The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Drama, War

The Great Dictator (1940) Poster

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.




  • Charlie Chaplin at a press conference for the premiere of "The Great Dictator" Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City October 1940
  • Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Charles Chaplin and Paulette Goddard in The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Charles Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Charles Chaplin


Charles Chaplin

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

5 August 2017 | areatw
| You, the people, have the power!
The tagline of 'The Great Dictator' is 'the comedy masterpiece', and I couldn't think of a better line to sum this film up. It's a hilarious political satire, but it also delivers a vitally important message. This film was released at the time when Hitler was at the height of his power and the main character, dictator Hynkel, is obviously a reference to him.

Charlie Chaplin is simply outstanding in this film in what was his first spoken role. To play two completely different characters, Hynkel and the Jewish barber, so convincingly in the same film is truly remarkable. Chaplin's speech at the end, which is very much HIS speech even though he's playing a character, is a piece of cinema I will never forget. Such a powerful, moving and compelling speech that remains relevant even today.

Making a comedy out of such a tragedy is risky business, but Chaplin's anti-fascist message ensured it wasn't taken the wrong way. 'The Great Dictator' is a hilarious but meaningful and powerful film. A brilliant piece of cinema.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


During filming, Charles Chaplin's relationship with Paulette Goddard began to deteriorate, but both tried very hard to save it. In 1942, Chaplin proudly introduced her as "my wife" (a position that was always considered sketchy) at a New York engagement, but within months they were amicably divorced, and the notoriously finicky Chaplin agreed to a generous divorce settlement. In the 1960s, both Chaplin and Goddard were living in Switzerland, but having made no contact, they spotted each other at a café and had lunch together. It was their last meeting.


Title Cards: Note, any resemblance between Hynkle the Dictator and the Jewish Barber is purely co-incidental.
Title Cards: This is a story of a period between two World Wars - an interim in which Insanity cut loose. Liberty took a nose dive, and Humanity was kicked around ...


(at around 35 mins) When the Barber is chased in the Ghetto streets by Stormtroopers, one California studio building can be seen in the upper right corner of the frame.

Crazy Credits

[Prologue] This is a story of a period between two World Wars -- an interim in which Insanity cut loose. Liberty took a nose dive and Humanity was kicked around somewhat

The World War 1918

Alternate Versions

In Italy, all the scenes that involved Napaloni's wife were cut from the movie to respect Benito Mussolini's widow, Rachele. The complete version wasn't seen until 2002.


Prelude to 'Lohengrin' , Act I
(1850) (uncredited)
Music by
Richard Wagner


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama | War

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