One of the most effective satires ever made, and how best to respond to Hitler stigmatising his ruddy tache. The film also transcends this initial gimmick, creating a humane and moving drama amidst all the excellently deployed satirical camaraderie.
As time goes on, I feel like the sentimental scenes where the characters speak to the audience make sense once you consider that this film is highly influenced by Brecht. Even the idea to have Chaplin play two roles is in essence a method of alienation effect as it basically make us see Chaplin the actor rather than the wholly different characters. IMO, the ending rivals the ending of City Lights.
Thanks to Chaplin, Hitler was put to ridicule, right from the beginning of the Second World War, in 1940. The whole nazi edifice of propaganda was emulated in a comical aparatus, so that movie going citizens could see it and laugh, thus seeing what was going on. Hitler propagated nazism in a radio era. Thanks to Chaplin we (most of us) became enabled to make fun of (vaccinated against) that little horrible man.
Chaplin's first full talkie is one of the most powerful statements the cinema has ever made. This was controversy before Rogen and Franco came out with The Interview. In all fairness, Chaplin had the mustache before Hitler did. This is also a good example of how comedy can be used to talk about serious issues.
It's a great film but not funny as I remembered it to be. Joking about genocide and slavery is a tricky thing; when the joke fails, it fails hard (is it even a subject that should be joked about?). Inside this film is a serious drama struggling to get out. Still, the final speech alone is worth 5 stars.
In the final speech, Chaplin is neither the barber nor Hynkel in this particular moment, he is only the artist, speaking about hope and fears, this sequence took my breath away, he was so passionate in his humanist belief, he couldn't really know all about the horror the world would discovered five years later.
Painfully bad. Bad story, bad gags. The occasional bit works (Hynkel dancing with the globe) but a simply dull film, one that we are supposed to appreciate for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the film.