The Great Dictator

Synopsis: Twenty years after the end of WWI in which the nation of Tomainia was on the losing side, Adenoid Hynkel has risen to power as the ruthless dictator of the country. He believes in a pure Aryan state, and the decimation of the Jews. This situation is unknown to a simple Jewish-Tomainian barber who has since been hospitalized the result of a WWI battle. Upon his release, the barber, who had been suffering from memory loss about the war, is shown the new persecuted life of the Jews by many living in the Jewish ghetto, including a washerwoman named Hannah, with whom he begins a relationship. The barber is ultimately spared such persecution by Commander Schultz, who he saved in that WWI battle. The lives of all Jews in Tomainia are eventually spared with a policy shift by Hynkel himself, who is doing so for ulterior motives. But those motives include a want for world domination, starting with the invasion of neighboring Osterlich, which may be threatened by Benzino Napaloni, the dictator of
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
Director(s): Charles Chaplin
Production: Criterion Collection
  Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

At the end of the World War

Tomainia weakened.

Revolution had broken out,

her diplomats sued for peace

while Tomainia's army fought on,

confident its war machine

would smash the enemy's lines.

Big Bertha, able to fire 100 miles,

was to make its appearance

on the Western Front,

and strike terror into the enemy.

75 miles away was her target:

the cathedral of Notre-Dame.


Stand clear!


Stand by your trigger!

Range correction: 95,455.

Breach secured.

Stand clear.

Ready... Fire!

Defective shell. We'll examine it.

Check the fuse.

Yes, the fuse.

Look out! Run!

What's that?

- Air raid.

- After Big Bertha.

The anti-aircraft gun!

To the gun!

Have you gone crazy?

Come down!

What do you think you're doing?

Have you gone crazy?

Sir, the enemy have broken through.

Every man to the front.

Muster the gun crew!

Get your hand grenades, soldiers.

Where's your hand grenade?

Give him one.

Keep moving. Come along, hurry up!

Pardon me, but to work this...

Pull the pin,

count to ten and throw it!

Let them have it!

This is no time to scratch.

Pull yourself together.

Take this.


Fall in!

Hey you, come on!

Order arms!

Prepare to attack.


There you are.

The enemy!

Come on, let's get him!

May I come in, sir?

- Who is it?

- Friend.

- What division?

- 21st artillery, sir.

Take this and keep firing.

I'll be back.

Comrade! Help!

What is it?

I'm exhausted.

Quick, help me to my plane.

Thank you. I'll see you get

the Tomainian Cross for this.

Only too willing to oblige, sir.

You saved my life. Thank you.

I'll strap you in.

I can't make it alone.

You'll have to stay with me.

Can you fly?

I can try.

Lift my hand to the stick.

I haven't the strength.

Take charge of that gun!

The enemy!

Quick, lift my hand to the throttle.

We'll fool 'em!

Hold on to these dispatches.

If we get them

to General Schmelloffel,

Tomainia may yet win.

I'm going to faint.

Don't say that.


Where am I?

Don't you know me?

Yes, I feel better now.

The blood's returning to my head.

What's below?

The sun?

Shining upwards.

Strange. How's the gas?

Kept me awake all night.

No, the gasoline in the tank!

Almost empty.

We must be nearly there.

What time is it?

Approximately one minute to twelve.


We seem to be defying

the laws of gravity.

Water. Quick, I'm going to faint.

Wait a while.

We'll get into trouble

if you faint any more.

Just hold it.

I think I... Now...

Take it!

Something's wrong.

I can't reach it.

It's all gone.

What's the matter?

Belt too tight.

Loosen it.

I'm trying to!

We're upside down.

I know it!

The stick!


There it goes. We're out of gas.

Well, I suppose this is the end.


Not now!

I shan't need this any more.

What month is it?

April. Spring in Tomainia.

Hilda will be in the garden,

tending the daffodils.

How she loves daffodils!

She'd never cut them

for fear of hurting them.

It was like taking a life

to cut a daffodil.

Sweet, gentle Hilda.

A beautiful soul.

She loved animals,

and little children, too.

We've landed! Dispatches!

Comrade, where are you?

The dispatches... Where are they?

- Are you hurt?

- Take me to General Schmelloffel.

If we don't deliver these,

we're defeated.

- The war's over.

- What?

We lost.

Hynkel takes power.

The Jewish soldier

suffered a loss of memory

and remained in hospital for years,

ignorant of the change in Tomainia.

Hynkel ruled the nation

with an iron fist.

Under the double-cross emblem

liberty was banished.

Only the voice of Hynkel was heard.

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"The Great Dictator" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 May 2020. <>.

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