The Great Dictator Turns 80

On this day in 1940, Charlie Chaplin released his political satire, The Great Dictator. This film is widely renowned for its moving messages and controversial portrayals of leaders of the time.

Courtesy: YouTube/Charlie Chaplin

While Chaplin was known primarily as a silent movie star, this was his first step into the sound film world. What a way to make an impact in your first attempt at something. Some of the messages in this movie are still extremely relevant today. In our world of division, we should look to these messages of the past. “I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone-if possible- Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one and other.”

In an effort to celebrate this important film milestone theatres around the world are doing special screenings of the film. Institut pour la Photographie in Lille, France had planned to put on a special exhibit celebrating the film called: Story of a small fish in a shark infested ocean. The Chaplin Museum in Switzerland had planned to do an exhibition for the anniversary but it has been pushed to 2021.

I will leave you with one last quote from the iconic speech in the film.

“You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world.”

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