8.4/10
202,899
279 user 111 critic

The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, War | 7 March 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director:

Charles Chaplin

Writer:

Charles Chaplin
Reviews
Popularity
3,621 ( 213)
Top Rated Movies #56 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Chaplin ... Hynkel - Dictator of Tomania / A Jewish Barber
Jack Oakie ... Napaloni - Dictator of Bacteria
Reginald Gardiner ... Schultz
Henry Daniell ... Garbitsch
Billy Gilbert ... Herring
Grace Hayle ... Madame Napaloni
Carter DeHaven ... Bacterian Ambassador (as Carter De Haven)
Paulette Goddard ... Hannah
Maurice Moscovitch ... Mr. Jaeckel (as Maurice Moscovich)
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Jaeckel
Bernard Gorcey ... Mr. Mann
Paul Weigel Paul Weigel ... Mr. Agar
Chester Conklin ... Barber's Customer
Esther Michelson Esther Michelson ... Jewish Woman
Hank Mann ... Storm Trooper Stealing Fruit
Edit

Storyline

20 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 been hospitalized since 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, whom 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 desire for world domination, starting with the invasion of neighboring Osterlich, which may be threatened by Benzino Napaloni, the dictator of neighboring ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He talks. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Hynkel's storm troopers are wearing WWI-era, Imperial-German spiked helmets (Pickelhauben) with their top spikes removed. Furthermore, they are wearing them reversed, i.e. what is actually the neck guard became the front visor, and vice versa. See more »

Goofs

(at around 16 mins) At Hynkel's speech in the beginning the position and length of his tie changes from cut to cut. 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

[Prologue] 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

The World War 1918 See more »

Alternate Versions

In Italy, all the scenes that involved Napaloni's wife were cut from the movie to respect Benito Mussolini's widow, Rachele. The complete version wasn't seen until 2002. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Comedy Movies: 1940s (2014) 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 »

User Reviews

 
You, the people, have the power!
5 August 2017 | by areatwSee all my reviews

The tagline of 'The Great Dictator' is 'the comedy masterpiece', and I couldn't think of a better line to sum this film up. It's a hilarious political satire, but it also delivers a vitally important message. This film was released at the time when Hitler was at the height of his power and the main character, dictator Hynkel, is obviously a reference to him.

Charlie Chaplin is simply outstanding in this film in what was his first spoken role. To play two completely different characters, Hynkel and the Jewish barber, so convincingly in the same film is truly remarkable. Chaplin's speech at the end, which is very much HIS speech even though he's playing a character, is a piece of cinema I will never forget. Such a powerful, moving and compelling speech that remains relevant even today.

Making a comedy out of such a tragedy is risky business, but Chaplin's anti-fascist message ensured it wasn't taken the wrong way. 'The Great Dictator' is a hilarious but meaningful and powerful film. A brilliant piece of cinema.


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 279 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Instagram | Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Esperanto

Release Date:

7 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dictator See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura Hills, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$969,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed