently in ways both simple and detailed
    Reply
  • By Kim Aubry
    April 20, 2011
    02:15 PM

    My dad and his family left Paris in early 1940, managing to evade deportation by the Germans who, together with their French collaborators were arresting and deporting so many. My dad's grandparents, uncles and cousins were not as fortunate. Our family snuck through Montpelier in the south and made it to Lisbon where they waited for Nansen passports. Eventually, in May, 1940, they got to New York City. It was hot. Unbearably hot. The family was bunking with friends on West 72nd Street in Manhattan. No air conditioning. No air. No breeze. Limited English. They noticed that the Embassy Theater on Broadway had air conditioning and "...the new Chaplin." So on their first day in their new land, the Aubrys went to see The Great Dictator. My dad's recollection: everyone in the audience was roaring at Chaplin's slapstick. My dad's parents were quietly weeping. A coda: My dad LOVED this film, as did my brother and I. (Still do). And my dad also loved "The Producers" which we saw all together at The Embassy in June of 1968, another hot hot day!
    Reply
  • By michaelm
    April 21, 2011
    11:52 AM

    It's a good film, but nowhere in the league of "City Lights" or "The Gold Rush". It has undeniably great sequences (the globe sequence, in particular) marred a bit by some clumsy preachiness and a tone of self-importance. Still, an important effort in the Chaplin catalog, and one I plan on buying. I only hope that more Chaplin on Blu Ray will follow (The Circus, City Lights, and The Kid especially).
    Reply
  • By JeffryD
    April 23, 2011
    08:08 PM

    Not my favorite Chaplin (that honor goes to CITY LIGHTS, which I hope will be coming soon from Criterion) but the pluses definitely outweigh the few minuses, and Jack Oakie really gives the film a kick in the pants when he arrives that the film completely deserves. I have never had a problem with Chaplin's speech at the end (I think it rings truer today than in 1940) and admire him for having the guts to say what everyone here in the US should have been thinking and saying back then. His cost cutting when it came to visuals (the process work as he and Danielle are chatting in the car) is painfully bad, as are the crowd shots at various points, but the content supersedes any technical shortcomings in the film. This film makes a great double bill with Lubitsch's TO BE OR NOT TO BE, and that film also got vilified for both taste and making fun of the Nazis. The thing is, either you laugh in the face of danger or you decide to succumb-me, I'd rather be defiant to the end than capitulate, and Robin, would you rather something from Tyler Perry, who seems to be even more full of himself than Chaplin, with 1/100th talent?
    Reply
  • By Austin_B64
    May 01, 2011
    12:22 AM

    1) Chaplin's performance, which shows he was much a genius as a talking clown as he was a silent clown (and was, sadly, his only Oscar nomination as an actor). 2) The "Globe Sequence" which, very much, strips Hitler down to the bone. 3) Jack Oakie's role which gives Mussolini a much-needed kick in the...you know.
    Reply
  • By David Jendrycki
    June 05, 2011
    10:49 PM

    1) Chaplin's brillant acting in the dual role as crazed, bellowing, meglomaniac Hynkel and the quiet, humanitarian, lover of life Jewish barber. 2) The brillant pantomime, The master of the world globe scene and the barber shop shaving scene. 3) The bravery of such a script, publicly ridiculing the madness that was Hitler, long before we even entered the war.
    Reply
  • By Mr.D Hyaena
    July 11, 2011
    12:51 PM

    This was my first Chaplin movie along with Modern Times .They are the best movies for this generation and generations to come .
    Reply
  • By Zachary Nathanson
    August 05, 2011
    09:02 PM

    1. Chaplin pushed the envelope 2. The Globe 3. The Emotional speech at the very end
    Reply
  • By smithy smith smith
    March 08, 2012
    08:13 PM

    how do u watch the whole movie
    Reply
    • By smithy smith smith
      March 08, 2012
      08:14 PM

      I dont know
  • By Barry Moore
    August 19, 2014
    05:02 PM

    1) Chaplin's audacity and bravery in confronting evil with comedy; 2) the lovely Paulette Goddard as the feisty, indomitable Hannah; 3) the barber's beautiful, impassioned speech at the film's conclusion, a manifesto of humanism as relevant today as in 1940
    Reply