The Great Dictator

Director: Charles Chaplin
Year Released: 1940
Rating: 2.5

Watching the film out of context (it must have been something in 1940) changes your perception of it - at that time audiences were no doubt astounded by the portrayal of Hitler (renamed "Hynkel" and played by Chaplin) and for the 'give peace a chance' final speech, but today it's nothing more than a curious time piece, with some strengths and many flaws, including the questionable casting of Paulette Goddard (I know she was his wife, but come on) and the run-on length (it milks gags far longer than it should – most flagrantly the bastardization of Hitler's rat-a-tat oration). Some pieces manage to stick in your mind – and because it's Chaplin film fans should see it – but it's largely a disappointment, and, like Life is Beautiful, somewhat inappropriate.