Anti-Semitism -- Drama, Facism -- Drama, Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 -- Drama, Mistaken identity -- Drama

The Great Dictator


Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Reginald Gardiner, Jack Oakie,

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The physical resemblance between the Little Tramp and another famous man with a small black moustache was not lost on Charlie Chaplin. In his first all-talking picture, he plays a Jewish barber and his double, the dictator Adenoid Hynkel. As Hynkel and his henchmen engineer the persecution of Jews and the invasion of a neighboring nation, the amnesiac barber may be the only person innocent enough to stop them. Spewing Germanic gibberish or dancing a dreamy pas de deux with a globe-balloon, Chaplin exploits the deflating power of parody, but in the finale he abandons both character and comedy to deliver an impassioned plea for tolerance.

Juliet Clark
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Roland Totheroh
  • Karl Struss
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 127 mins
  • Janus Films/Criterion Collection

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

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Chaplin in the limelight (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, George Kaltsounakis, 2004

The Chaplin collection volume one (review), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 2003

Chaplin: a life in pictures (distributor materials), Warner Bros., David Robinson, 2003

The great dictator (program note), Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, 2002

Chaplin at the Castro (article), SF Weekly, Gregg Rickman, 1998

Correspondence. Charlie Chaplin's collection. (correspondence), Interama, Nicole Jouve, 1997

'Chaplin' moves to classic to front shelves (article), Los Angeles Times, Dennis Hunt, 1992

Charlie by the bay (article), The Californians, Mylène Dressler, 1989

Chaplin tribute (other), Variety, Roy Chartier, 1989

After the gold rush (article), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 1989

Displaying 10 of 34 publicly available documents.

View all The Great Dictator documentation on CineFiles.