Movie-Comedy forum: The Great Dictator

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ImageJeannie63
Dec 22, 2010 8:19 AM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
This is a Charlie Chaplin movie, made in 1940. From imdb.com :

Quoting:During the last days of the First World War, a clumsy soldier saves the life of devoted military pilot Schultz. Unfortunately, their flight from the advancing enemy ends in a severe crash with the clumsy soldier losing his memories. After quite some years in the hospital, the amnesia patient gets released and reopens his old barber shop in the Jewish ghetto. But times have changed in the country of Tomania: Dictator Adenoid Hynkel, who accidentally looks very similar to the barber, has laid his merciless grip on the country, and the Jewish people are discriminated against. One day, the barber gets in trouble and is brought before a commanding officer, who turns out to be his old comrade Schultz. So, the ghetto enjoys protection from then on. Meanwhile, Dictator Hynkel develops big plans, he wants to become Dictator of the whole world...


This is supposed to be a comedy/drama, and I'll have to admit it has some pretty funny moments.

But I really found the movie quite disturbing. It was made in 1940, *before* the U.S. entered the war. As I recall, most of the country did not want to get involved in World War II until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. Yet this movie depicts persecution of the Jews, talks about concentration camps, and several of the jewish characters mention that being sent to the concentration camps meant a sure death sentence.

So, we knew how bad Nazi Germany was, and we *still* did not want to get involved? This just makes me feel creepy.

Many of the war movies that I have seen (made well after the war ended) imply that we did not know the full horrors of the Nazi regime until after the war was almost over (e.g. the Band of Brothers episode where they discover the concentration camp), and that we were real heroes for wanting to fight against absolute evil.

This movie, being made in 1940, tells a very different story of the American public's willingness to get involved in anything outside their borders. Have we changed at all??
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Imagesjweld
Dec 26, 2010 11:40 AM CST
Name: Sheri W.
SouthCentral WI

Jeannie, do you have this movie or did you stumble upon it on TV? I just checked NetFlix and they don't have it now but are getting it. I put it on my saved list for when they get it in.
ImageJeannie63
Dec 26, 2010 4:50 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
I just stumbled upon it. Turner Classic Movie channel!
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Imagesjweld
Dec 26, 2010 5:40 PM CST
Name: Sheri W.
SouthCentral WI

Hurray!

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