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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on 10 April 2014
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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on 17 June 2011
An amazing and couragepus film for its time. What would have become of Chaplin if 'der Fooey' had won and gone on to conquer America?
As it was, mockery of Hitler and his pomposity was just what was needed to counteract the admiration that he was gaining in some quarters. Particularly chilling is when one of the great Dictator's henchmen announces that they now have a 'poison gas that can kill absolutely everything' - before we had even heard of Zyklon B. The last scene is a bit Hollywood schmaltzy though.
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on 24 April 2015
Another great Charlie Chaplin movie with lots of laugh-out-loud moments & a truly great closing speech about humanity!
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on 22 June 2015
Chaplain at his best
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on 20 May 2013
not my favourite of Chaplin's films, but still worth it. Showed it to my kids too - good way to discuss a bit of history!
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on 17 September 2011
The film is anti-Nazi, and for the late 1930s and in the USA, this is a bold step. We see the terrorism inflicted on the Jewish population as stormtroopers steal their goods and attack those who oppose them. Hitler and Goring are shown as idiots, and some of this is very funny indeed, notably the globe sequence, which uses music from Parisfal as an appropriate background. The excellent Henry Daniell plays Garbage, aka Goebells as a rather more intelligent subordinate, but all the more sinister for that. There are some very funny moments here which hark back to Chaplin's career as a slapstick comedian (the revolving gun and rolling shell in the early sequences come to mind).

However there are a number of flaws. Perhaps the most important are the plot contrivances necessary to ahve the happy ending without recourse to war or assassination. The crucial hinges are firstly that Hynkel allows himself to be wholly unguarded and so has an accident and is thus hauled off by unsuspecting stormtroopers to a concentration camp. Dictators such as Hitler and Stalin never left themselves without a strong complement of guards so this could never have happened. Likewise, the barber and his ally (a proto-Stauffenberg figure)escape a concentration camp just like that - there's no explanation and we're not shown how. Again, implausible. Finally, what happens after the speech at the end? We are led to believe that the lions lie down with the lambs and all live in peace and happiness, which is a little idealistic and optimistic.

The scenes in the concentration camp are rather distasteful, but it is worth that these places were prison camps not death camps until 1942, but even so, with the anachronistic use of hindsight they don't appear at all funny now. Although it is good to attack dictatorship and defend human rights, it might have been better had Chaplin attack what was the most murderous regime in the world at the time - that of the USSR, but given Chaplin's politics he was presumably ignorant or blind to its faults.

There is a commentary by a French film maker which is ok, but the comments in the film about poison gas are more likely to refer to the use of such in the 1914-1918 war rather than being a prophecy as to the gas chambers, and to state that in 1939/40 no one was opposing Germany reveals a basic lack of historical knowledge.

In all a good film and an important one historifcally, but probably a little over-egegd for the reasons outlined above.
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