In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb just getting 2017

Just Getting Started

Just Getting Started never really gets going. It only kept me thinking, “Is this ever just going to finish?”

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Appalled by "The Great Dictator"

From Bernard Kirzner, M.D.:

I trust your judgement most of the time as an educated, sophisticated reviewer and critic... but on this one [Charles Chaplin's "The Great Dictator"] I was appalled by the movie.

I wanted to like "The Great Dictator," a movie out of circulation, and just available. I ordered it on NetFlix, and tried to watch it. I couldn't. I waited for the humor, I longed for some mud in Hitler's eye or other parts. I couldn't get past the scenes in the Ghetto.

I had to stop it the first time I watched it and cried and cried at scenes of a Nazi Ghetto as humor. AS HUMOR??!!! I was more upset than when I've watched documentaries of the camps.

Advertisement

I couldn't believe how this slapstick silly satire on the Nazis had such a profound effect on me. The cognitive dissonance was just too great to continue watching it. The baby steps of satire and humor against the overwhelming hate and destruction of the Nazis. This was all out of whack. I couldn't stop thinking about the concentration camps, about Kristallnacht, when the Jews were killed for a whimper, while the film had the Nazis being smacked with a pan and not retaliating. The real response was just too far from the slapstick. It's like trying to make fun of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib, it just doesn't work.

I went back and read your review. Your comment about how at the time Chaplin was criticized for the Storm Trooper scenes being too strong. AAAAHHH!! It's amazing how strong denial can be, that the carnage and hate were ignored.

I'm trying "Beyond Silence" now, also on your recommended list. A German film with a heart, I hope.

Popular Blog Posts

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Stop watching movies made by assholes. It'll be OK.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

60 Minutes on: "Get Out"

As soon as I heard that Jordan Peele's debut feature had the plot of an edgy indie romantic comedy but was in fact "a...

Thumbnails Special Edition: Is Our President the Predator-in-Chief?

A special edition of Thumbnails focusing on the women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus