The Great Dictator review
Daniel Corleone - wrote on 05/22/12
A fatigued Commander Schultz (Reginald Gardiner) was saved by a Jew (Charlie Chaplin). Hynkel (also played by Chaplin) is a vehement dictator who maltreated the Jews with the aid of Storm Troopers. The unnamed Jew who has a Barbershop was assisted by Hannah (Paulette Goddard). Benzino Napaloni (Jack Oakie), dictator of Bacteria has plans to invade Osterlich. The “talking-film” consisted of so many hilarious moments such as the “I was just eating” scene between Napaloni and Hynkel, coin in the pudding, removing of pins of one of the Officers and Adenoid Hynkel’s first speech.
Score was vibrant and even simultaneously utilized during one of the Jews Barbershop sequences. Screenplay was well-written and good natures with lines from: Schultz – “You must speak.” and the speech from the Jewish Barber – “In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way…Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. Most of the picture’s statements are applicable even today despite the date it was released. Performances of Chaplin and Oakie were delightful, which made the movie effective. The Great Dictator is entertaining with topics involving dictatorship, human cruelty, dominance, hope for a better world, free speech and democracy.