The Great Dictator, Movie

The Great Dictator

1940 | Directed by starring Charlie Chaplin

We kick it off with a film that was doing the rounds while the Nazis were in full force. This pointed satire of Nazi Germany revolves around a poor Jewish barber who is the spitting image of dictator Adenoid Hynkel (no prizes for guessing which historical figure he is meant to be).

This brave and remarkably prophetic comedy was the biggest commercial success in Charlie Chaplain’s celebrated career. It bagged five Academy award nominations, possibly setting the trend for Oscar-hogging holocaust movies.

Hitler himself banned the film but curiosity eventually got the better of him and he watched a copy while in Portugal. His reaction wasn’t recorded but it’s safe to assume he was not amused.


In recent months we've seen Tom Cruise's Valkyrie, Kate Winslet's Oscar winner The Reader, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and last week Defiance. And this year we will see Viggo Mortensen in Good and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. What they've all got in common, of course, is Nazis.

In honour of this trend, half-German Flicks.co.nz writer Andreas Heinemann names the best films featuring the ultimate baddies.

1st March 2008 WORDS BY Andreas Heinemann