[[quoteright:196:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/great_dictator.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:196: TV-TROPEN...SCHTONK!]]

->''"Eh das Strahf mitz Hutenzecht! Der Weinerschnitzel mittalagen vienten, und das SAUERKRAUT!"''
-->-- '''His Excellency Adenoid Hynkel''', Phooey of Greater Tomainia, Conqueror of Osterlich, Future Emperor of the World

''The Great Dictator'' is a famous Creator/CharlieChaplin film about a [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler European dictator]] who [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything uses the Jewish people as a scapegoat]] for [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany his country's]] problems and tries to ally himself with [[UsefulNotes/FascistItaly the republic of Bacteria]], since both wish to [[RippedFromTheHeadlines annex the country in between them]]. At the same time, a UsefulNotes/WorldWarI veteran with a case of EasyAmnesia -- who happens to be [[IdenticalStranger a dead ringer for the dictator]] -- returns to his barbershop in the Jewish ghetto to find out things aren't quite as nice as they used to be...

Chaplin planned and shot the film in 1939-1940; France was conquered during the filming, which may have influenced the final tone of the film. While Chaplin understood from first-hand accounts how hostile the Third Reich was to Jews, at the time of filming, he was ignorant of [[UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust Hitler's desire to exterminate them and most of eastern europe in the near future]] (the ''Hungerplan'' was devised alongside planning for ''Operation Barbarossa'' later that year and the Final Solution in early 1942). After UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Chaplin expressed some regret about the film, telling interviewers that he might not have made it if he'd known the whole story. That would be an artistic challenge Roberto Benigni would take up 50 years later with the Oscar winning {{Dramedy}}, ''Film/LifeIsBeautiful''.

''The Great Dictator'' was (of course) banned in UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, although prints of the film still found their way into occupied Europe. According to an eyewitness, UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler obtained a copy of the film and watched it twice; when Chaplin found this out, he said that he would give anything to know what he thought of it. Britain had announced that they were going to ban the film while the film was in production (so that it wouldn't interfere with the country's appeasement policy with Nazi Germany), but when the film was released, Britain had entered the war against the Nazis, and the film couldn't be brought in fast enough; it ended up providing some badly needed laughs at a time where laughs were in short supply for Britain (and most of Europe).

Ironically, for all of the controversy surrounding it, ''The Great Dictator'' was not the first American anti-Nazi comedy film -- Chaplin was upstaged by Film/TheThreeStooges with the short film ''YouNaztySpy'' by nine months.

The film is also a landmark for Chaplin himself - it was his first all-sound film, released over a decade after the rest of Hollywood transitioned to sound. (In the meantime Chaplin had stubbornly made ''Film/CityLights'' and ''Film/ModernTimes'' as silent films.) And although the barber is explicitly ''not'' the Tramp character, he nonetheless has the Tramp's physical appearance - baggy clothes, big shoes, cane, and that moustache - and thus this film marks the final time Chaplin would invoke some version of this character on screen.

For the Creator/SachaBaronCohen movie, see ''Film/TheDictator'', which is also a satire.

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!!''The Great Dictator'' includes examples of the following tropes:

* AdolfHitlarious: Came pretty close to being the UrExample and TropeMaker, but was beaten out by Film/TheThreeStooges' ''Film/YouNaztySpy''.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: In the beginning set in World War I, the Jewish barber puts down the butt of his gun onto the foot of a fellow soldier, who scolds him.
* {{Arcadia}}: Osterlich is depicted as a heavenly place out in the country.
* ArmiesAreEvil: The Tomanian Army.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: A quite memorable (and hilarious) example of faux-German
* AsTheGoodBookSays: The barber quotes Literature/TheBible (specifically Luke 17:20 - 17:21) in his RousingSpeech: "In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written " the kingdom of God is within man " - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - in you, the people!"
* AuthorTract[=/=]BalconySpeech: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbn-GjL6WLA "Look up, Hannah".]]
* BatmanInMyBasement: DefectorFromDecadence Commander Schultz hides in the basement of a Jewish family.
* BeautifulAllAlong: Hannah after her makeover, though she [[HollywoodHomely never looked ugly to begin with]].
* BicepPolishingGesture: Hynkel briefly affects this when discussing the strength of the Aryan people.
* BlackSpeech: The pseudo-Germanic gibberish that constitutes all but three words of Hynkel's opening address. It's so difficult to pronounce that Hynkel descends into coughing fits twice during the speech.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: The closing speech is not delivered by the barber impersonating Hynkel, but by Charles Chaplin speaking directly to an audience that, at the time the film was made, was just entering into UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* TheCaligula: Hynkel.
* CannonFodder: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] during the final speech.
--> "Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder."
* CasualDangerDialogue: When the Jewish Barber is hanging to an upside-down plane by just the throttle, he never even raises his voice. When the plane starts to dive, Schultz rambles about his beloved and daffodils, and continues ''even after the plane crashes''.
--> '''Schultz''': We're upside-down.
--> '''Jewish Barber''' (hanging on for dear life): I'm aware.
--> '''Schultz''': Give me that stick. ''(so he can pilot the inverted plane)''
--> '''Jewish Barber''': Absolutely not.
* ChestOfMedals: Type 3. Field Marshal Herring is shown with tons of medals - almost enough to match his ego.
* CobwebOfDisuse: When the barber returns to his shop, the interior is covered in cob web.
* CommissarCap: Chaplin lampoons Adolph Hitler and wears a wonderful Commissar Cap with a XX logo in place of the swastika.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: Being with the Jewish resistance group, Commander Schultz can't help but do the "Heil Hynkel" salute on his way out. He apologizes immediately.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Cranked up to eleven for Chaplin. Especially when viewed with hindsight.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Commander Schultz.
* DelegationRelay: When the huge gun fails to fire properly and the bullet just drops out of the barrel, the general turns to the colonel and says: "Check the bullet". The colonel turns to the captain and gives the same order. The captain gives the order to the lieutenant. The lieutenant delegates to the private (Chaplin). The private turns to his left... and finds out that there's nobody left to delegate to, so he has to do it himself.
* DisastrousDemonstration: When the inventions by Hynkel's scientists fail on demonstration. Played for laughs, but not without a jod of MoodDissonance.
** The man in the bulletproof uniform receives an InstantDeathBullet and dies on the spot.
** The man with a [[HammerspaceParachute parachute in his hat]] falls from a window to his death. We [[GoryDiscretionShot only see the reactions by Hynkel and Herring]].
* DiseasedName: Tomainia (Ptomainia - a deadly food-poisoning) and Bacteria, expies of Nazi Germany and FascistItaly. Hynkel's given name Adenoid also verges in this direction.
* TheEeyore: One of the Jewish men at the ghetto.
* {{Egopolis}}: The capital of Tomainia is completely dedicated to their Fooey, from Hynkelstrassen to Hynkel Stadium.
* TheEmpire: Tomainia.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Hynkel is frightened at the prospect of being [[AGodIAmNot referred to as a god]], despite his global aspirations.
* EvilChancellor: Garbitsch.
* EvilLaugh: Hynkel gets off a scary cackle before his dance with the globe.
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Garbitsch again.
* {{Expy}}: Although Chaplin, the film itself, and movie historians were and are adamant that the Jewish Barber is ''not'' the Little Tramp character Chaplin portrayed on screen between 1914 and 1936, anyone with eyes can see the obvious similarities, from the mustache to the shoes.
* ForeignLanguageTirade: Hynkel's hate speech takes this form, with an English-speaking interpreter [[strike:[[TactfulTranslation translating]]]] [[TooLongDidntDub providing running commentary]].
* FruitCart: We see a fruit cart being turned over during the pogrom.
* FryingPanOfDoom: Hannah's weapon of mass destruction.
* GainaxEnding: An extraordinary one in which Chaplin steps out of character and delivers a RousingSpeech.
* GeneralFailure: Grand Marshall Herring, who keeps bringing worthless experimental weapons for the Phooey to observe.
--> '''Herring''': [excited] We've developed the most wonderful poison gas. [childlike glee] It will kill ''everybody''.
* TheGeneralissimo: Hynkel.
* GirlNextDoor: Hannah.
* GlovedFistOfDoom: [[http://colewebbharter.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/great-dictator-4.jpg Parodied (sans glove)]] by Creator/CharlieChaplin as Hynkel.
* GotTheWholeWorldInMyHand: Hynkel dances with an inflatable globe. When he squeezes it too much ... the globe explodes.
* GreetingGestureConfusion: Twice, Hynkel tries to shake hands with Napaloni but his "Heil Hynkel" salute come in between and [[http://38.media.tumblr.com/d3d62b729286c0b1a61af487b3c06eac/tumblr_n8iwcgwQtC1rfpu53o2_400.gif their hands miss each other several times]] until they finally figure it out.
* HistoryMarchesOn: 'Concentration camp' was a fairly neutral term at the time, and upon hearing the word nobody at the time would've associated it with being starved to death or actively exterminated. The Japanese and Germans changed that within just five years of the film's creation, making the scene where the barber is sent to a very mild-looking concentration camp rather jarring. Chaplin later said that if he'd understood just how evil the Nazis really were, he wouldn't have made the film. That said, with the knowledge of hindsight, the portion of Hynkel's first speech where he begins talking about "der Jewden" becomes unbelievably chilling, as does an otherwise innocuous scene in which Hynkel orders one of his close advisers to be sent to a concentration camp.
%% Heel-Face Turn: see DefectorFromDecadence
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Hynkel gets arrested by his own men who are looking for the Jewish barber.
* HufflepuffHouse: Bacteria.
* HypocriticalHumor: Dark-haired Hynkel and Garbitsch talk about how brunettes can't be trusted, unlike Aryan blondes.
* IdenticalStranger / EvilTwin: Both fictional dictator Hynkel and the unnamed barber, and (to a lesser extent) Hitler & Chaplin.
* InsigniaRipoffRitual: Whenever Field Marshal Herring pisses Hynkel off, Hynkel rips off all of his medals.
* InstantDeathBullet: The scientists who tries to demonstrate his new invention, a bulletproof uniform, dies immediately when the bullet hits him.
* KickTheDog: The storm troopers strolling through the streets, vandalizing a fruit shop and throwing tomatoes at Hannah.
* LargeHam: Chaplin (and by extension, Hynkel) is clearly having a total blast doing his rousing, macaronic faux-German speech.
* LaughablyEvil: Adenoid Hynkel is portrayed as [[ManChild infantile]] and [[DrunkWithPower crazy from power]]. Some consider this version of reality to be too humorous.
* MickeyMousing: An astonishing scene where the Jewish Barber shaves a customer in perfect time with the Hungarian Dance #5. Supposedly the intent was to record multiple takes and piece it together in editing; instead Chaplin brought the phonograph to the set, played the music, and nailed the entire routine on the first practice take.
* MilitaryMashupMachine: Underwater tanks and flying dreadnoughts are mentioned.
* MindScrew: Hynkel and Garbitsch try to psychologically dominate Benzino. It doesn't work.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The sons and daughters of the Double Cross.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Asserted at the beginning on the film.
* NoEnding: Or, rather, an ending that leaves the plot hanging for a (quite effective and moving) AuthorTract.
* NoNameGiven: The main character is a barber whose name is never revealed. This one of several points of similarity between the barber and Chaplin's Little Tramp character, who likewise usually goes nameless in many of his films.
* NoSwastikas: The [[MeaningfulName Double Cross]].
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Commander Schultz.
* OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope: Parodied - the film begins with the notice: "Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental".
* PetTheDog: The storm troopers stop harassing the Jews after Commander Schultz intervenes. In one scene they even help Hannah picking up the potatoes she dropped in the street.
* PieInTheFace: The ForeignCorrespondent who sneaks into Hynkel's palace receives one of these after Garbitsch insists that the Hynkel-Napaloni negotiations are going swimmingly.
* PoliticiansKissBabies: Played for laughs when Adenoid Hynkel is handed a baby for a [[PropagandaMachine promotional photo shoot]] after a rally, but the baby wets him.
* PrinceAndPauper: The dictator and the barber in this case.
* ProducePelting: The storm troopers are throwing tomatoes at Hannah in the street.
* PsychopathicManchild: The dictator plays with his "globe" in a manner similar to a very young child in his office.
* PunnyName: Garbitsch and Herring, along with the title "Phooey" instead of "Fuehrer".
* RapeAsComedy: Hynkel strong-arms a secretary and drags her to a couch. She yells "no, no, no" but eventually gives in. At this moment a phone call interrupts Hynkel and he drops the girl like hot coal.
* RipVanWinkle: The protagonist got amnesia and spent the whole time between WWI and WWII in a mental asylum.
* RoofHopping: The barber and Commander Schultz try to flee from the storm troopers by climbing across roof tops of the neighborhood. It doesn't work out for them.
* RousingSpeech: At the end of the film, the barber mistaken for Hynkel is supposed to give a victory speech. Instead, he gives a speech in which he calls for humanity in general to break free from dictatorships and use science and progress to make the world better.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Hynkel's dance concludes with the globe popping in his hands. Given the speech at the end, it's another part of the theme that civilization cannot survive if men like Hynkel are allowed to pursue their twisted goals.
* {{Ruritania}}: Tomainia, Osterlich and Bacteria. AKA Germany, Austria, and Italy respectively.
* RushmoreRefacement: The Venus De Milo and Rodin's Thinker doing the Nazi Salute.
* SomeoneHasToDie: Played for laughs. Commander Schultz comes up with a [[DrawingStraws pudding & coin lottery]] to pick a member of [[LaResistance the resistance group]] to commit a HeroicSacrifice by going in and kill Hynkel single-handedly. HilarityEnsues.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Hynkel's dance with the inflatable globe is set to the hauntingly beautiful Act 1 Prelude to Wagner's ''Lohengrin''.
* SpinningPaper: To show the passage of time.
* SpockSpeak: Garbitsch.
* StudioAudience: Hynkel can command applause and cause it to cease ''instantly'' by waving his hand.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Hynkel's goal.
-->"Aut Caesar aut nullus. Emperor of the world. My world."
* TakeThat: Chaplin's closing speech. For a man known for being silent, when Chaplin spoke, he had something to say.
** FascistItaly is turned into ''Bacteria''.
* TapOnTheHead:
** All victims of Hannah's FryingPanOfDoom.
** Hynkel, being mistaken for the barber, gets a trooper's baton on his head and sinks down.
* TactfulTranslation: Done with the dictator's speech [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4UhJpviVYg here]].
* TemptingFate:
** Hannah's comment: "Do you know, that Hynkel isn't such a bad fella after all." is followed by Hynkel's hateful radio address and the subsequent pogrom.
** During their RoofHopping, Commander Schultz warns the barber to be careful to not break his neck. Cue the barber slipping and falling through a ceiling window onto someone's bed.
* ThisIsAWorkOfFiction: "Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental".
* ThoseWackyNazis
* TranslationYes: Done with Hynkel's speech.
** Earlier in the movie, Hynkel is delivering a speech, commented on by an English speaking narrator. Some passages are translated word by word (like 'liberty is abolished'), while others like Hynkel's rambling about the beauty of the Tomanian women are paraphrased with a lot of details. Then, one very long passage of Hynkel screaming, shaking his fists and growling is paraphrased only as: 'His excellency has just referred to the Jewish population'.
** Another example uses dictation instead of translation Adenoid Hynkel would say a long sentence, and his secretary would transcribe it in a couple keystrokes. Another sentence, and again a couple keystrokes. A single word, and suddenly the secretary is typing something that might be the original manuscript of Order of the Phoenix.
* VisualPun: Would you trust a regime that uses the ''double cross'' as its symbol?
* WickedCultured: Hynkel likes playing the piano and does so extremely well.
* WideEyedIdealist: Hannah.
* WouldHitAGirl: When the storm troopers assault the Osterlich village, they get into fights with the villagers. In a struggle, Hannah gets slapped hard in the face by a Hynkel mook.

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