Summary of Charly Chaplins "The Great Dictator"

Essay by lilz01High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2006

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The movie "The Great Dictator" takes place in a fictional country known as Tomania. This movie was made as a satire on Hitler and the Nazi regime.

The movie begins in World War 1 where we are shown an absent minded soldier (Jewish barber), marching into enemy fire. The soldier comes across a Tomanian military pilot who is injured (Shultz), and saves his life but unfortunately whilst flying the plane together they crash. Shultz, as we learn later is the name of the Tomanian pilot and he escapes the crash without injuries. On the other hand the Tomanian soldier is stricken by amnesia and is taken off to hospital. Many years later, the country of Tomania is taken over by a dictator named Adenoid Hynkel and his party 'The Double Cross'. The Tomanian soldier recovers from his amnesia and escapes back to his home in the ghettos where he continues to work as 'the Jewish barber'.

On his arrival in the ghettos, he finds a different world to what he had remembered. Jews were harassed in the street for no reason, Jewish shops were marked with the word 'Jew', and more importantly a man who detests Jews had become dictator.

In the ghetto the Jewish barber falls in love with his neighbour, a Jewish girl named Hannah. They being the only people, who fight off Storm troopers, uphold justice and defend their honour. When the Jewish barber is caught fighting Storm troopers, he is brought before a commanding officer who by chance happens to be the man he saved on the plane Commander Schultz. From that day the storm troopers treatment of the Jews changed for the better.

At one stage the Jews in the ghetto believed everything was going to be alright, but they do not know that Hynkel was developing a plan to become dictator of the world. He was trying to obtain a loan from a Jewish banker so he could invade Osterlich before his 'ally' Napaloni of neighbouring country Bacteria could invade it. When Hynkel is declined the loan, he once again begins to cause pain and distress to those living in the ghettos. Later in the movie, Shultz is arrested for being 'Jewish friendly' and both he and the barber are sent off to a concentration camp, while Hannah and many others in the ghetto escape to Osterlich, the only 'free' country.

Together Schultz and the Jewish barber manage to escape from the camp disguised as military men. Hynkel on the other hand is duck hunting and when he is discovered by Double Cross officers, he is mistaken for the barber and taken away. The Jewish barber and Commander Schultz are then picked up by Tomanian forces and taken to a rally. The Jewish barber is now called to address millions of people he begins by saying.

"...I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor...I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, Gentile, Black man, White..."

The speech made by the barber changes the movie completely; it allows many of the soldiers to "...fight to free the world..." and "unite for democracy". The Jewish barber speech changed the lives of many people, Hynkel had caused nothing but destruction, and the Jewish barber ...he saved the fate of a nation.