Moviesby Pierre Bouvry
Chaplin Le Dictateur
Charlie Chaplin - The Dictator - Movie PosterCalling on one of the film's most memorable comic scenes, Bouvry lays down a Hitler-esque moment of coquettish global domination to promote the French release of The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin's first full talkie distributed by United Artists both domestically and abroad. The satire of Nazi Germany featured Chaplin in the double role of a Jewish ghetto barber and his look-alike, Adenoid Hynkel, the dictator of Tomania. Not only did he pull double duty in front of the camera, Chaplin directed and wrote the project as well. The Little Tramp's height and mustache made him the perfect visual choice for the role, but there end the similarities between the actor and the fascist ruler. Chaplin, as one might expect, was vehemently opposed to anti-Semitism, and those views led to the controversial conclusion of the anti-Nazi opus: Charlie the barber, mistaken for his dictatorial double marches to the podium and rallies himself to give a six-minute speech against the evils of fascism, hopeful in its suggestion that brotherhood might somehow be attainable. It was a bold step, fusing, if only briefly, the iconic and personal Charlie for the world to see. In fact, as the picture had Chaplain stepping out of his traditional tramp role, the poster reminds us with a miniature trademark caricature that this is indeed his work.