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The Great Dictator

Cabaret Cinema - Soundtrack

Friday, July 14, 2017
9:30 PM–11:45 PM

1940, Charlie Chaplin, USA, 124 min.

Selected and introduced by The Simpsons writer Mike Reiss


In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona, portraying both the “Tomainian” dictator and the kindly Jewish barber who is mistaken for him. Chaplin boldly went after the fascist leader before the U.S.’s official entry into World War II, using a combination of politics and slapstick that culminates in Chaplin’s famously impassioned speech.

Why did you select The Great Dictator for the Cabaret Cinema: Soundtrack series?

“Charlie Chaplin continued making silent films well into the sound era. But seeing the rise of Hitler, Chaplin literally could not remain silent. The Great Dictator, his first talkie, makes great use of words and sound.” —Mike Reiss


About Cabaret Cinema: Soundtrack

You can probably name the best movie you’ve seen, but what about the best movie you’ve heard? It might be your favorite because of its sound effects, sound engineering, score, or another element of the audio experience. Watch—and hear—a series of films that caught the ear of notable New Yorkers.


About the Introducer

Mike Reiss has won four Emmys and a Peabody Award during his twenty-six years writing for The Simpsons. He ran the show in Season Four, which Entertainment Weekly called “the greatest season of the greatest show in history.” In 2006, Reiss received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Writers Caucus. Reiss has written jokes for such comedy legends as Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers, Garry Shandling—and Pope Francis! For his comedic contributions to the charitable group Joke with the Pope, in 2015 Pope Francis declared Reiss “a Missionary of Joy.”

​Tickets: $10.00

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