In the 1920s and 30s, Charlie Chaplin had become America’s silent-screen superstar for his comedic antics in film.
But it was his first talking picture, The Great Dictator, that was his most commercially successful and most controversial!
A political satire about a dictator and a Jewish barber from the ghetto who’re mistaken for one another, it was released when the United States had not yet declared war on Nazi Germany.
Many consider Chaplin’s concluding speech one of the most powerful ever recorded on film.
Chaplin’s Jewish barber, while pretending to be the dictator, offers a passionate argument for denouncing dictatorships, quoting from the gospel of Luke: “. . .in the 17th chapter of St. Luke it is written the kingdom of God is within man—not one man—or a group of men—but in all men."
The Bible—even amidst controversy—impacting culture!