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The Great Dictator (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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THE TRANSFER: No expense has been spared in making each film sparkle as never before. The gray scale is incredibly rich and beautifully balanced. Blacks are deep. Contrast levels show off Charlie's make up. Fine detail is gloriously realized. Minor edge enhancement and some pixelization do occur but nothing to distract or even hint that anything but absolute care has been taken to make these films look as good as they possibly can. Almost all age related artifacts are gone. Truly, I can't say enough to recommend these transfers. The audio is mono and nicely balanced.
EXTRAS: Each disc comes with a brief featurette on Chaplin's legacy and some interesting supplimental extras including outtakes in some cases and interviews in others.
BOTTOM LINE: No more to be said: don't walk - RUN to your nearest video retailer and make the Chaplin Collection a part of your home video library!
The facts, however, say it all.
This film was made at a time when most of America was anti-semitic, when no one wanted to think of getting involved with Europe's affairs, and when Chaplin's own art of pantomime had been lost in the onslaught of 'talkies'.
And for Chaplin to choose *this* premise for his farewell to the little Tramp-- turning his Tramp into a Jew and turning himself into Adolf Hitler-- well, it's nothing short of daring.
For those that prefer Charlie as just the funny little fellow, and not his serious side, there's enough slapstick in this film to satisfy even them: the comedic highs are the moments when no words are needed-- the misplaced grenade, the dance with the globe, or the shaving scene to Brahm's Hungarian Dance. But the film IS at its best when Chaplin's Adenoid Hynkel is shown as a stark raving madman, and he with Jack Oakie's 'Napaloni' expose the true ridiculousness and lunacy of it all.
Cynics have been known to call this film 'preachy', but as far as I'm concerned, it was awful gutsy of Chaplin to speak out on the issue-- and not just speak out, but to point a finger right in the face of Fascism and to charge it as a 'blunder' of humanity. For him to be *successful* in making us laugh on a subject that, in its essence, is not funny in the least really is a testimony to his abilities as an actor.
His other films may be better than this one, and it's not my personal favorite of his work, BUT: **this** is the film that made Charlie a hero in my eyes. And that sort of passion for speaking out in what you believe deserves Five stars anyday!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A film that should be watched by everyone. Chaplin's first talkie (correct me if I'm wrong) and it's great. He dared to go where others would not. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Sith Lord
This was a gift for my daughter and she had looked high and low for it with no luck---she loved it. Not quite sure I understand why she's into Charlie Chaplin---she is 22.Published 27 days ago by Joel
Chaplin was brave beyond all knowing. The G-word fits. (Genius.)Published 2 months ago by AlchemystAZ