Narrated by Sydney Pollack, film critic Richard Schickel's dazzling two-hour plus documentary to one of the towering figures in film: Charles Chaplin. Hardcore Chaplin fans may not find ... See full summary »
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Explores the making of Charles Chaplin's first "talkie" The Great Dictator (1940) and draws many things that between Chaplin and Hitler had in common. The film contains colour home movie footage of the film's production which where shot by Charles' brother Sydney. These never before seen films were discovered by his daughter Victoria while looking though an old suitcase she found in the basement. The raw footage gives us an alternate insight to Chaplin's classic film which started production years before Adolf Hitler was seen as a major threat in the western world. Written by
Luke Winterton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was spurred on by Charlie Chaplin's film "The Great Dictator"--a film in which he made fun of but also warned the world of the evil beast, Adolph Hitler. And, not surprisingly, it is included on the DVD for "The Great Dictator".
It begins by discussing similarities between the two men--such as being born the same month of the same year. And, how the two were polar opposites--Hitler was never accused of being the funniest man on the planet. However, much of the film was not about their similarities and differences but was more of a 'making of' featurette. It discussed such things as the obsessive nature of Chaplin and his directorial style as well as the reaction to the film when it was released.
My reason for watching this, more than any, was that it was made by Kenneth Brownlow--one of the foremost experts on silent comedy and who had created the very best documentaries on Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd. Secondly, I love Chaplin's full-length films--though I should admit that "The Great Dictator" is among my least favorite of these films. Folks who adore this film would probably get a bit more out of the documentary. I also really preferred his film "Unknown Chaplin" (also by Brownlow) as it gave much more insight into Chaplin's directorial style. Still, it's well worth seeing and offers a few really nice insights into "The Great Dictator".
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