The Great Dictator

Lists: Film Quest 2015 - The Challenge Part II, Comedy

Brief Synopsis: "Chaplin plays two totally opposite roles in his first "talkie," giving a superb display of his boundless talent for both inspired comedy and powerful drama. One of his masterfully drawn characters is a Jewish barber facing the constant threat of storm troopers and religious persecution. The other is the great dictator, Hynkel, a brilliant lampoon of Adolph Hitler that is awesome proof of Chaplin's pantomime genius. The movie's famous highlight comes in its final scene, when Chaplin steps out of character and addresses the camera with an eloquent plea for the triumph of reason and humanity over mindless militarism."

Overall Ranking: 48 (Rank from 1940: # 1)

Adjusted* Rating:
(lowest rating dropped)

Ratings Breakdown
(The Mixed Bag)

Buttery 60%
Regular 40%
Half-Popped 0%
Stale 0%
Burnt 0%


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Reviewer Rating Review Secondary Ratings
Thomas Pollock100
David Baruffi97
Dave Examines Movies96(full review)
Rob from GuysFilmQuest83 - The first 100 minutes of the film are good, but do little push forward the final plot piece of the film. The ending to an otherwise great film seems more like a soapbox piece than anything else.
Comedy: 8
Sex Appeal: 0
Scary: 1
Rewatch: 3
Bryan Lienesch81 - Here's the thing: in a vacuum, 'The Great Dictator' is only good, not great. But what makes it special and remembered as such a remarkable film is the how brazen it is with its satire RIGHT as these very events are unfolding. This is not 'Catch 22' making light of World War II years after the fact, it's did it in the present, in the face of everything AS it went on. And THAT is what makes this film special.
Comedy: 6
Sex Appeal: 2
Scary: 3
Rewatch: 5

People Involved

  • Charlie Chaplin (Hynkel - Dictator of Tomania / A Jewish Barber)
  • Jack Oakie (Benzini Napaloni)
  • Reginald Gardiner (Commander Schultz)
  • Henry Daniell (Garbitsch)
  • Billy Gilbert (Field Marshal Herring)
  • Paul Weigel (Mr. Agar)
  • Paulette Goddard (Hannah)
  • Grace Hayle (Madame Napaloni)
  • Maurice Moscovitch (Mr. Jaeckel)
  • Emma Dunn (Mrs. Jaeckel)
  • Bernard Gorcey (Mr. Mann)
  • Carter DeHaven (Spook)
  • Eddie Gribbon (Tomanian Storm Trooper)
  • Rudolph Anders (Tomanian Commandant at Osterlich / Robert O. Davis)
  • Nita Pike (Secretary)
  • George Lynn (Commander of Storm Troopers (as Peter Lynn)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director)