8.5/10
138,281
199 user 116 critic

The Great Dictator (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, War | 7 March 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,399 ( 590)
Top Rated Movies #54 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

City Lights (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee
The Circus (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Limelight (1952)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce
Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Seven Samurai (1954)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Napaloni - Dictator of Bacteria
...
...
...
Herring
Grace Hayle ...
Madame Napaloni
Carter DeHaven ...
Bacterian Ambassador (as Carter De Haven)
...
Hannah
Maurice Moscovitch ...
Mr. Jaeckel (as Maurice Moscovich)
...
Mrs. Jaeckel
Bernard Gorcey ...
Mr. Mann
Paul Weigel ...
Mr. Agar
...
Barber's Customer
Esther Michelson ...
Jewish Woman
Hank Mann ...
Storm Trooper Stealing Fruit
Edit

Storyline

Twenty years after the end of WWI in which the nation of Tomainia was on the losing side, Adenoid Hynkel has risen to power as the ruthless dictator of the country. He believes in a pure Aryan state, and the decimation of the Jews. This situation is unknown to a simple Jewish-Tomainian barber who has since been hospitalized the result of a WWI battle. Upon his release, the barber, who had been suffering from memory loss about the war, is shown the new persecuted life of the Jews by many living in the Jewish ghetto, including a washerwoman named Hannah, with whom he begins a relationship. The barber is ultimately spared such persecution by Commander Schultz, who he saved in that WWI battle. The lives of all Jews in Tomainia are eventually spared with a policy shift by Hynkel himself, who is doing so for ulterior motives. But those motives include a want for world domination, starting with the invasion of neighboring Osterlich, which may be threatened by Benzino Napaloni, the dictator ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once again - the whole world laughs! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 March 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dictator  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some reports refute Charles Chaplin's claims of ignorance as to the true extent of Nazi atrocities, stating that Chaplin was very much aware of the various goings-on, but decided to make the film anyway as an attack on Nazi ideology. See more »

Goofs

(at around 54 mins) Hynkel kicks the globe balloon with the heel over his shoulder, thus the balloon is on a curved trajectory towards the window. In the following shot, the balloon moves just straight up- and downwards. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Cards: Note, any resemblance between Hynkle the Dictator and the Jewish Barber is purely co-incidental.
Title Cards: This is a story of a period between two World Wars - an interim in which Insanity cut loose. Liberty took a nose dive, and Humanity was kicked around somewhat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film is obviously a satire on Adolf Hitler, represented by Adenoid Hynkel, and its story is based on Hynkel looking exactly like "a Jewish barber": both are played by Charles Chaplin. But it begins with a notice: "Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charlie Chaplin: The Forgotten Years (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quintet in E, Op. 13 No. 5: Minuet
(uncredited)
Music by Luigi Boccherini
Played on piano a bit by Charles Chaplin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
We think too much and feel too little.
23 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was surprised and impressed to find out this movie was released in 1940, before the United States entered World War II. On the surface, satirizing something as solemn and horrible as Nazi Germany could be misconstrued as rash. But Chaplin's brilliance isn't limited to making a joke out of everything. In fact, the seriousness of his message wouldn't have been nearly as valid if not for the excellent use of humor in this movie along with the moments of stark drama blended in. Drama alone wouldn't have had the bite and resonance that this film did. Laughing at someone (Adenoid Hynkel) can be the best way to attack them, while laughing with someone (the Jewish Barber) can be the best way to love them. In the Jewish Barber's final speech, I forgot for a moment that the war he was talking about happened more than half a century ago. They are words that have meaning now, and in any time of war. For this reason I believe the film did far greater good than harm, as it still has the same profound effect today.


97 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Chaplin's worst? alexbrownson
charlie chaplin's speech at the end neongod64
Adenoid Hynkel Calvero_
It's 88th at the top 250... conartist
Another goof. dublineracrobat
is he talking German scarecrow2022
Discuss The Great Dictator (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?