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Charlie Chaplin on the Villainy of War

Posted on Sep 4, 2007
the Great Dictator

Now seems as good a time as any to revisit the genius of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” In this climactic scene, Chaplin rails against the menace of war and hopes for a world where people actually care about each other.

Watch it:


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By carlito paquito, September 6, 2007 at 7:12 am Link to this comment
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Thank You RJ West.  Excellent site.  I appreciate it.  On Chaplin’s film.  “Unite” there’s the rub. I, and most would agree, cannot even unite their own community/workplace for obvious reasons that have been around for centuries. I still believe this is the ‘audition’ many will not get the part.

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By Bob K, September 5, 2007 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment
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It’s important to remember that Chaplin said that had he known what was really going on, he never would have made the film.

It’s a great speech, and one that’s very pacifist.  That’s appropriate to some circumstances, but it makes the assumption that the other side feels similarly (how do you think a group like Al Qaeda would feel about the message?).

As far as commentary on the current war, the part that seems most appropriate is where Chaplin talks about surrendering reason to leaders.

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By RJ West, September 4, 2007 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment
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For a very high resolution/quality of this speech, see my member area in web community under my handle ‘MrNishi’. tag/key words= charlie chaplin, great dictator, fascism.  Truly amazing; this segment is MORE relevant than it was >65 years ago!  Lots of fine video in the veoh site!

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By Inherit The Wind, September 4, 2007 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
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That was why J. Edgar Hoover HATED Chaplin, and, when Chaplin went to Europe, engineered it so he couldn’t return to the United States, living out his life in Switzerland. 

Chaplin didn’t return to the US until the very end of his life.

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By Don Stivers, September 4, 2007 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Bush would think that this IS what he is doing.  At least have us believe that is what he is doing.  He is actually stroking his ego.  “I’ll show my college siblings that I am the toughest stud around.  I will lead soldiers into battle.  (Send is more like it).  I’ll get even with them.”

His ego is so big he cannot admit he has made a mistake with the lives of others.  Or he doesn’t care.

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By Scott, September 4, 2007 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

I wonder how a modern leader would be recieved making the same public plea.


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By tomack, September 4, 2007 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Some words become dated and others stand the test of time. Chaplin’s finale speech is among the latter. While the movie was satire, the ending was anything but.

I wonder how a modern leader would be recieved making the same public plea.

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