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'Und die wienershnitzel, und die saurkraut, aaayy!',
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This review is from: Charlie Chaplin - The Great Dictator  [DVD] (DVD)
Charlie Chaplin finally moved out of the 1920s and accepted that silent films were gone with his first 'talkie'. Yet Chaplin, like so few masters of the silent screen manages to translate to the new era of cinema.
The film begins at the very end of World War I, with Chaplin as the hapless soldier. This is classic slapstick humour and it is what made Chaplin great. He slips into a comar after a plane crash and does not wake up for almost twenty years, not realising that his native Tomania is now ruled by an insane dictator - Adenoid Hynkel (also Chaplin). His speach in pigeon German will have you howling.
Although the strength and sentimentality of the film may have faded, it is important to remember that this film was released in the first year of World War II, when it seemed likely that Europe would be under the Nazi jackboot in months. Chaplin treats the most unfunny of subjects with the most vicious of satires, and somehow managing to turn one of the most evil governments of all time into a laughing stock. However the comedy of the film is just as powerful. The site of the little barber swallowing endless coins and his clash with the 'Hairy Aryans' in the street is hysterical. Of course, it as the Great Dictator himself that provides the real star of the show. His dance with the inflatable globe is an iconic moment of cinema, and when the ruler of Bacteria (Italy), Napoloni (Jack Oakie) comes to town you will likely fall off the sofa. The food fight and the barber's chairs had me crying.
The DVD itself is superbly presented, remastered and clean picture and there are enough extras to keep you happy until doomsday. It is the film that will attract you though, and it should keep you coming back again and again.