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The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, War | 7 March 1941 (USA)
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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
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3,930 ( 481)
Top Rated Movies #55 | Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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:

The Comedy Masterpiece! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,000,000, 31 December 1940

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,000,000, 31 December 1940
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German spoken by the dictator is complete nonsense. The language in which the shop signs, posters, etc in the "Jewish" quarter are written is Esperanto, a language created in 1887 by Dr L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish Jew. See more »

Goofs

(at around 53 mins) When Adenoid Hynkel climbs the curtains his left leg is up/down between shots. 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

The film is obviously a satire on Adolf Hitler, represented by Adenoid Hynkel, and its story is based on Hynkel looking exactly like "a Jewish barber": both are played by Charles Chaplin. But it begins with a notice: "Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental". See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in Words (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Hungarian Dance No. 5
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played on the radio during the shaving scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An entertaining comedy with a great end speech
2 November 2008 | by MatrixGSee all my reviews

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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