The Great Dictator – 75 Years On

Hundreds of Sparrows


This month marks 75 years since Chaplin released his first ‘talkie’, The Great Dictator. Centred around a Jewish barber who falls into a coma and awakes 20 years later to find himself living in a dictatorship, the film was a ruthless take on Hitler’s desire for power in Europe. Viewed today, and knowing the full extent of Hitler’s atrocities, the film at certain points can be difficult to watch. The storm troopers are terrifying, and knowing now what really happened to the Jewish people that they arrested is hard to swallow. But the film’s version of Adolf Hitler, Adenoid Hynkel, is painted as a ridiculous megalomaniac, speaking a bizarre and comical language that usually ends in him blowing a raspberry. Whilst his beliefs and desires are scary, he is in fact a small, silly man that Chaplin relishes in playing. The Great Dictator is without a doubt one of Chaplin’s greatest comedies, with perfectly…

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