The Great Dictators

Charlie ChaplinCharlie Chaplin got the idea for The Great Dictator (1940), when his friend noted that Chaplin and Adolf Hitler had similar moustaches, and looked somewhat alike onscreen. Chaplin later discovered he and Hitler were born within the same week, and as adults were roughly the same height and weight. After he learned of the racial oppression and nationalism occurring in Germany, he was inspired to attack Hitler on film.

When production started in 1937, the British government said the film would be banned in Great Britain.Charlie Chaplin But by the time the film was completed and released in 1940, Great Britain was getting blitzed by Germany, and had decided it would be quite all right to show the film in England after all.

Upon its release, Hitler banned the film in Germany and all the countries he’d invaded. But, he eventually gave in to curiosity and had a print brought from Portugal. Reports leaked out that he’d sat through the whole film. In fact, he’d sat through the whole film twice. Charlie ChaplinAfter Chaplin heard this report, he said, “I’d give anything to know what he thought of it.”

Ditto for me.

In this famous scene from Chaplin’s biggest box-office hit, he immitates Hitler, quotes the Bible, and slams warmongers — all while blinking less than 10 times during the three-minute speech:

In this famous news clip, President Bush expresses his opinion about being a dictator:

A computer-imagined President Bush immitates Chaplin in this parody:

[tags]Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, Adolf Hitler, George W. Bush, dictator, video[/tags]

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