Charles Chaplin

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator

In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona. Chaplin, in his first pure talkie, brings his sublime physicality to two roles: the cruel yet clownish “Tomainian” dictator and the kindly Jewish barber who is mistaken for him. Featuring Jack Oakie and Paulette Goddard in stellar supporting turns, The Great Dictator, boldly going after the fascist leader before the U.S.’s official entry into World War II, is an audacious amalgam of politics and slapstick that culminates in Chaplin’s famously impassioned speech.

Film Info

  • Charles Chaplin
  • United States
  • 1940
  • 125 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #565

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin experts Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran
  • The Tramp and the Dictator (2001), Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft’s documentary paralleling the lives of Chaplin and Hitler, including interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and others
  • Two new visual essays, one by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and one by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Color production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother Sydney
  • Barbershop sequence from Sydney Chaplin’s 1921 film King, Queen, Joker
  • Deleted barbershop sequence from Chaplin’s 1919 film Sunnyside
  • Rerelease trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Michael Wood, Chaplin’s 1940 New York Times defense of his movie, a reprint from critic Jean Narboni on the film’s final speech, and Al Hirschfeld’s original press book illustrations

Cover design by Olly Moss

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin experts Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran
  • The Tramp and the Dictator (2001), Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft’s documentary paralleling the lives of Chaplin and Hitler, including interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and others
  • Two new visual essays, one by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and one by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • Color production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother Sydney
  • Barbershop sequence from Sydney Chaplin’s 1921 film King, Queen, Joker
  • Deleted barbershop sequence from Chaplin’s 1919 film Sunnyside
  • Rerelease trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Michael Wood, Chaplin’s 1940 New York Times defense of his movie, a reprint from critic Jean Narboni on the film’s final speech, and Al Hirschfeld’s original press book illustrations

Cover design by Olly Moss

The Great Dictator
Cast
Charles Chaplin
Adenoid Hynkel, dictator of Tomainia & a Jewish barber
Jack Oakie
Benzino Napaloni, dictator of Bacteria
Reginald Gardiner
Schultz
Henry Daniell
Garbitsch
Billy Gilbert
Herring
Grace Hayle
Madame Napaloni
Carter De Haven
Bacterian ambassador
Wheeler Dryden
Schtick, Hynkel's ambassador
Paulette Goddard
Hannah
Maurice Moscovich
Mr. Jaeckel
Emma Dunn
Mrs. Jaeckel
Bernard Gorcey
Mr. Mann
Paul Weigel
Mr. Agar
Chester Conklin
Barbershop customer
Eddie Dunn
Storm troopers
Eddie Gribbon
Hank Mann
Peter Lynn
Dick Alexander
Leo White
Stanley J. Sandford
1918 soldier
Lucien Prival
Officer
Esther Michelson
Ghetto dwellers
Nellie V. Nichols
Nita Pike
Secretaries
Florence Wright
Harry Semels
Vegetable cart owner
Leland Hodgson
Battery commander
Bob Ryan
Captain
Credits
Director
Charles Chaplin
Screenplay
Charles Chaplin
Music
Charles Chaplin
Music
Meredith Willson
Musical direction
Meredith Willson
Assistant directors
Dan James
Assistant directors
Wheeler Dryden
Assistant directors
Bob Meltzer
Directors of photography
Karl Struss, A.S.C.
Directors of photography
Roland Totheroh
Art direction
J. Russell Spencer
Set decoration
Ed Boyle
Props
Clem Widrig
Special effects
Ralph Hammeras
Special effects
Jack Cosgrove
Makeup
Ed Voight
Fim editor
Willard Nico
Sound
Percy Towsend
Sound
Glenn Rominger
Production manager
Alfred Reeves

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