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Spring 2014 Film Series

April 11, 2014 / 7:00 PM


The Great Dictator
Directed by Charles Chaplin
Released: 1940

Starring -
Charles Chaplin
Paulette Goddard
Jack Oakie




Chaplin's film, aimed obviously and scornfully at Hitler himself, could only have been funny, he says in his autobiography, if he had not yet known the full extent of the Nazi evil. As it was, the film's mockery of Hitler got it banned in Spain, Italy and neutral Ireland. But in America and elsewhere, it played with an impact that, today, may be hard to imagine. There had never been any fictional character as universally beloved as the Little Tramp, and although Chaplin was technically not playing the Tramp in "The Great Dictator," he looked just like him, this time not in a comic fable but a political satire.

- Roger Ebert





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