The Great Dictator Movie Review Summary

Actors: Charles Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Paulette Goddard

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin's attack on Hitler starts with the character of the Jewish barber fighting for the country of Tomania in World War I. After saving the life of a fellow Tomanian soldier, he lands himself in the hospital after suffering from amnesia. Meanwhile, the Tomanian dictator Adenoid Hynkel is planning on exterminating the Jews of the land. The Jewish barber escapes from the hospital and returns to his town which has now been turned into a ghetto getting terrorised by storm troopers. The barber soon gets on their bad side which prompts them to hang him. However, the soldier who the barber saved (revealed to be called Commander Shultz) arrives on the scene. and orders the men to not harm anyone in the ghetto. Hynkel is already planning his plans for world domination by killing all the brunettes and Jews everywhere and decides to meet with the Bacterian dictator Napoloni so that he can get ownership of the only free country in Europe. Back in the ghetto, the barber falls in love with a hard-working, young girl named Hannah.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Estefan Ellison

In an epilogue, a clumsy infantry soldier saves the life of aristocratic pilot Schultz in the waning days of World War I. Their escape ends in a crash which causes the soldier to lose his memory. He spends many years in the hospital before reopening a barber shop in the Jewish ghetto. One day he gets in trouble and is hauled up before the local commander, who turns out to be Schultz and who greets his friend warmly. So for a time the ghetto enjoys peace. Then the dictator Adenoid Hynkel comes to power in the nation of Tomania, Schultz is jailed for leniency, and the Jews start to be hauled off to concentration camps. Hynkel makes plans to invade neighboring Osterlich to impress his rival Napaloni, dictator of Bacteria, who has also massed troops on the border of the hapless little country. Schultz and the barber escape from custody, and because of a remarkable physical resemblance, the barber is mistaken for Hynkel and has an opportunity to change the unfortunate course history is taking. Writer, director, and star Chaplin started shooting this movie in 1937, before the extent of Hitler's evil plans was widely known, and it was still only one of two pre-war movies to criticize Hitler openly by the time of its release in 1940. It was also Chaplin's first all-talking, all-sound film, 13 years after the end of the Silent Era, with many hilarious sequences, such as the shaving scene and the dictator's ballet with a balloon of the world. His rally speech of Hitlerian gobbledygook is genuinely frightening, and though a concluding call for peace and goodwill may strike some as tinny and naive, as a whole the movie stands up well against Chaplin's other greats.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of The Great Dictator

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's War impact on civilians/veterans    -   Yes Comedy or Parody about    -   political satire    -   history Kind of conflict:    -   holocaust

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman    -   blue collar Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Jewish    -   Eastern European


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Germany    -   Eastern Europe City?    -   Yes City:    -   dangerous Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   fancy mansion    -   fort/military installation    -   sports arena

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Any profanity?    -   None If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of dancing If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 10-15

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