This item is not eligible for coupon offers.

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator

Blu-ray (B&W / Full Frame)

View All Available Formats & Editions


"This is the story of the period between two world wars--an interim during which insanity cut loose, liberty took a nose dive, and humanity was kicked around somewhat." With this pithy opening title, Charles Chaplin begins his first all-talking feature film, The Great Dictator. During World War I, a Jewish barber (Chaplin) in the army of Tomania saves the life of high-ranking officer Schultz (Reginald Gardiner). While Schultz survives the conflict unscathed, the barber is stricken with amnesia and bundled off to a hospital. Twenty years pass: Tomania has been taken over by dictator Adenoid Hynkel (Chaplin again) and his stooges Garbitsch (Henry Daniell) and Herring (Billy Gilbert). Hynkel despises all Jews and regularly wreaks havoc on the Tomanian Jewish ghetto, where feisty Hannah (Paulette Goddard) lives. Meanwhile, the little barber escapes from the hospital and instinctively heads back to his cobweb-laden ghetto barber shop. Unaware of Hynkel's policy towards Jews (in fact, he's unaware of Hynkel), the barber gets into a slapstick confrontation with a gang of Aryan storm troopers. He is rescued by his old friend Schultz, now one of Hynkel's most loyal officers. Thanks to Schultz's protection, the ghetto receives a brief respite from Hynkel's persecution. The barber sets up shop again, developing a warm platonic relationship with the lovely Hannah. But things take a sorry turn when Hynkel, angered that a Jewish banker has refused to finance his impending war with Austerlitz, begins bearing down again on the Ghetto. Near the end of the film, when the dictator is expected to make another one of his hate-filled, war-mongering speeches, the barber steps up to the microphones...and Charles Chaplin drops character and becomes "himself," delivering an impassioned plea for peace, tolerance, and humanity.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/24/2011
UPC: 0715515080613
Original Release: 1940
Rating: G
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W, Full Frame]
Time: 2:05:00

Special Features

New high-defintion digital restoration with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; The Tramp and the Dictator (2001), Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft's documentary paralleling the lives of Chaplin and Hitler, including interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, screenwriter Budd Schulberg and others; Two new visual essays, one by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and one by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance; Color production footage shot by Chaplin's half-brother Sydney; Barbershop sequence from Sydney Chaplin's 1921 film King, Queen, Joker; Deleted barbershop sequence from Chaplin's 1919 film Sunnyside; Rerelease trailer; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Wood, Chaplin's 1940 New York Times defense of his movie, a reprint from critic Jean Narboni on the flm's final speech, and Al Hirschfeld's original press book illustrations

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Chaplin Adenoid Hynkel, Dictator of Tomania,Jewish Barber
Paulette Goddard Hannah
Jack Oakie Benzino Napaloni
Reginald Gardiner Schultz
Henry Daniell Garbitsch
Billy Gilbert Herring
Grace Hayle Mme. Napaloni
Maurice Moscovich Mr. Jaeckel
Emma Dunn Mrs. Jaeckel
Bernard Gorcey Mr. Mann
Paul Weigel Mr. Agar
Robert O. Davis Actor
Chester Conklin Actor
Eddie Dunn Actor
Eddie Gribbon Actor
Peter Lynn Actor
Hank Mann Actor
Esther Michelson Actor
Florence Wright Actor
Nita Pike Actor
Carter De Haven Bacterian Ambassador
William Arnold Actor
Henry Bergman Actor

Technical Credits
Charles Chaplin Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Wheeler Dryden Asst. Director
Willard Nico Editor
Russell J. Spencer Art Director
Karl Struss Cinematographer
Roland H. "Rollie" Totheroh Cinematographer
Meredith Willson Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Great Dictator 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a Chaplin fan, you probably own this film already on home video. However I highly recommend getting this copy! Along with excellent restoration the bonus material shows recently discovered home movie footage shot by his brother Sydney, IN COLOR. Using silent 8mm color film, we find Chaplin preparing scenes behind the camera as well as shooting scenes you will recognize in film. The color footage truly brings this classic film star even more to life! That alone is reason enough, along with this film being presented on DVD, to purchase this edition. I recommend purchasing the whole collection offered by Warner Brothers.
johnbender More than 1 year ago
come heil or high water,Charles Chaplin is in the fight! And the result is a celebrated classic honored in 2000 as one of the 100 American Comedies! The U.S. was not yet in world war 2 when Chaplin leveled his comedy arsenal at Der Fuher by playing the roles of Hitler-like Adenoid Hynkel and a Jewish barber who is a dead-ringer look-alike for der Nutsie. Puns, sight gags and slapstick abound as Chaplin skewers fasism, balncing his attack with poignant scenes of a ghetto in the clutches of storm-trooping terror. Immortal bits include Hynkel's besotted dance with a globe, the upside-down flight and Hynkel and a Mussolini-like Jackie Oakie madly cranking their barber chairs higher and higher. Great comedy meets great filmmaking passion in The Great Dictator.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watching this film really shows how much talent some people are blessed with. Chaplin wrote, directed and starred in this flick. It will make you laugh and cry. It will show you how even in times of great pain and distress (The Holocaust). There is still beauty and laughter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RaphaelM More than 1 year ago
Ordered, paid and didn't received, not even a refund...dissapointed.