The greatest political speech in film history is delivered by cinema’s most famous silent clown in 1940’s The Great Dictator. In this comic masterpiece, Charlie Chaplin writes, directs and stars as both a Jewish barber and the Fascist tyrant Adenoid Hynkel – any resemblance to a living person, in particular the leader of the Third Reich, was entirely intentional.
It is a timeless comedy of resistance and compassion in the face of evil, which uses physical comedy to puncture political megalomania. In short, a film worth breaking a vow of silence for.
The Great Dictator comes to Criterion Collection Blu-ray on 26 September 2022 in a new high-definition digital restoration. Extras include:
• New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin historians Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran
• The Tramp and the Dictator (2001), a documentary narrated by filmmaker Kenneth Branagh and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and a host of others
• Two new visual essays, by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
• On-set, colour production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother, Sydney
• Deleted scene from Chaplin’s 1919 film Sunnyside
• Theatrical trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Wood and a 1940 article by Chaplin on the film
You can pre-order a copy of The Great Dictator from Criterion Collection here.
The Criterion Collection has given Silent London some discs to give away though! To win one of three copies, simply email your postal address and the answer to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Wednesday 7 September 2022:
Which actress plays Hannah, the barber’s friend and neighbour, in The Great Dictator?
- a) Norma Shearer
- b) Paulette Goddard
- c) Joan Crawford
Good luck! The winners will be chosen at random from the correct answers and will be notified by email. Please note this competition is open to UK residents only.
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