Charlie Chaplin, as Adenoid Hynkel, performs a balletic routine with a globe in “The Great Dictator.”
John Bengtson, who has performed fabulous detective work in tracking down movie locations in early films, will introduce Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” at 7:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., in Glendale. Bengtson will also have a book signing for “Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin.”
Released before the U.S. entered World War II, “The Great Dictator” is a satire on Adolf Hitler with Chaplin in dual roles as dictator Adenoid Hynkel of “Tomania” and “a Jewish barber.” The cast also features Jack Oakie as Benzini, the head of Bacteria (a burlesque of Benito Mussolini of Italy); Henry Daniell as Herr Garbitsch (propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels); and Billy Gilbert as Herring (Hermann Goering). Paulette Goddard, who plays Hannah, made her debut as a leading lady in “Modern Times” and was Chaplin’s third wife. She separated from him in late February 1940 shortly after production finished on “The Great Dictator” and divorced him the next year.
David Totheroh, the grandson of Roland “Rollie” Totheroh, the cinematographer on many Chaplin films, including “The Gold Rush,” “Modern Times” and “The Great Dictator,” will also attend.
The movie is being presented by the Alex Film Society. Ticket information is available at this link.