The Great Dictator (1940) FAQs




The Great Dictator (1940) FAQs


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The Great Dictator, a 1940 film directed by Charlie Chaplin and written by Chaplin and Michael Goldbeck, is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. But it isn’t easy to know exactly what the film was about. Even though there are various theories about what the film is about, the following FAQs will help answer many of your questions about The Great Dictator.

The Great Dictator (1940) FAQs

What was the purpose of the great dictator’s speech?

The purpose of the great dictator’s speech was to rally the people behind him and motivate them to fight for their country. It was also a way for him to show his dominance over the people and establish his authority. Though Chaplin was Jewish and a socialist, he didn’t believe socialism would work. He did this in the film because it worked well to show how powerful Hitler was over his countrymen and convince them to follow him.

What is the timeline of events in The Great Dictator?

The events in The Great Dictator take place over a period of two years, starting with the election of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and ending with his suicide six months later. He is in exile after the destruction of his bunker and attempts to reach an accommodation with Britain.

The story begins at Number 9 Downing Street, where before he kills Chamberlain, Hitler wishes him a “Merry Christmas” in English; it ends four months later when he shoots himself dead following the bombing of Dresden. Between those two-time frames exists about 2 years that teach us how to open Nazis are taking their newly obtained power over Germans into their own hands.

What is Chaplin’s message to the world?

There is no one answer to this question as Chaplin’s message to the world is always changing and evolving. However, some of the most popular messages that Chaplin has communicated through his work include:

  1. That we are all equal.
  2. That laughter is the best medicine.
  3. Life is full of hardships and challenges, but it is also full of opportunities and happiness.

What does Osterlich represent in The Great Dictator?

Osterlich represents the Nazi party in Germany during World War 2. Ostrich is a representative of Nazism, and he tries to convince all Germans that this leader (the Great Dictator) has saved their country and they should support him.

The people in ‘The Great Dictator’ follow Osterlich’s faults and mistakes. This is evidence of how serious Nazis were about following Hitler’s orders without questioning them at any point, but accepting blindly what was given changed everything you believed in because of no matter if Hitler said certain things were true or not nothing.

What are the similarities between The Great Dictator and Animal Farm?

  1. Both The Great Dictator and Animal Farm are satirical pieces that critique the rise of totalitarianism in Europe during the 1930s.
  2. Both works use a complex plot that is difficult to follow but ultimately leads to a powerful message.
  3. Both works explore the power of propaganda and how it can be used to control the masses.
  4. Both works highlight the dangers of dictatorship and how it can lead to chaos and destruction.

Is there a connection between The Great Dictator and films like Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, or The Pianist?

There is a connection between The Great Dictator and films like Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and The Pianist. These films are all about the Holocaust and its effects on society.

Is Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’ a good watch?

Yes, ‘The Great Dictator’ is a good watch. It is an iconic film that was released in 1940 and told the story of a dictator who tried to gain control over Germany during World War II. The film has been praised for its humor and dramatic elements.

The Great Dictator features some truly unforgettable scenes, such as the destruction of a Jewish ghetto by an angry crowd and the mass deportation of Jews to concentration camps. In addition, some parts of ‘The Great Dictator’ were filmed in Germany during World War II making watching this film very poignant.

Was the great dictator successful?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the success of a dictator depends on a variety of factors. However, some key factors that may have contributed to the success of a dictator include:

  1. A strong and charismatic leader who can inspire followers to follow him or her.
  2. A clear vision for the country or region that the dictator is leading and a plan for how to achieve it.
  3. Political stability and a secure base of support from the population.
  4. The ability to keep control over key aspects of society (e.g., the military, the media, etc.).

Why do you think Chaplin wanted to make The Great Dictator?

Chaplin was an outspoken opponent of Hitler, leading the American Jewish Congress in 1938 to organize a boycott of German movies. He still made four films for Nazi Germany with his comedy actor friends and even sent money directly to this country after he left it.

Chaplin also received full funding from the Nazis while making The Great Dictator in Hollywood during World War II by Deutsch Film under the Luftwaffe’s patronage program known as Ohr der Deutschen Widerstand (Ear of resistance).

This makes one wonder if Chaplin would have been just as ill-disposed towards those who would have told him to leave the country and go work for Hitler during his exile in Hollywood. Soon after Chaplin left the U.S., he was able to be called by his friend, Hitler himself, from South America.

What scenes in the film were filmed in Germany?

Some scenes in ‘The Great Dictator’ were filmed in Germany during World War II. This includes the destruction of a Jewish ghetto and the mass deportation of Jews to concentration camps. This documentary adds another level of empathy to the film.

As you watch ‘The Great Dictator’, you can connect with the Jewish population and see how Hitler treated it during this time period. Furthermore, seeing New York destroyed or being bombed is also very shocking as it shows people’s willingness to follow a dictator like Hitler.

Who stars in The Great Dictator?

The Great Dictator is largely a satirical comedy, and the two lead performers are Max von Sydow and comedian Larry David. Von Sydow portrays the accomplished but sad-sack Adolph Hitler, and David plays Adenoid Hynkel.

Sydow has a very relatable personal relation to this movie as he is Jewish like 90% of characters in his filmography, including The Manchurian Candidate, Chariots of Fire etc. He was born Supek Svejkovskyi in what was then Czechoslovakia (now the country Slovakia).

What was the inspiration for The Great Dictator?

The life of Adolf Hitler inspires the Great Dictator. The movie shows Hitler making fun of Jews and speaks so fondly towards Germany that he wants to make the whole world German. He plans on leading his country under an extremely cruel regime such as a totalitarian socialist dictatorship.

The Great Dictator explores how influential people are in our lives and how easy it is for them to become leaders even if their intentions aren’t good, especially when they have Nazis getting votes from citizens willingly because “it’s okay” (Frenzy).

How long did it take to make The Great Dictator?

The Great Dictator was released in December 1940. It took approximately six months to make the film, which consisted of 11 weeks of shooting.

How many different locations were used for shots in The Great Dictator?

There are a total of nine seats, including the coffee shop, the two prison cells and even Hitler’s bunker. Additionally, all of these destinations were filmed at various times throughout Germany, which added to how much work went into assembling this film from start to finish;

however, with just 11 weeks of shooting time, it must have been overwhelming yet impressive that so much was achieved such as walking through German streets while Nazis could be seen in uniform or marching on parade.

Where did they shoot The Great Dictator?

The Great Dictator was shot in Germany.

How long did it take to set the colors on The Great Dictator?

It took a lot of colorists and background departments at Paramount Studios 6 months to do an integral amount of work, to begin with, the red triangle type flag. In post-production, another 18 months were needed to not change any parts except for adding music, which was easy enough. A little tweaking based upon sound cues from recording sessions would suffice.

Sir Roger [Ford] went ahead and checked his cabinets where we had all our LIPs are 9 C.D.s each placed between multiple tracks per CD so he could pull out the parts of each segment we wanted to match up against what was shot.

So, with matching music and then matching images that would have no context other than a voice-over narration, I believe as far as making sure everything fits visually, you don’t even need to know how long it took for everything to be assembled there are sets etc.

Who restored the film for its release on DVD?

It is a wonderful collection of actual original German film master negatives. How did you receive the originals? To where and how were they transferred to DVD discs by Paramount Home Entertainment? Sir Roger Ford put it all together overseeing the transfer in preparation for its release on DVD then after that, and I had nothing more to do than go ahead and supervise the restoration work personally with myself, my assistants John Weldon at MPCandTodd Allen as designer/editor finding out exactly what needed restoring first so we could match continuity here and there when matching images used in certain scenes.

What was the original title of The Great Dictator?

The Great Dictator. Some of the titles were intended for specific media such as VHS, Laserdisc and CD-S. However, existing French DVDs appear to not exactly match up with any particular title presented in America or vice versa (barring a few exceptions). At this time, it appears that not all editions are necessarily interchangeable.

German theatrical production preceded Public Enemy by two years. The earliest available press book credited “The Greatest Dictator” without quotes on its opening page but called Lone Star “the greatest American film since Citizen Kane.”

Is it true that Chaplin broke a leg getting into his costume for one shot in The Great Dictator?

Chaplin said he hurt his leg in a runaway truck in very early stories. He told the story many times, including on stage and some interviews where it’s easy to see that it seems plausible – but so do many other established leg injuries from Marlene Dietrich through Shirley Temple! As you can gather from an actual or simulated slow-motion sequence, it appears as if Lucy Dustin was replacing him for about 12 seconds of action at most.

Was the great dictator successful?

In 1936 Chaplin’s film was a major hit. It was one of the most-praised films up to that time in Europe, briefly selling out theaters for several weeks across France and reaching as far east as Poland (well before Stalin came back into power).

In America, it ran successfully at many more than 400 cities during its first three months on release, making nearly twice what Mutiny On The Bounty pulled in when released later that year – so big news people lagging behind actually saw would have preceded word spreading anyway!

What is the plot of The Great Dictator?

The Great Dictator takes an unusual approach to a film plot. Chaplin’s character, who turns out to be something of Adolf Hitler – scorned by his advisors and the world, is shown as his own enemy while adopting Hitler’s style (white beard) in public.

Chaplin plays him after being diagnosed with pneumonia, but upon seeing Wilbur Hunnicutt (Tracy), he goes into office mode immediately! He also makes efforts at reducing tension between Germany and America; why? Because health issues are behind it only insofar, normal government officials do not want peace except for personal gain (cf. The Bulldog).

There are some attempts at showing Chaplin’s character as anti-Semitic, but these fall flat because of the lack of a relationship between them and having to leave out for respecting that one major element in Hitler’s democratic mandate.

How much was Charlie Chaplin worth?

Chaplin was worth around $7 million by the time The Great Dictator came out. Other Chaplin films, most notably Modern Times and City Lights, were shown in the U.S. but failed to connect with audiences as The Great Dictator did – which was a high price tag even back then!!

What is the occasion of the great dictator?

Historically, The Great Dictator was released on 11 November (during the very aggressive World War II), so they couldn’t really use it in ways that most would see as propaganda. In its role of comical presentation – clearly, some Hitler elements exist here but NOT showing him after his Jewish ministers have been shot because he had not learned from history! He reads a book about Hitler and makes efforts to compromise with citizens even though none helps make peace any easier; maybe the entire film is satire? It does seem there are other aspects to identify for sure.

What is all about Charlie Chaplin’s controversial speech?

In 1914, Charlie Chaplin delivered a speech titled “The Future of the Movie Business.” In it, he lambasted Hollywood for its treatment of actors and filmmakers and predicted that the film industry would soon be dead. His speech was controversial not only for its content but also for the way in which he delivered it– Chaplin performed most of the speech on-screen, rather than speaking from notes.


The Great Dictator is a 1940 political drama film directed, produced, and written by Charlie Chaplin. The film follows the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany through the eyes of his personal assistant, Dietrich Eckart. It has been considered a classic anti-war film and one of Chaplin’s most famous works. The Great Dictator was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1992.

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