The Great Dictator: A Film by Charlie Chaplin


What’s the most edgy film you’ve ever seen—one that makes you uncomfortable and doesn’t tell you how to feel or react? We’d bet that it isn’t as close to the bleeding edge as Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 The Great Dictator, his first talkie and still highest-grossing film. Chaplin’s beloved Tramp fumbling with a soup spoon is one thing; his running from stormtroopers is quite another. Join Mike and Dan for a conversation about the issues raised in Chaplin’s greatest work as well as his bravery in making it.

In this episode, Dan reads a quotation by Charlie Chaplin, quoted in Scott Eyman’s terrific 2023 biography, Charlie Chaplin vs. America. (Check out the New Books Network later this fall for an interview with the author.) You can read what Chaplin himself said about The Great Dictator in this collection of interviews and his own autobiography.

Follow us on Twitter or Letterboxd. Incredible bumper music by John Deley.

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