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The Tramp and the Dictator (2002)

A look at the parallel lives of Charles Chaplin and Adolf Hitler and how they crossed with the creation of The Great Dictator (1940).

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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 <frednerk666@hotmail.com>

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1 October 2002 (USA)  »

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Der Tramp und der Diktator  »

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This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Charlie Chaplin Collection DVD for The Great Dictator (1940), released in 2003. See more »

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Features The Kid (1921) See more »

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the story of a great film and of the history around
27 December 2007 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

What can be said about one of the greatest movies in the history of cinema. It seems that a lot, and this documentary - actually a juxtaposition of two documentaries succeeds to tell a lot.

The first part focuses on the parallel biographies of Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, the genial artist who made people laugh and the horrible dictator who entered history as one of the most evil people to have ever lived. One of the revelations of the movie is that the two were born the same week, and their biographies had no few common things. Very interesting color footage from the film studios taken by Chaplin's brother Sidney add a lot and the commentaries are solid, without being extremely deep. The only other remarkable thing I learned is that Hitler may have seen 'The Great Dictator' and actually enjoyed it. The supreme beast had a sense of humor.

The second part is actually also interesting from a documentary point of view, telling the story of a few more Hitler films made during the war. The balance between art and propaganda inclined towards propaganda in most of these productions and none of course benefited from the genius of a Chaplin, so they were much less successful and are now forgotten.


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