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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the most important films ever made
At 52, I have just finished watching this film for the first time. Why I waited is utterly beyond me - a truly courageous film and grave challenge to tyranny. Chaplin may have been small in size but he stands head and shoulders above nearly every other film maker of his era. The ballet with the globe and the barber's speech at the film's end are remarkable. I was very...
Published on 16 Aug 2010 by Stephen J. Ansell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A great comic
Charlie Chaplin plays 2 roles. He is a Jewish barber who fought in the First World War for the Germans as well as Nazi leader Adenoid Hynkel. We follow their two separate stories until the film culminates in the barber giving his address to the might of the Germany military.

Charlie Chaplin is funny and we get moments of ‘laugh-out-loud’ funny,...
Published 1 month ago by Alex da Silva


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the most important films ever made, 16 Aug 2010
By 
Stephen J. Ansell "Designer" (Kilmore, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
At 52, I have just finished watching this film for the first time. Why I waited is utterly beyond me - a truly courageous film and grave challenge to tyranny. Chaplin may have been small in size but he stands head and shoulders above nearly every other film maker of his era. The ballet with the globe and the barber's speech at the film's end are remarkable. I was very moved by his final words "Look up Hannah, Look up" - surely a call to his beloved mother, that he was doing all he could to be a worthy son and human being. From poverty of the workhouse, to international stardom, the highest paid man of his time lost none of his humanity, grace and total class.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A blueprint for a better world, 5 Aug 2010
This film is without a doubt one of the greatest works of art ever to emerge from Hollywood, or anywhere else for that matter. Chaplin produces (stumping up almost $1.5 million of his own money) works diligently with composer Meredith Wilson on the score, creates a beautiful script, directs every sequence perfectly and delivers an Oscar-nominated performance to boot. You literally can't ask for more. The man was a true artist, and, moved by the plight that Jews, Gypsies (Chaplin was of Romanichal descent, as I am) and other dissenters were facing under the Nazi regime in Germany, he sought to appeal directly to as many people as he could. He shone a light on the inhumanity of Hitler's Germany at a time when no other studio would make such a statement. America had yet to join the war effort and was actually avoiding critique of the Nazis for political reasons. Chaplin's peers, partners and friends begged him not to release the film, but he had something to say. A message so powerful and provocative that he broke his famous silence in order to deliver it.

But before we get to the message, let me say this: the film is funny. In fact, its downright hilarious. I laughed all the way through it, from the stunningly accurate portrayal of ignorant leadership, the clever wordplay (especially the 'banana' scene) and the simple slapstick goodness of it all. There are darker themes, and although the film stays very much a comedy until its final scene, it is poignant and moving. Nobody outside of the victims and the perpetrators knew the full extent of the horrors going on in the death camps, and Chaplin has since expressed regret that the film was too light-hearted in this area, however, casting my eye from 2010, I find it perfectly judged. The humour is not mean spirited in any way, and the portrayal of the Jews is sensitive and responsible. It took a brave man to make such a film, especially at the time he did.

At the very end of the film, Chaplin delivers arguably the most stunning speech ever recorded for a movie, and I mean that. He hadn't really spoken on film before, but when he did speak he certainly made it count. Its the sort of life affirming moment of hope that reminds you why you like movies in the first place (comparable only to "merry Christmas you wonderful old building and loan!" from Capra's classic 'Its a wonderful life') it is a direct plea to the audience for some sense as the whole world collapsed into war. It is the promise of love, hope and all that is good about life, and sadly it has yet to be fulfilled. The passion in his voice and the seriousness that emerges from the formerly clownish figure is not, as is widely misinterpreted, out of character but is in fact representative of the strength of which the individual is capable. It remains Chaplin's most enduring artistic statement, and the blueprint for a better world.

When you feel down this film will be there for you, like a light in the dark or a phone call from an old friend. They don't make movies like this anymore.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my first Charlie Chaplin blu-ray and it won't be my last!! This looks spectacular!, 15 Dec 2010
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This review is from: The Great Dictator [1940] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Was hesitant on purchasing this blu-ray from a company I never heard of...let alone one I already have on DVD. Boy was I not disappointed! This is an awesome presentation of this classic! Cannot wait to get other Charlie Chaplin blu-rays. The detail in the black and white photography is phenominal! Don't ever believe the lie that 'DVD is good enough'. There is so much more detail in the picture (even with the grain) that it still looks like film and not video. Just wish this region B blu ray had more special features. The US two disc DVD I have is full of special features. But, all in all, this film has never looked as good as it does here. Thanks for this fantastic transfer!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very pleased, 14 May 2010
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This review is from: The Great Dictator [1940] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Video quality is very good, I haven't seen this movie better before.
Extras are interesting but only on the dvd (that contains the movie as well)
Must have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Dictator DVD, 15 July 2012
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Incredibly funny film, absolutely loved it. It arrived within the estimated delivery date.

The story follows a Jewish barber who is caught in a plane crash in the first world war. He loses his memory and is in a military hospital for 20 years. When he leaves he discovers that his country is being ruled by a dictator (who looks identical to him). This dictator orders his soldiers to harass the Jewish people in order to put pressure on a Jewish man to finance his invasion of the neighboring country. With his sights on world domination the dictator invades his neighbor, but luckily he is mistaken for the barber who has escaped from a concentration camp, and the barber is mistaken for him. The barber must then give a speech in order to pretend he is the dictator and so delivers the greatest speech ever written.

The speech itself is the highlight of the film for me, it blew me away, written by Chaplin himself in 1940 it is one of the most powerful speeches I have ever heard, and is still relevant today. Everyone should hear it in my opinion, it cant be beaten. All in all 5/5 and 6/5 just for the speech.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little stereotyped . . . but GREAT all the same !, 3 July 2011
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The cartoon-like aspects of some ( repeat, some ) of the film make much of the parodying rather stereotyped - in particular, as the film was made during the war and necessarily serves, at least to some extent, as allied propoganda. But much of these most cartoon-like scenes are genuinely funny, even clever ; and the exhaltation of the kinder, "human" aspects of Man's Spirit, including the love we can and should have for one another if only we wish it, is not only touching and well carried-off ; it also reminds us of a vital message, too often forgotten, for all Humankind. The last scene of Chaplin appealing for another, better way is artistically forceful and really quite moving ; one of the best scenes in all of film history ( in my humble opinion ), almost Shakespearean in its power and its significance. The combination of comedy ( even slapstick ) and moral philosophy works, at times almost brilliantly, even if the film may today come across as a little dated and from another time. It is, therefore, a definite "Comedy Classic", and essential viewing . . . but is definitely NOT a film to be watched quite as lightly, or as even as easily, as some might think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They are in charge - the portrayal of world leaders in this film is actually realistic!, 30 July 2014
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R.Potter (Kent England) - See all my reviews
Very funny.
"they are in charge" The portrayal of world leaders in this film is REALISTIC!
Contains one of the most inspirational speeches ever.
Chaplin was probs kicked out of hollywood because of this truth telling film.
It's just genius. The first scene is classic! Free on youtube :)
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3.0 out of 5 stars A great comic, 15 Jun 2014
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Charlie Chaplin plays 2 roles. He is a Jewish barber who fought in the First World War for the Germans as well as Nazi leader Adenoid Hynkel. We follow their two separate stories until the film culminates in the barber giving his address to the might of the Germany military.

Charlie Chaplin is funny and we get moments of ‘laugh-out-loud’ funny, because of the situations, his demeanour and his reactions. “Would you like a cigarette?” is the question, “Not now” comes the response from Chaplin as he hangs from a plane.

However, the film is too long. We get far too much Hitler preachy stuff, some tiresome shouting with Jack Oakie playing the Mussolini role and a very obvious food fight. There is also a strange scene of Hitler playing with a balloon of the globe – it’s balletic but not funny. Just weird. Unfortunately, some scenes do drag on and I found myself constantly wanting a story to unfurl. I think it was a good decision by him to make this film as he really does go to town with mocking Hitler.
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3.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT DICTATOR., 30 May 2014
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I chose this rating because I am used to seeing charlie chaplin in silen films and this was a very boring talkie, that went on too long.
I am still a great fan of charlie but will only buy silent films from now on because that is where his talent lies, and I am considering purchasing City Lights or The tramp especially if you can offer them at a reduced price.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hysterically funny in parts., 10 April 2014
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An absolute classic and still worth watching today with the current political climate. In parts it had my laughing out loud, and giggling like a young school boy. The aeroplane scene were he is semiconscious and hanging upside down has to be one of cinema's all time funniest scences.
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The Great Dictator [1940] [Blu-ray]
The Great Dictator [1940] [Blu-ray] by Charlie Chaplin (Blu-ray - 2010)
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