Steve Daly
April 30, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Great Dictator

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
125 minutes
performer
Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard
director
Charlie Chaplin
author
Charlie Chaplin
genre
War, Comedy

We gave it an A-

What drove Chaplin to wrap up his burlesque of Nazi Germany with a deadly serious, six-minute, into-the-camera speech imploring mankind to disarm? Misguided passion, that’s what — and with this meticulously researched laser package, you can explore how his antifascist fervor nearly inspired him to film a far more maudlin, self-important finale. After The Great Dictator itself (here restored to astounding clarity), a still-frame appendix of script outtakes reveals that the specters of Lincoln and Christ were originally to appear in a closing montage-along with goose-stepping storm troopers suddenly dancing and ordering gefilte fish. Chaplin never did come up with a digestible coda, but the disc makes charting the ingredients a gourmet treat. A-

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