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The Great Dictator (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, War | 7 March 1941 (USA)
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Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

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Top Rated Movies #54 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

He talks. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, Charles Chaplin's relationship with Paulette Goddard began to deteriorate, but both tried very hard to save it. In 1942, Chaplin proudly introduced her as "my wife" (a position that was always considered sketchy) at a New York engagement, but within months they were amicably divorced, and the notoriously finicky Chaplin agreed to a generous divorce settlement. In the 1960s, both Chaplin and Goddard were living in Switzerland, but having made no contact, they spotted each other at a café and had lunch together. It was their last meeting. See more »

Goofs

(at around 29 mins) When the Barber first returns to his barber shop, he hangs his hat and coat on a coat-rack that has a hand-broom hanging on it. After his fight with the Storm-Troopers, he re-enters his shop but his coat and hat are no longer on the rack, and the broom has changed location on the rack. 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.
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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 Panel Quiz Attack 25: Episode dated 13 May 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude to 'Lohengrin' , Act I
(1850) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Immortal classic movie with dual character for Chaplin as barber Jew and Dictator Hynkel
3 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

This ingenious and innovate comedy packs many moments priceless and great sense of pace, though overlong. Chaplin's satire with several classics scenes , he has dual role as a Jewish barber and dictator Hynkel, an offensive portrayal of Hitler . Then the barber is mistaken for the Hitlerian tyrant and happen bemusing events. Funny and extraordinaries acting of all casting, as the co-stars Jack Oakie as Napolini(Mussolini-alike), Henry Daniel as Gasbstich(Himmler-alike) and Billy Gilbert as Herring( Goering). Chaplin's first spoken film is brilliantly photographed by Karl Struss.This splendid film contains numerous amusing scenes, the funniest are the following : 1) The one when during the WWI the barber-soldier along with a co-pilot are flying in a turned plane without aware 2)Dictator Adenoid Hynkel doing overacting speeches including a twisted microphone 3)Hynkel playing with an enormous balloon of the world 4)The Jew-barber shaving a man fitting to Hungarian Dance number 5 of Brahms 5) when Hynkel and Napolini each try to keep his body higher than other in a barber's chair; among them.

Hitler banned movie exhibition to the Germans due to its satire of him, and put him in his death list after his proposed conquest of America.The movie is co-starred by Paulette Goddard, third of his four wives , they were married in 1936, although no announcement of the marriage was made later, one time finished The Great Dictator.The picture was released in 1940, when Chaplin had survived a moral scandal by a paternity suit but a brush with the House of Un-American Activities was the signal for the USA to refuse him re-entry from Britain and he fled to Switzerland.


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