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
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 »
(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 »
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 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.
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