Throwback Thursday Part III-The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin is an icon. His movies are watched and re-watched time and again.

One of his greatest movies, (to this fan’s opinion at at least), is The Great Dictator.

The movie starts during World War I. Two soldiers, a man named Adenoid Hynkel and an nameless Jewish barber are both fighting for the country of Tomania. Flash forward twenty years. Adenoid Hynkel is now the dictator of Tomania, whose goal is get rid of the Jews. The unnamed barber has been in the hospital for twenty years and has no memories of the past two decades. He is unaware of the persecution that the Jews have been facing.

Hannah (Paulette Goddard) takes an interest in this barber.  The barber is saved from the persecution that his fellow Jews are facing by Commander Schultz, whom he saved during the war.  A sudden policy change is on the books and appears to be good. But the dictators may have other reasons for the change.

Charlie Chaplin was known to use his movies to make statements about what was happening in the world. This movie is no different. It’s the funniest, it’s the most political and it was made at a time when World War II was on the horizon. If you have never seen this movie and watch one scene, I recommend the final speech by the barber as Hynkel. Best part of the movie.

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