THE GREAT DICTATOR

The Great Dictator (1940)
Sunday, December 3 3:30 PM Shalom Austin Community Hall
FREE
Reserved Tickets

Introduction and Q&A with UT Professor Kathy Fuller-Seeley.

This is Charlie Chaplin’s first all-talking, all-sound film; he financed it himself, and it was his biggest box-office hit!

Title: THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
Running: 125 min.
Language: English
Country: USA
Year: 1940
Synopsis
This is Charlie Chaplin’s first all-talking, all-sound film; he financed it himself, and it was his biggest box-office hit! The story begins twenty years after the end of WWI. The nation of “Tomainia” was on the losing side of the war, and Adenoid Hynkel has risen to power as the country’s ruthless dictator. Hynkel believes in a pure Aryan state and the decimation of the Jews. A simple Jewish-Tomainian barber, hospitalized as the result of a WWI battle, is unaware of these recent developments. Upon his release, the barber, who had been suffering from memory loss about the war, learns about the new persecuted life of the Jews. The barber is ultimately spared such persecution by Commander Schultz, whom he saved in that WWI battle.
The lives of all Jews in Tomainia are eventually spared, thanks to a policy shift by Hynkel himself. But Hynkel has ulterior motives, including a lust for world domination, starting with the invasion of neighboring Osterlich.
Adolf Hitler banned this film in Germany and in all countries occupied by the Nazis. However, curiosity got the best of him, and he had a print brought in through Portugal. History records that he screened it twice, in private, but history did not record his reaction to the film.

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