The Great Dictator
The Great Dictator (1940)

"This is the story of the period between two world wars--an interim during which insanity cut loose, liberty took a nose dive, and humanity was kicked around somewhat." With this pithy opening title, Charles Chaplin begins his… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1940
DVD Release Date: May 10, 2010
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
William Goss

The first full-blown talkie from the biggest star of the silent era, complete with a message that Chaplin couldn't have sent more loudly or clearly.

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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

Like all major Chaplin works, Dictator was a cheaply, but methodically, made film, a cardboard act of humanist defiance, and, thanks to its purity of purpose, the cheesier the jokes get, the harder they land.

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Rob Vaux

The lessons remain, and the strength of his statement still inspires his descendants - professional or otherwise - to follow his example.

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TIME Magazine

Through no fault of Chaplin's, during the two years he was at work on the picture dictators became too sinister for comedy.

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Variety Staff

It's when he is playing the dictator that the comedian's voice raises the value of the comedy content of the picture to great heights.

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Franz Hoellering
The Nation

The only trouble is that such perfect scenes as this are followed by more conventional passages which would be funny enough in an average picture but let one down in a film that deals so ambitiously with so great a theme.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Chaplin is at his most profound in suggesting that there is much of the Tramp in the Dictator, and much of the Dictator in the Tramp.

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Time Out

The representation of Hitler is vaudeville goonery all the way, but minus the acid wit and inventive energy that Groucho Marx managed.

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...a great movie because it works as a film, and because it is a document of courage and faith, the prime exhibit in Chaplin's humanist brief ... Dictator is a comedy, the work of a clown, but it is no joke. Chaplin had lethal intent.

More reviews for The Great Dictator

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Chaplin's first all-talking picture is this wonderful, hilarious classic that makes a poignant statement against dictatorial regimes with countless… More
Dan Schultz
A disappointingly too silly take on an extremely serious subject (Hitler and the destruction of many Jews), concerning a crazed dictator (Charlie Chaplin), who… More
Spencer S.
When watching this film, the first talkie from mega talented filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, it's all so visceral. Your response, neither weathered by time nor… More
David Ladd
"The Great Dictator" is one of Charlie Chaplin's most dynamic and most entertaining films. His first speaking film, it allows him to add a level… More
Alex roy
Brilliant comedy classic starring Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator is a well crafted jab at fascism and is the most outspoken film that Chaplin has ever… More
Reid Volk
Prophetic and brilliantly played by Mr. Chaplin

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