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[[caption-width-right:250: TV-TROPEN...SCHTONK!]]

->''"Eh das Strahf mitz Hutenzecht! Der Weinerschnitzel mitt da lagerbieren, 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 ''certain'' [[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.[[note]]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.[[/note]] 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 ''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, bowler hat 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.

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

* AdolfHitlarious: Came pretty close to being the 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. (What makes the army evil?)
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: A quite memorable (and hilarious) example of faux-German. Chaplin is making it up as he goes, and it's rather obvious that when he ran out of "words" he would say "Fluten sacht der Fluten"or something similar.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: The barber quotes Literature/TheBible (specifically Luke 17:20-21) 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!"
* AuthorFilibuster: The barber's final speech as Hynkel expresses Chaplin's own views about fascism and militarism.
-->'''Barber''': [[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 [[UnnecessaryMakeover never looked ugly to begin with]]. More like an Unkempt Beauty.
* BicepPolishingGesture: Hynkel briefly affects this when discussing the strength of the Aryan people.
* BlackComedy: Lampoons everything from war, anti-Semitism and even rape.
* 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.
* BoisterousBruiser: Napaloni expresses his fondness for Hynkel by slapping him hard on the back and nearly shaking his arm off.
* 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 control stick, he never even raises his voice. When the plane starts to dive, Schultz (who's been shot and is delirious with blood loss) 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''': Impossible.
* ChestOfMedals: Field Marshal Herring is shown with tons of medals - almost enough to match his ego.
* ClockTower: There's a scene where Hynkel shows off an ornate clock tower to Napoloni and Napoloni claims that it's inaccurate.
* 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 (the "Double-Cross") logo in place of the swastika.
* ContrivedCoincidence: Let's see...there's a random barber who happens to look exactly the same as Adenoid Hynkel, the fascist dictator of Tomania. He happens to be Jewish. And he happens to wake from a coma in which he's been trapped for twenty years, just around the same time that Hynkel is planning on invading Osterlich. Moreover, it turns out that this barber's old war buddy is now a high-ranking member (turned DefectorFromDecadence) of the fascist party. Oh...and Hynkel just happens to get lost on a duck-hunting trip at exactly the right moment for the barber to take his place.
* CreditsGag: The opening credits end with a footnote saying: "Any similarities between Chancellor Hynkel and the Jewish Barber are purely co-incidental."
%%* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to Chaplin's other work. Especially when viewed with hindsight. (How is the movie darker?)
* {{Dedication}}: The film was dedicated to "The Jews of the world."
* DefectorFromDecadence: Commander Schultz abandons Hynkel's regime when he sees the barber fighting the storm troopers.
* 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 UsefulNotes/NaziGermany and UsefulNotes/FascistItaly. Hynkel's given name Adenoid also verges in this direction.
%%* TheEeyore: One of the Jewish men at the ghetto. (How is he being an Eeyore.
* {{Egopolis}}: The capital of Tomainia is completely dedicated to their Fooey, from Hynkelstrassen to Hynkel Stadium.
* TheEmpire: Hynkel and Garbitsch's ultimate vision for Tomainia
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Hynkel is frightened at the prospect of being [[AGodIAmNot referred to as a god]], despite his global aspirations.
* 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.
** And of course, Hynkel is [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]], Garbitsch is Goebbels, Herring is Göring/Goering, and Napaloni is [[UsefulNotes/BenitoMussolini Mussolini]]
* {{Facepalm}}: Mr Jaeckel watches from his balcony when the troops arrive to lynch the barber. As they go to action, he facepalms in the background.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: The film has Osterlich, the pacifist country next to Tomainia. It's an obvious parallel to UsefulNotes/{{Austria}} down to the name with a different spelling: Österreich is the German/Austrian name for Austria.
%%* FictionalCountry: Tomainia and Bacteria are [[{{Expy}} expies]] for UsefulNotes/NaziGermany and UsefulNotes/FascistItaly.
* FreezeFrameBonus:
** While the movie replaces Germany with the fictional Tomainia, on the newsreel you can still see the name Germany printed under the "Armistice" headline.
** Another newsreel fragment has the line "Stop press bulletins".
* ForeignLanguageTirade: Hynkel's hate speech takes this form, with an English-speaking interpreter [[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.
* GratuitousGerman: Hynkel speaks German gibberish when speaking to the public or when he is angry. It's actually a variety act called "speaking Double Dutch" that Chaplin had learned to do when he performed in music halls and vaudeville, before he got into movies.
* 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.
* HeelFaceTurn: Schultz has one after rescuing the barber from the storm troopers.
* 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: Both fictional dictator Hynkel and the unnamed barber.
* 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 on the spot when the bullet hits him in the chest.
* KickTheDog: The storm troopers strolling through the streets, vandalizing a fruit shop and throwing tomatoes at Hannah.
* KnightOfCerebus: Most of the villainous characters are too goofy to be scary; but this does not apply to Garbitsch, the Minister of Propaganda. Aside from his name, there is very little that is in any way funny about this character. He almost always acts much more seriously than the other characters, and he constantly encourages Hynkel to persecute the Jews and to act like a treacherous and hateful egomaniac. While the other 'children of the double-cross' can be viewed as parodies; Garbitsch goes above and beyond to earn his name.
* 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]].
* MickeyMousing: An astonishing scene where the Jewish Barber shaves a customer in perfect time with [[Creator/JohannesBrahms Brahms']] 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. (How is this a mind screw?)
* MythologyGag:
** As the Stormtroopers start searching for Schultz, the Barber tries to warn him, but does so in mime, without speaking, and immediately afterwards claims to have "told" him about the danger. This is in reference to the Tramp's silent movie past, where he would only speak through title cards.
** Later in the movie, Hynkel mistakes Napaloni's moving mouth (as he is eating) for silent speech, and asks what he is saying.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The sons and daughters of the Double Cross are [[{{Expy}} clear expies]] for the Nazi Party.
* 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 symbol of Hynkel's regime is the [[MeaningfulName Double Cross]].
%%* OfficerAndAGentleman: Commander Schultz.
* OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope: Parodied - the film begins with the notice: "[[IdenticalStranger Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental]]".
%%* PatrickStewartSpeech: The ending.
* 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: This accidentally happens to Hynkel and the barber, when Hynkel goes missing while fishing and the barber is [[DressingAsTheEnemy dressed in a military uniform]]. Until then [[FailedASpotCheck no one notices the resemblance between the barber and der Phooey]].
* 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".
* PunyParachute: One of the wacky inventions demonstrated by Grand Marshall Herring is a hat parachute. It doesn't work.
* 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.
* RapidFireTyping: Parodied, albeit on a typewriter. In one scene, the eponymous character dictates a letter to his secretary. He first lets off a long stream of mock-German, which the secretary records in a few keystrokes; he then follows it with a short syllable, which takes an absurdly long time to type.
* RevisedEnding: The film originally ended with the soldiers all breaking into a folk dance. This was abandoned, although footage of it exists.
* RipVanWinkle: The protagonist got amnesia and spent the whole time between WWI and WWII in a mental asylum.
* RomanAClef: The movie is essentially a thinly veiled, fictionalized version of Germany's Anschluss with Austria and of ''Kristallnacht'', the pre-war German pogrom that preceded TheHolocaust.
* 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.
* RousseauWasRight: The Anti-Nazism speech, in which Chaplin tells the audience, "You have the love of Humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate! The unloved and the unnatural."
* 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. (How are they like Ruritanias?)
* 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''.
%%* SpeakingSimlish: The FakeGerman.
* SpinningPaper: The printing press variety is used to show the passage of time.
%%* SpockSpeak: Garbitsch.
* StudioAudience: Hynkel can command applause and cause it to cease ''instantly'' by waving his hand.
* StupidJetpackHitler: Parodied. Herring is very enthusiastic about various inventions that all fail hilariously in ways that kills their inventors. Fuehrer Adenoid Hynkel is less enthusiastic and finally tells him to just stop, please.
* TactfulTranslation: Hynkel's translator does this throughout the dictator's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4UhJpviVYg opening speech]]. It is especially evident after Hynkel's rant about "der Juden."
-->'''Translator''': [[{{Understatement}} His Excellency has just referred to the Jewish people.]]
* TakeOverTheWorld: Hynkel's goal.
-->"Aut Caesar aut nullus[[note]]Either a Caesar or a nobody; Emperor or nothing[[/note]]. 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.
* TapOnTheHead:
** All victims of Hannah's FryingPanOfDoom.
** Hynkel, being mistaken for the barber, gets a trooper's baton on his head and sinks down.
* 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: UrExample before the world experienced or understood the full extent of Nazi evil. Chaplin even claimed he would not have made the movie had he known the true nature of the Nazi concentration camps.
* TranslationYes:
** 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.
* UnnecessarilyLargeInterior: Hynkel's office is gigantic. He uses this to his advantage by forcing Napaloni to cross this massive space as psychological intimidation. Napaloni comes in the room from a door right behind Hynkel's desk.
* 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 never loses her innocence despite her life in the Jewish ghetto.
* 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.