Watch this short video of Charlie Chaplin’s anti-Fascist final speech in The Great Dictator.
The Great Dictator was Charlie Chaplin’s first film with dialogue. Chaplin plays both a little Jewish barber, living in the ghetto, and Hunkel, the dictator ruler of Tomainia. In his autobiography Chaplin quotes himself as having said : “One doesn’t have to be a Jew to be anti Nazi. All one has to be is a decent human being.” Chaplin and Hitler were born within a week of one another. “There was something uncanny in the resemblance between the Little Tramp and Adolph Hitler, representing opposite poles of humanity,” writes Chaplin’s biographer David Robinson, reproducing an unsigned article from The Spectator dated 21st April 1939: “Providence was in an ironical mood, when, fifty years ago this week, it was ordained that Charles Chaplin and Adolph Hitler should make their entry into the world within four days of each other…Each in his own way has expressed the ideas, sentiments, aspirations of the millions of struggling citizens ground between the upper and lower millstone of society. (…) Each has mirrored the same reality — the predicament of the “little man” in modern society. Each is a distorting mirror, the one for good, the other for untold evil.”