Unlike Most of Chaplin's Films, Term Paper

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It is a humorous take on the time of unrest between the two World Wars, when Germany smarting from the ignominious defeat after the First World War allowed Hitler to take charge. This led to the large scale extermination of the Jewish people. This film is about what might have been if Hitler had a change of heart. This film also underhandedly mentions the Great Depression. In the last speech of the movie, the Charlie Chaplin character, the barber, who is mistaken for Adenoid Hynkel, bemoans greed and the loss of democarcy. This Jewish barber also calls for peace and for soldiers to drop their weapons and fight against those who would enslave them and force them to resort to untold instances of violence. The fact that this film was made in 1940 is remarkable and shows great courage on the part of Chaplin. The war was still five years from ending. Hitler's power was in its ascendancy and there was no sign that he would be defeated, especially after he captured Austria, Poland and marched relelentlessly through France and Belgium. Chaplin also caricatures the Hynkel character or the character of Benzino Napoloni who is modeled after Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In adherence to the notion and the fear of the spread of Nazism and Fascism, Chaplin has names for Germany and Italy; he calls them Tomania and Bacteria. The name Bacteria seems properly placed; but Tomania should not be confused with Romania, which had it's own Communist dictator Nicolea Ceausescu. (WrongDiagnosis, 2008)

8. Several things
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affected me after watching this film. Clearly the context of the film is profound. And while it is easy to make a film about war from a historical perspective, it was a courageous move on Chaplin's part to make this movie, indicting and making fun of Hitler in a way that even movie makers of today will not be able to do -- and that too during the war, when there were extreme doubts whether the Allies would even come close to winning the war. This movie is also revealing: it is not a comedy in Chaplinesque style. But there are elements of comedy borrowed from other Chaplin films. The heartfelt speech that Chaplin makes at the end of the movie is a plea for a resolution to war and a call to peace indicates that it is far from a comedy. If people went to see this movie as a Chaplin comedy they would be sorely disappointed because there were few original comedic elements. Watching this movie is to recognize Chaplin's genius. Most silent-movie era stars fared very badly when making the transition to talkies. But the ease with which Chaplin transitions into talkies and the pitch perfect imitation of Hitler's rhetoric is proof of his abilities. It shows that Chaplin was not only an entertainer that was ahead of the times, he was an entertainer for all time.

Bibliography

Ceausescu. (2008). Ceausescu, Nicolae. Retrieved May 13, 2008, at http://www.ceausescu.org/

Eyewitnesstohistory. (1994). The Forced Suicide of Rommel. Retrieved May 14, 2008, at http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/rommel.htm

IMDB. (2008). The Great Dictator. Retrieved May 13, 2008, at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032553/

WrongDiagnosis. (2008). Ptomaine Poisoning. Retrieved May 13,…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Ceausescu. (2008). Ceausescu, Nicolae. Retrieved May 13, 2008, at http://www.ceausescu.org/

Eyewitnesstohistory. (1994). The Forced Suicide of Rommel. Retrieved May 14, 2008, at http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/rommel.htm

IMDB. (2008). The Great Dictator. Retrieved May 13, 2008, at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032553/

WrongDiagnosis. (2008). Ptomaine Poisoning. Retrieved May 13, 2008, at http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/p/ptomaine_food_poisoning/intro.htm

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