Reviews

The Great Dictator

5

Chaplin's first full talkie...

Chaplin's second classic to hit Blu-ray, The Great Dictator is Chaplin’s first full talkie, a political satire in which he plays both anti-Semitic dictator Adenoid Hynkel (sound familiar?) and his unlikely double, a Jewish barber. What stands out, especially in hi-def, is depth: of feeling, of daring, of detail. Shot through with Chaplin’s crusading zeal, Dictator declares war on the Nazis a year before the US. Blunt simplicity is buoyed by set-piece bravado - Dictator’s funniest suicide bomber sequence is still near-the-knuckle today.

Pivotally, the transfer is gob-walloping. Grain is inevitable, quality is inconsistent. Blu-ray reveals unprecedented texture in the evocative set designs and costumes, the physical and emotional dexterity of Chaplin’s performances, too, take on fresh life.

Film Details

  • U
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: May 10th 2010

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