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The Great Dictator
dir. Charles Chaplin / USA 1940 / 125’
subtitles: Polish and English
Special Screenings: Classics of Cinema
The Market Square


Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert, Grace Hayle, Carter de Haven

Film description

A film made out of anger that someone plagiarised the shape of Charlie's moustache could not be a serious thing.But Chaplin was the only one capable of such masterly manoeuvring between seriousness, triviality, sentimentalism, pathos, shrewd satire, grotesque and also the simplicity and moving naiveté of those times when cinema was silent. Using all conventions and tricks of a classical comedy, from the screenplay based on similarity of the main characters and the resulting comedy of errors to gags based on choreography and motion, so typical of Chaplin, The Great Dictator is still a serious film. This is the worried voice of someone who observes the world carefully and is concerned about its future. A satire of the fascist dictatorship, mercilessly exposing the absurdity of Hitler's views. Chaplin not only destroyed his opponent with laughter and reduced his ideas to a grotesque absurd, but he also dealt with him on the moral plane (Adam Garbicz). The scenes of the food fight of two dictators or the barber's 'dance' with an unexploded bomb made cinema history. Chaplin manages supremely to combine situation humour of the silent-era cinema with wonderful, almost ballet-style studies; for example, the scene of Hynkel, enchanted with his vision of greatness, dances with a globe in an almost loving embrace.

Monika Kocbuch

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