While watching this film, I had to place myself back in time and remind myself just how audacious it must have been. Because unfortunately, it isn't very funny. Of course, Hitler deserved lampooning (and worse) and there is a deeply sad undercurrent here since we know what was actually happening with the Jews in concentration camps (but Chaplin apparently did not). Perhaps this takes the humor out of some of the slapstick (and the WWI scenes are funnier than the WWII scenes). Or perhaps the gibberish German and Italian feel kind of racist today (as propaganda from any war does). The final speech, where Chaplin drops the character and speaks as himself, is slightly off topic but works as a dramatic anti-war moment.
I find it brilliant that Chaplin was able to make a parody of Hitler and the Nazis whilst they were still in power that was both hilarious and sentimental enough to realise the sufferings of the Jewish population by the cruelty of the Nazi regime. It's not my favorite of Chaplin's films, but it could very well be his most important.
One of Chaplin's greatest. Chaplin caused controversy during the 1930s, being outspoken about the blatant racism and threat to decent human society by the new Nazi regime in Germany. Chaplin uses his trademark humour to give the world a picture of what was happening in Germany at the time. He plays to roles as the dictator himself and as the lovable and heroic tramp living in the ghettos, during the Great Depression.
Thankfully less sentimental than most of his output (except for the last few minutes), this Chaplin movie manages to engage and amuse despite it's seriousness of its subject matter, despotism and racism. Full marks for Chaplin the ridiculing Hitler and his methods during a time of appeasement.
Clever critique of the rise of Fascism in Germany. Favourite scene - Hynkel (Hitler) playing with an inflatable globe in his office.
This movie just proves that Chaplin was indeed a genius, but also a man that let his art say so much.
Seen in historical context, Chaplin’s first talkie, a Hitler satire released before America entered the war in December 1941, only just gets my affirmative nod. Mostly it’s a bore with too many scenes agonizing rather than appealing. At his best in slapstick a few Chaplin gems standout: As a Jewish barber, shaving a customer to the rhythms of a Hungarian Dance by Brahms and as Dictator Hynkel (Hitler) meeting Napaloni (Mussolini) in hand extending and saluting salutations. Despite bouquets for taking such a risk by confronting the public with this anti-fascist, anti-war polemic and the plight of Jews in Germany, Chaplin’s topical comedy is hopelessly outdated now.
Very funny but very realistic Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. No wonder the SS officer shot the projector to stop the film when Hitler himself along with various Nazi officers were watching it. Very brave for 1940!!
I have wanted to see this movie for years and it lived up to my expectations.
Very funny film but also has a powerful message.
Deservedly a classic; a blend of comedy and poignancy.
A brave stroke of genius. Chaplin shows some of his best work, and the special features show the lengths he had to go to, to make it all happen.