The Great Dictator

July 20, 2004

The Great Dictator
Charlie Chaplin, writer, director, star.

This is Chaplins big political movie and his first talkie. He wrote the screenplay in 1938, filmed it over 450 odd days in 1939 and 1940, and released the movie in the fall of 1940.

I have to admit that I watched it more because I thought I ought to watch it, and because I am a big Chaplin fan, than because I found it compelling. I can see why it was a risky thing for Chaplin to start in 1938 - when racism and the German American Bund were prevalent in America - and I can see why Chaplin said after the war that if he had known about the forthcoming Holocaust he would never have made that movie. It is awkward to watch a comedy about persecution and yet, Chaplin does have that famous knack of making you laugh and cry at the same time. He mingles the funny with the tragic to creat art.

I am glad I watched it.

Posted by Red Ted at July 20, 2004 05:20 PM | TrackBack
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