Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel’s regime.
“The Great Dictator” is a 1940 American political satire film written, directed, produced, scored by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. It was released in the United States on October 15, 1940.
The film is a parody of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, and Chaplin plays two roles: Adenoid Hynkel, the dictator of Tomainia (a fictional country clearly modeled on Nazi Germany), and a Jewish barber who is mistaken for Hynkel. The film is notable for its strong anti-Nazi sentiment and for its final speech, in which Chaplin, as the Jewish barber, delivers a passionate plea for humanity, tolerance, and peace.
The film was a critical and commercial success, and it was nominated for five Academy Awards. Despite controversy and fears that it would offend Nazi Germany and other Axis powers, the film was widely distributed and became a cultural landmark. Today, it is considered one of Chaplin’s greatest works and one of the most important films in the history of cinema.