Author Topic: A scene in The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin  (Read 501 times)

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Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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A scene in The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin
« on: December 15, 2014, 04:04:41 AM »
I can't get this scene out of my head, was browsing YT a couple of days ago and stumbled upon this video named "The Greatest Speech Ever Made". It's a speech that Charlie Chaplin does in the movie The Great Dictator from 1940. Yes the music is a bit cheesy but the transcript of what he says and the message is so relevant today which is why I found it to be both uplifting and yet sad.
The fact that the movie was released when Hitler was in power is also pretty remarkable.

All in all it's just a great speech from an old movie that feels weirdly relevant today.

I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others' happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men---machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it's written "the kingdom of God is within man", not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

"I said to Nigel Tufnel, 'The door is open if you want to do anything on this record,' but it turns out Nigel has a phobia about doors." /Derek Smalls

Offline Fluffy Lothario

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Re: A scene in The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2014, 11:24:42 AM »
I knew what this was going to be before I even opened the thread.

His delivery is obviously what makes it.

Some of his comments are probably timeless, and as long as there are human beings to relate it to, we'll be able to relate it to them. The bending of technology of great promise to violent ends, for instance. (In fact, a lot of amazing technology comes about BECAUSE of the catalyst of warfare).

There's a great book called Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald. At the beginning, the main character, an architect, goes into detail about how, when they first started to become ingrained into the infrastructure, trains were considered an unbelievably brilliant invention, which is why many train stations in Europe were architecturally modeled on Greek and Roman temples. Anyway, the novel is about the Holocaust. Need I say more?