Exhibition "The Great Dictator"

Chaplin's World celebrates 80 years of "The Great Dictator"

Mar 17, 2021

Chaplin’s World will be hosting a temporary exhibition until 29 August 2021, featuring hitherto unpublished photos, details of deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes activity that elucidate the links between fiction and History.

Co-produced by Rencontres d’Arles, Roy Export S.A.S. (which holds the rights to Charlie Chaplin’s intellectual property and heritage), Institut pour la photographie de Lille and The Charlie Chaplin Museum Foundation, Chaplin and ‘The Great Dictator’ – Story of a Little Fish in a Shark-Infested Ocean features unpublished on-set photos by Chaplin’s Assistant Director, Dan James, and sheds light on the context in which Chaplin’s first “talkie” was made, produced and distributed.

The exhibition (with plates and captions available in English, French, and German) opens with a synopsis of the film in vintage photographic prints – a barber wounded during the WWI returns home after twenty years within hospital walls. His shop is full of cobwebs and dust, but it is the hateful graffiti on the shop window that takes him totally by surprise. Hynkel, the tyrannical dictator, and his henchmen persecute the barber, and the rest of the Jewish community, including the beautiful Hannah...

The section on Chaplin at work features behind-the-scenes footage, scenes of Chaplin directing his actors, deleted scenes, and stories behind the special effects used in the film. These insights into his filmmaking process also show how his studios operated, and reflect the wealth of historical research conducted by his team. Hynkel’s jacket, whichturned up in a private Swiss collection in early February of this year, will be displayed in the exhibition.

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