The Great Dictator
Charles Chaplin, USA, 1940o
Chaplin plays two totally opposite roles in his first "talkie," giving a superb display of his boundless talent for both inspired comedy and powerful drama. One of his masterfully drawn characters is a Jewish barber facing the constant threat of storm troopers and religious persecution. The other is the great dictator, Hynkel, a brilliant lampoon of Adolph Hitler that is awesome proof of Chaplin's pantomime genius. The movie's famous highlight comes in its final scene, when Chaplin steps out of character and addresses the camera with an eloquent plea for the triumph of reason and humanity over mindless militarism.
Chaplin is the transcendent figure in the history of cinema—he put the cinema into history with his comedy, and here—in his devastating comic mockery of Adolf Hitler and denunciation of the tyrant's hateful and world-dominating madness—he turns his comedy into an act of vast historical moment.Richard Brody
Das teutonisch angehauchte Kauderwelsch ist längst zum Erkennungszeichen des erfolgreichsten Chaplin-Films aller Zeiten geworden. The Great Dictator hat entgegen vieler Befürchtungen schon bald nach der Premiere seinen Siegeszug rund um den Globus angetreten. Es war der erste amerikanische Film, der gegen Nazi-Deutschland unmissverständlich Position bezog.Marli Feldvoss