As word spread about the heinous and systematic genocide perpetrated across Europe by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party, actor Charlie Chaplin felt he needed to scratch his latest film, a parody of fascism titled The great dictator. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent Chaplin a personal message urging him to move forward with the film, Chaplin decided to release it in 1940.
The great dictator became Charlie Chaplin’s most commercially successful film, and it is considered one of the most important political satires in the history of cinema. In the film, Chaplin plays two characters in the fictional country Tomainia: a Jewish barber and the country’s autocratic ruler, Adenoid Hynkel.
Adenoid Hynkel is a character created by Charlie Chaplin in order to undermine the political agenda of Adolf Hitler, one centered on the slaughter of the Jewish people. Chaplin hoped to shine a light on the horrors of anti-Semitism by pitting the childish, silly Hynkel against the compassionate barber. Using his own money, Chaplin used comedy to wage war on the Nazis.
An alternate ending
The great dictatorThe plot uses a classic comedy trope: mistaken identity. Charlie Chaplin’s barber character assumes the identity of Adenoid Hynkel, taking the opportunity to end the Toimanian regime’s reign of terror and reverse the real genocide unfolding in Europe at that time.
Originally, Charlie Chaplin wanted the movie to end with the barber addressing the nation with a wordless burlesque dance routine. However, as the seriousness of the Nazi pogrom became more apparent, Chaplin chose a different ending.
Instead of waltzing, the barber of The great dictator delivers a poignant speech. “I would like to help everyone if possible. Jew-Gentile — Black Man, White, ”he begins. “We don’t want to hate and despise each other. And this world has room for everyone, and the good Earth is rich can provide for everyone. “
A stunning example of historical revisionism in cinema, this latest speech by the Jewish barber in the guise of Adenoid Hynkel was written by Charlie Chaplin as a direct challenge to Adolf Hitler and the goals of his party. Chaplin didn’t know the message would actually reach Hitler.
Two private screenings
Adolf Hitler was more than just a Charlie Chaplin fan. He had already seen dozens of the comedian’s films The great dictator has been freed. Motivated by his own well-documented vanity, Hitler demanded a copy of the film despite the ban on Chaplin’s films in Germany due to the actor’s alleged Jewish heritage. Rumor has it that Hitler watched The great dictator not just once, but twice.
It is also rumored that Adolf Hitler did not appreciate Charlie Chaplin’s impersonation. While some historians claim the film caused a major tantrum, others write that Hitler simply didn’t care.
The great dictator didn’t do much to quell the Nazi Party’s holocaust, but Charlie Chaplin still used his platform to warn the world of the terror unfolding in Europe. At the end of 1945, as World War II drew to a dramatic end, the incomprehensible extent of the massacre decreed by Adolf Hitler was crystal clear.