19 August 2010
The Great Dictator (1940)
We've just discovered the most wonderful, the most marvellous poisonous gas.
So basically: Adenoid Hynkle has taken over Tomania and turned it into a dictatorship, one that closely parallels Nazi Germany. When a young Jewish barber with amnesia, who greatly resembles the Dictator, is released from the hospital after many years, he is shocked to discover the state of his country. With the help of one of the army's commanding officers, who just happens to be a friend of the barber's from their time in the last war, he tries to escape to Osterlich in army guise.
I do think this is one of Chaplin's finest. It's funny and serious at the same time. Although, Chaplin has said he wouldn't have made the film if he had known the extent of Hitler's atrocities, I'm very glad he did. It's also his first talking film and he does brilliantly in the new medium as well. There is probably less dialogue than most movies, but he does use his expertise in silent cinema flawlessly and just enhances the film.
This movie defs deserves to be on the list.
Ziggi seal of approval.