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Slideshow

PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

THE GREAT DICTATOR

11:00*

Sunday, November 6

*Part of our weekly FILM FORUM JR. series.  All seats $8.00

(1940, Charles Chaplin) The Little Tramp becomes the Little Jewish Barber, breezily shaving a customer to Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody,” while his doppelgänger Adenoid Hynkel, “Der Phooey,” longingly dances with a world globe, and Ghetto spitfire Paulette Goddard tangles with storm troopers. 35mm. Approx. 128 mins.

Reviews

“The final address […] is a remarkable piece of acting and verbal rhetoric (all the more so as this was the first time Chaplin had spoken in a film). 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.”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

“Stands as a radical nonpareil, a film that had to be made…The result is an unrepeatable explosion of doublings—the most renowned entertainer in the world laying his own persona down on the railroad tracks of fascist mania…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 (famously, the German language itself receives a phlegmatic hosing), the harder they land. Reportedly, Hitler banned it, then watched it alone—twice.”
– Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

“Chaplin’s most serious, most tragic, most human work…There are also immortal moments of Chaplin pantomime.”
– Roger Ebert

“The ‘silent’ comedy of The Great Dictator remains wicked and subversive…There are comic set pieces—most notably the balloon ballet and the stuff with Oakie—that deserve to be in an anthology on Chaplin’s genius…The Great Dictator is Chaplin’s bravest moment.”
– David Thomson