Chaplin Sundays: The Great Dictator (1940)

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

After dedicated service in the Great War, a Jewish barber (Charles Chaplin) spends years in an army hospital recovering from his wounds, unaware of the simultaneous rise of fascist dictator Adenoid Hynkel (also Chaplin) and his anti-Semitic policies. When the barber, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Hynkel, returns to his quiet neighborhood, he is stunned by the brutal changes and recklessly joins a beautiful girl (Paulette Goddard) and her neighbors in rebelling.

"The Great Dictator is a masterpiece that isn't just a delightful comedy and a grim agitprop drama, but a spookily accurate insight into Hitler's psychology." - Nicholas Barber, (2021)

"[The Great Dictator] is startling in its depictions of violence, which stand out less for their outright brutality than for how memorably they depict the Nazis’ betrayal of everyday humanity. And it's renowned as well as for its resourceful and original humor, which combines Chaplin at his most incisive and balletic with raucous displays of verbal wit. - Vanity Fair (2019)


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