On Wednesday, November 30 the Bluegrass Film Society will screen Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 satire of Nazi Germany, The Great Dictator. After a distinguished career as director and actor of silent films throughout the 1920s and 30s, The Great Dictator was Chaplin’s first serious foray into the world of “talkies.” Chaplin stars in a double role as a Jewish barber enlisted as a private in a fictionalized European war, and as the fascist dictator Hynkel (clearly modeled on Adolf Hitler) the Jewish barber has enlisted to fight. At the time of The Great Dictator‘s release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. Chaplin’s film advanced a stirring, controversial condemnation of Hitler, fascism, antisemitism, and the Nazis, whom he excoriates in the film as “machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts.” It ultimately became the silent-actor’s most commercially successful film.
Bluegrass Film Society screenings take place in the Oswald Auditorium at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, located on Cooper Drive nearby Commonwealth Stadium. Screenings are free and begin at 7:30 P.M.