This has got to be one of my all time favourite films. From the slapstick comedy to the darker elements such as the Jewish Ghetto and the brilliant satire of facism to the famous speech at the end.
Bearing in mind it was made in 1940, the then up to date observation of world events and the rise of the Third Reich being combined with anti semitism and still producing a film which looks at these areas while managing to be genuinely funny is nothing short of genius.
If you haven't seen the film, like history and a laugh as well as wanting to see the serious point Chaplin was making, then please go and watch it.
Chaplin plays two parts in the film. A Jewish barber - veteran of the First World War wanting a peaceful life and due to loss of memory sustained in battle has no idea of the events which have taken over his country - Tomania - while he was in hospital. He is released and returns to his home and business, now located in the Ghetto in the hope of resuming his peaceful existance.
The other part Chaplin plays is Adenoid Hynkel - Dictator of Tomania, a direct send up of Hitler, consumed with ambitions of world dominance under the sign of the Double Cross.
He also manages to get in a visit from Napaloni, the Dictator of Bacteria which is entirely based upon the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini. There are several parodies of high ranking Third Reich party members, Goering and Goebbels who are called Herring and Garbitsch respectively
A genuinely brilliant film based around political satire and a very famous speech at the end which was almost ahead of it's time and also very relevant today.
Great Dictator closing speech.
The Great Dictator 1940 Trailer.