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"The Great Dictator" - Charlie Chaplin
The Man I Married
(I Married A Nazi) 1940
Opening Weekend: $2,374,973
Domestic Total Gross: $6,090,497
Release Date: May 10, 1985
MPAA Rating: PG
REVIEWS & COMMENTS
Rustler's Rhapsody is one of the best western spoof movies to ever have been put to film, capturing the zaniness of Blazing Saddles while retaining a more subdued flow and presentation. The highly amusing film tells the story of Rex "the Singing Cowboy" O'Herlihan as he experiences the stereotypical villains and scenarios as normally seen in western films ranging from early 40's American westerns to the 60's Italian spaghetti westerns.
A beautiful parody of the old-styled westerns, Tom Berringer and company hit the nail on the head with this one. Replete with the usual suspects - the town drunk, the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, the not-so-innocent baron's daughter, and more - it centers around the deadly serious hero, Rex, and the loony situations he encounters and conquers. Berringer's comic timing is right on, also, as is his portrayal of a guy on a white horse who, at one point, comes to terms with his masculinity in a showdown with another 'good guy' who's actually an ex-lawyer (Patrick Wayne). This flick is a hoot.
I think this is one of the cleverest and funniest spoofs I've ever seen, and in many ways even uplifting. I have to imagine that the cast had a great time doing this one, and that there were more than a few retakes because the actors kept cracking up at their own performances, which are hilariously well executed without ever retreating into slapstick. I was especially floored by the sidekick/narrator (that first bar scene is priceless). The humor is ongoing, and the film pokes fun at a dozen social stereotypes using the 1930's Western as a template for the tale.
• AMAZON Page for "Rustler's Rhapsody"
Star TrekFrom: www.geocities.com/phineasbg/trekcom.html
Unadjusted Box Office Ranking
This is the most INACCURATE comparison of the box office success of each film.
NOTE: These figures are NOT adjusted for inflation.
See further down this page for the box office after inflation adjustment.
Movie USA Gross International Gross Total Gross Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) $112,000,000* $63,000,000* $175,000,000* Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982) $78,912,963 $23,166,295 $102,079,258 Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) $76,471,046 $15,222,150 $91,693,196 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) $109,713,132 $37,287,868 $147,001,000 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) $52,210,049 $19,009,966 $71,220,015 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) $74,888,996 $22,000,000 $96,888,996
*During the era of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the weekly box office charts on Variety only covered the big cities and not the whole nation. The national box office was only reported in some articles and only the first few weekends for each movie. That why even boxofficemojo.com only has the first few weekends for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, it actually earned much more than the $82,258,456 claimed on that site. This Variety method was changed to the more accurate method around the Wrath of Khan era of 1982. The general consensus is that Star Trek: The Motion Picture earned about $175 million by summer of 1980. However, exact figures are difficult to obtain.
Mr MajestykCharles Bronson plays Vince Majestyk, a melon farmer who encounters hit man Frank Renda (Al Lettieri). They drive around and shoot at each other, with Paul Koslo getting in-between every now and then.
COMMENTS FROM PAUL KOSLO:
- Mr. Majestyk began filming in 1973 on a ranch in southeastern Colorado. Because the only crop that was available during the time of filming was watermelons, it was decided that Mr. Majestyk would farm those and not cantaloupes as featured in the original script.
- Mr. Majestyk came from a story by Elmore Leonard. During the 60s and 70s, Leonard built a reputation on his Western novels and for his smart, quirky crime stories. This time he wrote a brief outline of Mr. Majestyk at Clint Eastwood's request. When that fell through because Eastwood was working on High Plains Drifter (1972), producer Walter Mirisch acquired the rights and brought Bronson aboard. Leonard went to work writing a full script from the outline though the final film version departed significantly from Leonard's original conception. "I've never had a good experience as a screenwriter," the writer once remarked. One example is the ending of Mr. Majestyk where a major character was supposed to die; instead the director decided it would make a better ending to let him live. Luckily, Leonard DID have control when he turned his own screenplay into a novel, which was published as a paperback original in 1974 when the movie was released.
- On the first day of production, Charles Bronson got angry about a delay caused by a late transport truck carrying cars necessary for the scene that was to be shot. Finally, he yelled to director Richard Fleischer within earshot of the entire crew, "You know what this company needs - it needs a European first assistant and a European crew!" The crew was so insulted by this remark that at the end of the day, they told Fleischer they would be leaving the production. They were persuaded to stay, but for the rest of the shoot they never spoke to Bronson unless they absolutely had to. Later in the shoot, Bronson commented to Fleischer, "I just don't understand it. Nobody calls me 'Charlie' on this picture. They only call me 'Mr. Bronson'."
- This film was launched in the USA in July 1974, the same month as another Charles Bronson picture, Death Wish. That movie premiered on the 24th whilst this movie was first released just a week earlier on the 17th.
Al Lettieri was the real Mr. Majestyk on MR. MAJESTYK. He was great. He was this warthog of a guy. This guy's from Sicily, you know: the original GODFATHER-type guy. He says, 'Hey, is that Charley over there?' We said, 'Yeah.' You know MR. MAJESTYK is about a melon grower. This is unbelievable. If I had a picture of this, I would have made a billion dollars. Here, this little warthog of a guy, short guy- not any taller than Bronson, but twice as wide- Lettieri, says, 'That's him over there?' We said, 'Yeah.' He walks up to Bronson, right next to him, and he puts his arm around him, his shoulder, and grabs him by his right arm. And he SQUEEZES him to his right side, and he lifts him right off the ground! He turns around and he's walking past us, singing (to the tune of Melancholy Baby) 'Won't you be my MELON-CHARLEY baaaaaaby!'
He carries him like this - Bronson's feet are off the ground - and Bronson didn't know what to do because he had this death grip on him- it was like a vice. And he walked him down this road, past the limo, about two blocks, carrying him like this. To this day, nobody knows what they talked about. There were lots of stories on that one, about Bronson being belligerent to the hosts of this big dude ranch they were staying at. The food was incredible and Bronson would send his driver off for some bologna and white bread and say, 'It's because me and my wife can't eat this shit,' the food which they were serving, which was incredible food. Stuff like that. But the guy was a gigantic star. What are you gonna do? Just chalk it off to oddity, to personality, I don't know.
Fleischer let me live at the end of the movie, because I was supposed to die. He said, 'There's so many guys getting blown away, this is ludicrous. Let's see if we can work out the ending, because I want you to live.' At the end of the movie, we're in this hunting lodge. He said, 'Charley, you know what? Everybody's dying here and I think Koslo's character is so funny, maybe we can build on this and we'll let him live. Let's see if we can work the end of this out now. He's not going to be dying.' And Bronson says, (does excellent Bronson imitation) 'What, are you crazy? I'm not here to make a star out of Paul Koslo. I'll be in my dressing room.' And Richard says, 'Charley, I need you to work this out. He's going to be in the scene with you.' He says, 'YOU work it out. When you're finished, you call me.' Richard came right over and said, 'Paul, I apologize for Charley. I'm sorry he's put you in the middle of this.' I said, 'No, it's all right. I feel really, really honored that you're doing this, because it's really great for me.' It was a wonderful compliment. (Fleischer) was a big-time guy.
"So then we worked this thing out and the AD (assistant director) got Charley back out. Richard said, 'Charley, this is the way we've worked it out...' Bronson cut in 'I don't care. Let him do whatever he wants. I'll take care of him,' just like that. When he said 'I'll take care of him,' I thought, 'What the fuck does that mean?' He says, 'What are you gonna be doin'? You gonna be comin' runnin' through that door?' 'Yeah, I'm gonna be coming. Al Lettieri's inside and the scene now is he's gonna tell me to get out under gunpoint so that he can draw you out, trying to get me.' I said that to Charley. He says, 'Okay, you come out and I'll take care of you. Just do what would come naturally.' Al Lettieri gives me the sign and says, 'Get out! Get out or I'll blow your brains out!' or whatever his line is. I come through that screen door and I'm GONE! I'm like two hundred yards into the forest! (laughs) Charley didn't have time to react or do anything. There was a horse hitch rail in front of the lodge, which was like three feet high, so I just jumped over it and kept running. Charley says, 'Hey, you think that's funny?' I said, 'You told me to do what comes natural. Sorry.' 'You come SLOW next time and do what comes natural.' So he's hiding behind the door, he's got this shotgun and I come out slow this time and the shotgun was just staring me in the face, so I just grabbed it out of his hands and got the drop on Charley. He said, 'You do that again, you'll be sorry you ever saw me.' I thought, 'Wow, man.'
"At the end, when we were moving to the next city, to Canyon City, Colorado, we were all paying our bills. We were in that lobby area and it had stairs going back upstairs. So some people were sitting on the stairs, waiting to pay their bills. There was Charley, right there on the stairs. People had to go around him. He just sat there, big as life. I go to pay my bill and he says, 'Hey, you.' I turn around and it's Charley sitting there. 'C'mere.' He pushed somebody aside and said, 'Siddown.' And I felt like an idiot because everybody's watching us because everybody hates his guts! He says, 'My wife thinks I should apologize to you. I don't apologize to nobody. Next to me, you're the best actor in this movie.' I said, 'Don't count on it, Charley,' and I just got up and walked away. Then he asked me for his next movie after that! That was really a weird relationship.
I saw something that Bronson did that I thought was really despicable. Bronson doesn't like people, yet he sits in the middle of downtown intersections in his chair for everybody to see. And then people come and bother him and he tells them to fuck off. Apparently there had been an elderly lady that was driving by and she wanted to know what all the hubbub was about, because they had traffic controlled. And they said, 'Oh, it's a Charles Bronson movie.' So she went home to change and get her autograph book because he was her favorite actor. She brought her camera with her, too. He told her to fuck off when she asked for his autograph. She was so shocked that she just took a picture of him, right there, while he was there when she was leaving. He had the cops take the camera from her, take the film out, and give her the camera back. That wasn't nice. I'm just concerned about when the camera's rolling, but these things affect you when you've seen these guys all your life that you work with, like I've seen Bronson. And I've always respected his work. So you go on and say, Hey, you respect the guy's talent, but that doesn't mean you necessarily have to like him."
Tora Tora Tora Bookmarks:
...The film did well in Japan, did not do well in the United States, and took years to make back the production costs. It remains an insightful and well crafted World War II action drama that was the result of years of negotiations between the two countries.
- Running Time: 136 Minutes
- Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)
- Gross: $14,500,000 (USA)
- Rentals: $14,530,000 (USA)
- Filming Dates: December 1968
Tora! Tora! Tora!
The movie Tora! Tora! Tora! (トラ・トラ・トラ！), released in 1970, is a dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that aggravated its effectiveness. The title is the code-words that were used by the Japanese to indicate a complete success of the attack, using a repetition of the Japanese word for tiger. The movie was critically acclaimed for its vivid action scenes as well as its almost documentary accuracy. Its famous "sleeping giant" line, however, though widely assumed to be a quotation, transpired to be fictitious.
The film was created in two separate productions, one based in the United States, directed by Richard Fleischer, and one based in Japan. The Japanese side of the production was initially directed by Akira Kurosawa, who attempted to cast friends and business associates, in key roles as a quid-pro-quo for funding of his future films. Twentieth Century Fox was not amused, and after two years of work with no useful results, 20th Century Fox turned the project over to Kinji Fukasaku who completed it.
The screenplay was written by Ladislas Farago, Larry Forrester, Ryuzo Kikushima, and Hideo Oguni, based on the book by Gordon W. Prange. Charles Wheeler, the cinematographer, was nominated for an Oscar. The film contains excellent second unit and miniature photography, shot by Ray Kellogg.
The film was the result of years of negotiation between Japanese and American investors. In the end, two different films were made; a Japanese film showing the Japanese side, and an American film doing the same for the US point of view. The two films were then edited together in two different versions, one for each nation.
Initially, 20th Century Fox hired the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (THE SEVEN SAMURAI) to direct the Japanese sequences, telling him that Englishman David Lean (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) was to direct the American sequences. As it turned out, Lean was never involved with the film and Kurosawa shot only for a few weeks, chafing under the tight controls imposed on him by the studio. The unhappy Kurosawa purposely got himself fired from the picture, and was replaced by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, two lesser-established directors of Japanese pictures.
It all ended up costing over $25 million and failed miserably at the box office in the US, but was a great success in Japan, although it still took several years before the studio made back its money (partly through the sale of the battle footage, which appears in MIDWAY  and MACARTHUR ). The film won an Oscar for Best Special Effects and received nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
In 1967, the last of the great Hollywood moguls, Darryl F. Zanuck, then head of 20th Century Fox, commissioned Richard Fleischer (Doctor Dolittle, Fantastic Voyage ) and Akira Kurosawa ( Seven Samurai , Rashomon , Ran ) to make a movie on the attack – detailing the instigating events from both Japanese and American points of view. The movie was called Tora! Tora! Tora!
After a series of disagreements and hassles, the perfectionist Kurosawa was replaced by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasuka, who could more easily be controlled by Fox. The film cost twenty-five million dollars, and when it flopped, it nearly destroyed Fox (as Cleopatra and Doctor Dolittle had before it), and Zanuck was ceremoniously retired as the studio's chief and given a figurehead title with no real power. It was the end of an era.
What nearly kills the film today, now that reputations and budgets no longer matter, is the resolutely fact-based approach to the material. Like A Night to Remember did for the Titanic sinking, Tora! Tora! Tora! purports to present the events leading up to the attack, and the attack itself, as accurately as possible. Unlike A Night to Remember, the characters are merely devices to spout textbook material, facts, and figures. Zanuck and his hired directors maintain such a firm grip on authenticity that they suffocate it. It's ironic that Zanuck once said, "There is nothing duller on the screen than being accurate but not dramatic."
Despite this, the movie has redeeming qualities. Key scenes just prior to the attack generate considerable suspense, and Jerry Goldsmith's score is especially effective. And there are moments to treasure, my favorite involving a junior Army communications officer hauling a Navy captain over the coals for dismissing blatant intelligence indications of imminent attack. ("You wanted confirmation, Captain? Well, take a look – there's your confirmation!") For a non-documentary film, Tora! Tora! Tora! provides as much fascinating, factual information on the event as you're going to get. If you're unable to get your hands on a copy of Walter Lord's classic Pearl Harbor account, Day of Infamy, then by all means, see the movie.
Isoroku Yamamoto is credited with saying, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." The earliest citation for that theatrical comment, however, is the (reasonably accurate) movie, Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). That quotation was accepted and repeated verbatim in the movie Pearl Harbor (2001). However, no one has been able to verify that Yamamoto ever actually said (or wrote) those words.
Neither At Dawn We Slept, written by the highly respected Gordon Prange, nor The Reluctant Admiral, the definitive biography of Yamamoto in English by Agawa Hiroyu, contains the line.
The director of the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, Richard Fleischer, stated that while Yamamoto may never have said those words, the film's producer, Elmo Williams, had found the line written in Yamamoto's diary. Yamamoto, however, never kept a diary. Williams, in turn, has stated that Larry Forrester, the screenwriter, found a 1943 letter from Yamamoto to the Admiralty in Tokyo containing the quote. However, Forrester cannot produce the letter, nor can anyone else, American or Japanese, recall or find it.
Yamamoto certainly believed that Japan could not win a protracted war with the United States, and, moreover, seems to have believed that the Pearl Harbor attack had become a blunder - even though he was the person who came up with the idea of a a surprise attack on it! The Reluctant Admiral relates that "Yamamoto alone" (while all his staff members were celebrating) spent the day after Pearl Harbor "sunk in apparent depression". He is also known to have been upset by the bungling of the Foreign Ministry which led to the attack happening while the countries were technically at peace.
The line serves very well as a dramatic ending to the attack, and may well have encapsulated some of his real feelings about it. It does not seem, alas, to have been real.
Interestingly, the other common Yamamoto quote predicting the future outcome of an attack on the United States ("I can run wild for six months ... after that, I have no expectation of success.") is real, and is something he is recorded to have said to a number of different Cabinet members in Japan in the 1940 time period. It was probably part of his standard appraisal of the situation.
Mitsuo Fuchida earned a place in world history as the leader of Japan's surprise attack on Hawaii, aimed at the U.S. Navy ships based at Pearl Harbor and other military bases. It was Fuchida that sent the famous radio message code words; Tora! Tora! Tora! (Tiger, Tiger, Tiger!). This three word message told Fuchida's superiors, planner Minoru Genda, and Admirals Nagumo and Yamamoto that complete surprise had been achieved.
Fuchida wrote several books on his war experiences; The Truth of the Pearl Harbor Operation, and Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan. Gordon Prange wrote a biography, God's Samurai: Lead Pilot at Pearl Harbor. Fuchida was wounded at the Battle of Midway, and reassigned to a staff job in Japan for the duration of the war. Fuchida decided to write the book on the Midway battle when he realized that all official records had been destroyed. He later found a copy of his wartime report of the battle at home, in a trunk.
In a remarkable meeting recounted by Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets, Fuchida told Tibbets that dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the correct decision. This is consistent with the published account written by Fuchida's American biographer Gordon Prange. In 1949, Fuchida converted to Christianity, became a missionary, and lived in the United States for a few years before retirement in Japan. The obituaries published in Time and New York Times differ in the spelling of the place of Fuchida's death. Both Time and New York Times got it wrong. Fuchida died of diabetes, in Kashiwara, near Osaka, on May 30, 1976. -- Richard Rongstad (21 June 1997).
But, he added: "Christianity has opened my eyes, and I hope through Christ to help young people of Japan learn a great love for America."
In 1959, Mr. Fuchida toured the United States as a member of the Worldwide Christian Missionary Army of Sky Pilots.
Speaking that year at the Memorial Baptist Church, Eighth Avenue and 16th Street, Brooklyn, he said that after the war he observed American mis- sionaries in Tokyo feeding the starving and teaching the "ways of Christ."
Such forgiveness, he said, made him want to know more of the Christ "they professed to love." One of his talks was called "From Pearl Harbor to Calvary -- My Testimony."
In 1955, with Masatuke Oku- miya, he wrote a book entitled, "Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan: The Japanese Navy's Story."
...I lived in Japan in '93 &'94. WWII was still very much a part of their culture in both good and bad ways. The Japanese are still having a very difficult time dealing with their position during the war. ...the most popular comic books are still about the Japanese winning the war, and raping women. They rave about peace, but I have not seen a society so ready to explode in frustration. Japan is a riddle of dichotomy.
Time Magazine, October 5, 1970 "The first half of the film is devoted to apple-pie softness and bamboo resilience. In war movies of the '40s, the Japanese were a thin yellow line. Tora! Tora! Tora! is a refreshing reversal...It is the Orientals who are individuals...No single man can be blamed, and no villains or heroes emerge from this foundering, slipshod -- and hypnotic -- drama. That judgment must hold not only for those who lived it but also for those who filmed it. Three directors, one American (Richard Fleischer) and two Japanese, Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, have managed to move crowds and planes, but not the viewer...Original, Master Director Akiro Kurosawa (Rashomon) was signed to oversee the Japanese sequences. He might have revealed the complex psychologies that led to the abyss and beyond. Without him, the film is a series of episodes, a day in the death. As for real men and causes, they are victims missing in action."
Newsweek, September 28, 1970 "Twentieth Century-Fox's lavish re-creation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the events that led to it, is put together like a Fourth of July celebration -- a long procession of predictable speeches leading to a spectacular fireworks display...The Japanese episodes (orignally assigned to the great Akira Kurosawa who was later dropped) were seperately filmed in Japan by two Japanese directors, Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku. They carry a good deal more spirit and imagination than the American episodes. In these there are no perfromances, only dramatic readings..."
"...it presents as stomach-wrenching and dazzling a cavalcade of action footage as has ever been put on the screen. One feels exactly what it is like to be blasted from the deck of a torpoed ship." "The aerial photography rivals ballet in the grace of its elegant choreography. The pathetic scenes of American planes blasted to oblivion while attempting take off explain in their violence and uncompromising realism how two men died in the making of the film."
New York Times, September 25, 1970 "As history, it seems a fairly accurate account of what happened, although it never much bothers its head about why. As film art it is nothing less than a $25-million irrelevancy. As entertainment -- well, that depends on your tolerance for history presented mostly as series of tableaux vivants et parlants, set in conference rooms, code rooms and antechambers and involving such dynamic personages as Cordell Hull, Henry Stimson and Frank Knox (for our side) and Admiral Yamamoto, Ambassador Nomura and General Tojo (for theirs).
"Tora! Tora! Tora! aspires to dramatize history in terms of event rather than people and it just may be that there is more of what Pearl Harbor was all about in fiction films such as Fred Zinneman's "From Here to Eternity" and as the Variety review pointed out, Raoul Walsh's "The Revolt of Mamie Stover" than in all of the extravagant posturing in this sort of historical mock-up."
The Hawaii Times (Japanese newspaper), September 24, 1970 "The Tokyo showing of the $25 million film -- "Tora! Tora! Tora!" -- drew applause from the largely Japanese audience at the close of the show. The speculation centered on the effect it might have on young Japanese who know Pearl Harbor only as the first step in the defeat of World War II. One of those who believed it would have an anti-war impact was Mrs. Alice Kurusu, American-born widow of Saburo Kurusu, Japan's Ambassador to Washington at the time of Pearl Harbor...The white haired Mrs. Kurusu told the Associated Press afterward the movie was "absolutely splendid," then added "Showing it in Japan will be a good thing for the young Japanesewho don't know what war is like. It will teach them to be cautious about getting involved in such disasters in future."
"The film which shows Japanese planning and execution of the attack as virtually flawless in contrast to American bumbling and lack of preperation, may well strike some secret sparks of pride among the middle-aged Japanese who were here when it happened."
Honolulu Star Bulletin, September 24, 1970 "Director Richard Fleischer and his Japanese counterparts have brilliantly recreated a monumental chapter of history...The cameramen and production staff have captured that hell magnificently and should receive an Oscar nomination for their efforts."
Asahi Shimbun, October 1, 1970 The Asahi Shinbun wrote in 1970 (losely translated); "Tora! Tora! Tora!" shows how great the Japanese Navy was, and it is strange that American movie producers are painting this picture. The actor that portrays Admiral Yamamoto, shows the image of the Japanese warrior, while other actors make American soldiers look cheap.
The American view makes one uncomfortable: it is not clear what message the American producers want to send out with the way they portray the Japanese Navy."
Tora! Tora! Tora! Got the following review from BBC "Between them, directors Fleischer and Fukasaku meticulously fashion a chain of diplomatic and military gamble, expertly cataloguing the accidents and unfortunate circumstance with almost documentary accuracy. Such a pressure-cooker approach is aided by solid turns from Joseph Cotton, Jason Robards, and Martin Balsam, while the film's enduring accomplishment is its rightful view of the Japanese as supremely efficient soldiers (Sô Yamamura's doubtful Admiral Yamamoto is a sympathetic standout)."
Media Circus wrote:
Taking into consideration that it was made before the advent of computer graphics, and even before the special effects advances of the "Star Wars" movies, the visual effects "Tora! Tora! Tora!" are outstanding, combining the use of miniatures and full-scale physical effects."
Speech Excerpts From Great Dictator
TRIVIA on The Great Dictator
The film is the story of Adenoid Hynkel (Charlie Chaplin), who has quickly become the leader of Tomania after the severe effects of the Great Depression. He becomes dictator and free speech, democracy and liberty are soon abolished. Hynkel also quickly shows his hatred, believing that Tomania should be an Aryan country and that all Jews must be exterminated. He also plans to dominate the world, but there are similar plans of world domination by Benzino Napoloni (Jack Oakie), the leader of neighbouring country, Bacteria. The two fight as they both plan to take over Osterlich.
The film opens during WWI, when the "Jewish barber" character is a soldier in battle. He ends up saving the life of Commander Shultz (who becomes a military chief under Hynkel/Hitler 20 years later). The Caplin soldier develops amnesia and remains in an army hospital for the next 20 years, when the Hitlerian laws are in full force. Without concern, he assumes his pre-war occupation of barber, and watches incredulously as the Brownshirts paint racial epithets on his barber shop. Eventually his Jewish neighbors clue him in on what's been happening since Hynkel took over. There he meets Hannah (Paulette Goddard), a pretty Jewish girl working for his friend, Mr. Jaeckal (Maurice Moscovitch). They eventually attempt to fight back against the Tomanian government.
Even though the movie is a political satire about Hitler, it shows us the harsh reality of Hitler's reign through the soldiers' treatment of civilians. One scene that perfectly depicts this is where Chaplin's Jewish barber tries to wipe the word "Jew" from his barber shop window and, when the soldiers order him to stop, he fights back in spite of their harsh beatings. His methods of fighting back are outrageous, while simultaneously showing the soldiers brutal assaults.
Many critics have complained about Chaplin's famous speech at the end for being melodramatic. This is the scene: the Jewish barber, having escaped the concentration camp (while dressed in military regalia) is mistaken for Hynkel/Hitler and is forced to follow through by making a speech to the crowd. After a halting start, he eventually works himself into a furious speech against Hitler and other totalitarian regimes, saying that "the power will return to the people" and telling the soldiers not to "enslave themselves men who do not care about you" (i.e., dictators).
The tramp moustache certainly does fit in with his role here and his mannerisms throughout the speech strongly remind you of Hitler's mannerisms during his speeches. Even though the film's dialogue is in English, Chaplin attempts to speak in German. What is funny about his speeches in this film is that what Chaplin says is complete jibberish, but it does sound like German. His speeches consist of various cough sounds and the words "sauerkraut" and "weiner schnitzel" being jumbled in his speeches. It is funny when Chaplin starts coughing after having screamed at the microphones too much or physically moving the microphones by the loud, sharp tones in his speech. All you can do is laugh at it, because it is essentially Chaplin portraying Hitler in his speeches, whom Chaplin called "the greatest actor [he's] ever known".
Jack Oakie as Napoloni was another expert piece of casting by Chaplin. As Hynkel/Hitler raises his hand in the "Heil" salute, Napoloni slaps Hynkel in the belly and bellows, "Aay, you gotta nice palace here! Somebody get me a sandwich," and proceds to shove his way around the almost effeminate-looking Hitler. It is impossible not to laugh at Oakie when he does the Mussolini chin-jut on screen, because he practically embodies Mussolini when doing this. The ridiculous Italian accent is also laughable, which makes the character of Napoloni much funnier. The scenes where Hynkel and Napoloni argue and fight are great, because of the juxtaposition of two ridiculously short-tempers showing these world leaders as immature morons. Billy Gilbert is also funny as Herring, portraying Hitler's right-hand man as an overweight, clueless oaf.
There is some brilliant comedy in the film. When Hynkel meets with Napoloni, the dictator of Bacteria, the extreme preparatory measures that he undertakes to intimidate his competitor are hilarious. As their negotiations over the fate of the neighboring country of Osterlich deteriorate into an energetic food fight, you can't help but realize how personally ineffectual and childlike the two men are.
The film mixes its comedy with a realistic representation of German conditions at the time: storefronts are vandalized, windows are broken and there's even a near-lynching. The barber is a quiet man, content to work in his tiny shop, but also willing to take a stand to protect it. Hynkel, in contrast, is a loudmouthed, screaming caricature of hatred. His speeches are all delivered in a spittle-spraying mock German that perfectly mimics the real dictator's cadence and style. Clad in his tiny uniform, Adenoid Hynkel brings to mind any number of phony rulers who have resorted to wearing military garb to make themselves seem even slightly legitimate.
[This DVD version] mixes recent interviews with archival footage for a deeply insightful piece. It's here that we learn of Hitler's love for American movies, and his anger that Chaplin - a supposed Jew - was so revered and accepted by the German people. It's also revealed that Hitler not only saw The Great Dictator, but actually watched it one night, then ordered it again for the next. As Chaplin said, "I'd give anything to know what he thought of it."
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 as cattle, 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. ...In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written " the kingdom of God is within man " - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - in you, the people... Soldiers - in the name of democracy, let us all unite! Look up! The clouds are lifting...
In Spain, the film was banned until dictator Francisco Franco died, in 1975.
The 'Big Bertha' artillery piece mentioned in the beginning of the film was not actually used to shell Paris, as stated in the film. In fact, the Big Bertha was simply a heavy artillery piece used by the Germans in the beginning of the war to smash Belgian forts during the invasion of Belgium. The large howitzer used to shell Paris by the Germans during WWI was simply called "The Paris Gun".
The Man I Married (alternate title: I Married a Nazi) is a 1940 drama film starring Joan Bennett and Francis Lederer. An American woman marries a German, only to lose him to the Nazi Party when the couple travel to Germany.
Arriving at the train station in Germany, the cultural contrasts become vivid. Officials greet each other with "Heil Hitler". Little Ricky wears a sailor suit, he is fan of the `Lone Ranger'. When he shoots his cap pistols the noise alarms some armed soldiers who position their firearms at him.
They hear that there's no unemployment there. Radio sets to hear the news are cheaper (but cannot receive foreign broadcasts). So too their VW (cheaper than a Ford).
One train passenger sarcastically tells about conditions there. "Why do those boxcars full of people have armed guards in front of them?" "The foreign laborers are very stupid, you see: they don't appreciate the unemployment in Germany. They would rather be wasting time in their home country with thier families and friends..." He warns they must be careful in their speech.
A neighbor's son was arrested after making a joke at the dinner table. It is forbidden to not listen to Dr. Goebbels on the radio.
We see airplanes, sailors, soldiers, and armored vehicles on parade. Men parachute out of airplanes to impress the viewers. One German woman enthusiastically informs Carol, "This is the way wars will be fought in the future!", to which Carol exclaims, "It looks like the circus!" The Germans within earshot cringe at the riskiness of this comment by the oblivious Carol.
The Storm Troopers harass Czech people by making them pick up garbage from the street. Carol is warned against using the name "Schickelgruber" in reference to Hitler (a criminal offense)!
The hero of the story is Kenneth Delane (Lloyd Nolan), an American reporter. Kenneth Delane is a "William Shirer"-type character in that he refuses to be bullied by Nazi thugs and has friends in high places. Delane befriends Hoffman and comes to her rescue throughout the film.
Delane, who knows how to work the system, gets the information that the prisoner has died in Dachau.
The American newsman rescues Carol. The Sudeten crisis occurs. "Can a speaker use rhetoric to impress a nation and stay in power?" "Yes, but he will lose in the end" says that American reporter. Carol wants a vacation somewhere else before returning back to America. Eric joins the Nazi party and decides to stay and run the factory. Eric wants a divorce. "I'm sorry, but Ricky must stay in Germany," Eric insists. Eric's father talks to Carol, he won't permit Eric to keep Ricky. "Allow him to go to America" he says. "Nein" says Eric, "it is final". Eric's father was married in Belgium, and paid to have his wife declared "Aryan".
This was originally released in the summer of 1940. There was little thought as to how films like these might be viewed once the war had ended. The holds up to time, though. It frequently appeared on television as a late night move. However, by the 1990's disappeared from most television schedules.