Why didn't Charlie Chaplin's stirring speech become an icon of freedom?
Back in the darkest days of World War II, when the Nazis were blitzkreiging unstoppably across Europe's democracies, as millions of Jews, gypsies and uncooperative Christians were gassed at concentration camps, as America was gripped in fear that California and Oregon were next after Pearl Harbor, an eccentric movie was released.The video is shown in this article. I wonder how many people, like myself never saw this and didn't know "The Little Dictator" was a talkie. Worth watching Full Story
#1 Jun 24, 2011
Because Chaplin was an avowed communits And the only thing worse than Hitler and the Nazis was Stalin and the Communists.
“â€œBe guided by principles..."”
Since: Apr 07
#2 Jun 24, 2011
I know your views on that and you have some valid points.
What did you think of the film clip?
Since: May 08
#3 Jun 24, 2011
Actually I thought the clip stunk.
Views on communism and socialism have changed greatly over the last 75 years.
Vietnam was communist maybe. Our enemy is our friend again. China proved the old communism did not work but tempered as it is now its great for them.
North Korea, is it memorex or is it dictatorship.
Wait until next week, the world will change again.
“ reality, what a concept”
Since: Nov 07
#4 Jun 24, 2011
The reason that the speech from one of the most brilliant comedic parodies of all time fell into an entirely unwarranted obscurity is that shortly after the film's release, Chaplin's private life took a bizarre public turn. He had a brief affair with a mentally unstable starlet some thirty years his junior and all hell broke loose. First he was sued for paternity of a child which he proved was not his and lost, then the feds prosecuted him for violating the Mann Act, transporting a woman across state lines for "immoral purposes". He was found not guilty, but with headlines like that, even at the height of WWII, his popularity in this country went right down the toilet.
By the way Frank, Charlie Chaplin was not an "avowed communist". While some of his later films offered a left of center point of view and he was accused of "un-American" activities after he proposed a second European front to help the Soviet Union (at a time when they were being overrun by the Nazis), he was largely apolitical. The Charlie Chaplin "avowed communist" myth was largely the handiwork of J Edgar Hoover, who seriously disapproved of his private life more than his political views. And while his private life was quite the train wreck, there was nothing to it which could get him deported, which was Hoover's ultimate goal...
#5 Jul 10, 2011
People remember Charlie Chaplin as a comic genius. But he also had great insight into humanity, nurtured from growing up in poverty on the streets of London. In this little remembered classic, Chaplin, in 'The Great Dictator', gave the speech that Hitler should have delivered. Many then misunderstood - but now, with the benefit of history, we can 'get it'.
Readers may also be interested to watch my own little film about Chaplin called,“London Remembers Charlie Chaplin”. My 4-minute video celebrates his birth in London in 1889, because of course Charlie was a Londoner. My film can now be freely viewed on my YouTube channel at www.EyesEars.com :
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