The Great Dictator Reviews
Unusual, truly hilarious comedy with Charlie playing both Hitler-like dictator and Jewish barber. Charlie's first talky is a remarkable movie going experience, not just as comedy but as an effective commentary on the wrongness of dictatorship (the ending scene is very unexpected). Still, not quite up to par with MODERN TIMES, CITY LIGHTS, etc.
A Jewish Barber (Charles Chaplin) suffers amnesia after getting injured in the war saving a General. The barber remains contained in a hospital staying ignorant to the ascent of a tyrant Hynkel - the eccentric dictator of Tomania (Charles Chaplin again) and the condition of his kind. When he stands up to the harassing fascist soldiers after walking into the turbulent world he earns love of Hannah (Paulette Goddard) but wrath from the fascists saved timely by the General. Meanwhile Hynkel is plotting to invade Osterlich by tricking Napolini, the dictator of Bacteria into pulling back their army.
Charles Chaplin is already a legend in playing the tramp character, but Hynkel was a different ballgame for him. It is a character of aggression, superiority and eccentricity but still clumsy as the tramp. The war sequences, rich palace settings elevates the scale of the movie compared to his previous outing, an equally magnificent 'Modern Times'. Chaplin is a gifted all rounder with a profound writing talent that always portrays the triumph of looking at life in positive outset and a sense of humor. The background score is melodious and rich according the situations. Paulette Goddard looks aged and heavy compared to 'Modern Times' but retains the charm and infective energy she possessed there. The remaining actors and the technical departments do an apt job in putting together this masterpiece.
Audacious, extravagant, contemporary and darkly hilarious