Going Deutsch

In 1931, Berlin crowds were enthralled by two little, toothbrush-mustached men who were born in April 1889 to alcoholic fathers and sick mothers: Adolph Hitler and Charlie Chaplin. Understandably, the Tramp was more than a bit disturbed by this comparison to Herr Wolf, saying, “Just think: He’s the madman; I’m the comic. But it could have been the other way around.” So one week after World War II began, Chaplin made The Great Dictator, the first film to satirize the Nazi leader. He plays both protagonists in the film: an unnamed Jewish barber and fascist madman Adenoid Hynkel. In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Chaplin apes Hitler’s speeches, barking the words liverwurst and sauerkraut amid German-sounding gibberish. As part of its Chaplin Restored series — presented by Emerging Pictures and Janus Films, and in cooperation with MK2 and the Chaplin Estate — the Miami Beach Cinematheque is screening the Miami Beach HD digital premiere of The Great Dictator. See the film, Chaplin’s first foray into sound, in all its original, satirizing glory this Friday.
Fri., May 27, 8 p.m., 2011
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Amanda McCorquodale

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