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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Great Dictator and Charlie
Chaplin for being ahead of his time. In the film he reported the
abuse of the German Jewish population and Hitler's drive for
terrority using war. Few would listen. He was un-American!

The Great Dictator
Starring Charlie Chaplin

The Great Dictator (1940) - 125 minutes
The Great Dictator at Amazon.com

Chaplin is Brilliant in His first "Talkie"

Chaplin plays two totally opposite roles in his first "talkie," giving a superb display of his boundless talent for both inspired comedy and powerful drama.

One of his masterfully drawn characters is a Jewish barber facing the constant threat of storm troopers and religious persecution. The other is the great dictator, Hynkel, a brilliant lampoon of Adolph Hitler that is awesome proof of Chaplin's pantomime genius.

The movie's famous highlight comes in its final scene, when Chaplin steps out of character and addresses the camera with an eloquent plea for the triumph of reason and humanity over mindless militarism. This speech is so moving that Chaplin was later asked to repeat it on national radio, and the film itself was voted one of the year's Ten Best by The New York Times.

The Final Speech of The Great Dictator
by Charlie Chaplin

"I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible- Jew, Gentile, black men, white.

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.”

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and 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!

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a loveof humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate!

Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite.

Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!

Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!

Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!"

Epilogue

The National Board of Review rated it the second-best movie of the year. The New York Times named it one of the 10 best films of the year. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, but…

Many Americans did not like the film and many threw tomatoes at the screens while it played. Anti-Semitism was running high in America as well as was admiration for both Hitler and Mussolini. Leading figures in America such as Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Father Charles Coughlin, and other leading Christian Preachers, promoted Anti-Semitism. Hitler was admired for his "standing up to the Jews" and for making Germany "Great Again". And Mussolini was admired for "making the trains run on time" in Italy. Chaplin's final speech was considered communistic because it referred to a united mankind. Chaplin was prevented from returning to the United States in 1952 because the United States Attorney General considered him a communist.

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The Great Dictator
Starring Charlie Chaplin

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Great Dictator and Charlie
Chaplin for being ahead of his time. In the film he reported the
abuse of the German Jewish population and Hitler's drive for
terrority using war. Few would listen. He was un-American!