chapter  7
32 Pages

The Tramp and the dictators

ByRichard Carr

Before the advent of Hitler's Nazi state Chaplin was not without a kind word to say for those on the road to fascism. Much of Chaplin's early understanding of Hitler seems to have come from his friend, the newspaper publisher Cornelius Vanderbilt. Sending Charlie postcards depicting Hitler making a speech, it is likely that Vanderbilt provided something of the inspiration for The Great Dictator. But Charlie was part of this pre-Beveridge mindset, too defeating The Great Dictator would have less meaning if it restored the world to that of Modern Times. Charlie's bravery in making his anti-Hitler film cannot be questioned. It is a daring business venture, for his change of theme almost certainly blights him of any prospect of showing the film in Poland and Portugal, in most of South America, in the Soviet, and in Japan – to say nothing of Italy and Germany.