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Anti-Semitism -- Drama, Facism -- Drama, Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 -- Drama, Mistaken identity -- Drama

The Great Dictator


Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Reginald Gardiner, Jack Oakie,

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The physical resemblance between the Little Tramp and another famous man with a small black moustache was not lost on Charlie Chaplin. In his first all-talking picture, he plays a Jewish barber and his double, the dictator Adenoid Hynkel. As Hynkel and his henchmen engineer the persecution of Jews and the invasion of a neighboring nation, the amnesiac barber may be the only person innocent enough to stop them. Spewing Germanic gibberish or dancing a dreamy pas de deux with a globe-balloon, Chaplin exploits the deflating power of parody, but in the finale he abandons both character and comedy to deliver an impassioned plea for tolerance.

Juliet Clark