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
When Charles Chaplin first announced that he was going to make this film, the British government, whose policy at the time was one of appeasement towards Nazi Germany, announced that they would ban it. By the time of the film's release though, Britain was at war with Germany and in the midst of the blitz, so the government's attitude towards the film had completely changed toward a film with such obvious value as propaganda. See more »
(at around 30 mins) When the Jewish Barber cleans the word "Jew" off his shop window, a dotted line can be seen to mark where the W would be painted again for the next take. See more »
Note, any resemblance between Hynkle the Dictator and the Jewish Barber is purely co-incidental.
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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[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 Great Dictator is Chaplin's parody about the Nazi Germany with scenes that make you laugh no matter in what mood you are.
Beside this ,from my point of view the movie's best part is the superb speech by the Jewish Barber ,a speech's thoughts that if would existed a little bit in Hitler's mind too it would had a chance for the world too pas a second world war.
The Speech: "I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor.
That's not my business.
I don't want to rule or conquer anyone.
I should like to help everyone: Jew, gentile, black man, white.
We all want to help one another.
Human beings are like that.
We want to live by each other's happiness, not misery.
We don't want to hate one another.
In this world, the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into bloodshed.
We have developed speed but have shut ourselves in.
Machinery has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little.
More than machinery we need humanity.
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost...
The airplane and radio have brought us closer.
These inventions cry out for the goodness in man, cry out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all.
Even now my voice is reaching millions, millions of despairing men, women and children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me I say, do not despair.
The misery upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.
The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took will return to the people.
So long as men die liberty will never perish.
Soldiers, don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you, regiment your lives, tell you what to think and feel, who drill you, treat you like cattle and use you as cannon fodder.
Don't give yourselves to these men, machine men with machine minds and machine hearts.
You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in you.
Don't hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural hate.
Soldiers, don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty! St Luke says, "The Kingdom of God is within man." Not in one man nor a group of men, but in all men. In you! You have the power to create machines, the power to create happiness.
You have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
In the name of democracy, let us use that power.
Let us all unite, let us fight for a new world, a world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age security.
Promising these things, brutes have risen.
But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.
Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.
Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to the happiness of all.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us unite!"
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