New Release: The Great Dictator Blu-ray and DVD

The Great Dictator movie sceneRenowned DVD and Blu-ray distributor Criterion Collection released its second Charlie Chaplin film, The Great Dictator, on May 24, 2011.

Chaplin’s first pure talkie movie shows a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler, with Chaplin playing the clownish “Tomanian” dictator and the kindly Jewish barber who is mistaken for him. The 1940 black-and-white comedy also stars Jack Oakie (Thieves’ Highway) and Paulette Goddard, from Chaplin’s Modern Times, which was the first of the great filmmaker’s movies to come to disc from Criterion.

The Great Dictator features a new high-definition digital restoration with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

The DVD and Blu-ray also includes these special features:

  • new audio commentary by Chaplin historians Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran
  • 2001 documentary The Tramp and the Dictator, narrated by filmmaker Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet) and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., screenwriter Budd Schulberg and others
  • two new visual essays by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
  • on-set color production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother Sydney
  • deleted scene from Chaplin’s 1919 movie Sunnyside
  • and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Wood and a 1940 article by Chaplin on this great film.

The two-DVD set was priced at $29.95 and the Blu-ray at $39.95.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.