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“A brave and controversial piece of filmmaking.” – BBC

Charlie Chaplin’s first talkie, made over a decade after the introduction of sound, stands as a brave and controversial piece of filmmaking. Entering production in 1937, at a time when many Americans saw Hitler as an ally rather than an enemy, the film was first released in 1940, prior to the United States’ entry into the Second World War.

Satirising Adolf Hitler, Chaplin plays a dual role: firstly as Adenoid Hynkel, the great dictator of the title and despotic ruler of Tomainia; and secondly – in a stroke of genius – as an amnesiac Jewish barber, who returns from the trenches of the First World War to discover that his shop is now part of a ghetto presided over by thuggish stormtroopers.