The Great Dictator - Il grande dittatore
“I was beginning to have the impression that I’d been swept away by a political avalanche,” wrote Chaplin in his autobiography. “I began to wonder why: to what point was I stimulated by the actor within me and by the reactions of a flesh and blood audience? Would I have thrown myself into this quixotic adventure if I hadn’t made an anti-Nazi film? Was it the sublimation of all my furies and all my dislike of sound pictures? I imagine that all these elements had a part in it, but the strongest was still my hate and contempt for the Fascist regime”.
This book, created by the Cineteca di Bologna, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and by Le Mani in co-operation with BIM distribuzione, starts off the series of “Quaderni” for the Chaplin Project.
The book contains a selection of original documents reconstructing the preparatory phases from the first drafts of the story to the film script, a digression from the writing to the making, the technical cutting and the editing with particular attention to the crucial points of the draft. The work offers an interpretation for going back to the origin of some celebrated scenes such as that of the final speech or the globe dance, as well as including those described in the film script but never filmed, such as the scenes with Fanny, wife of Hynkel/Hitler, for example.
With the help of contemporary documents, critical interventions and historical reflections go back over the critical and censorial destiny of the film when it came out in Italy. The book concludes with a short anthology of the best essays on “The Great Dictator”. A more detailed discussion of the vast archive documentation relative to “The Great Dictator” will appear in the series of the Chaplin Project, shortly to be published.
By Anna Fiaccarini, Cecilia Cenciarelli and Michela Zegna from Cineteca di Bologna.
Edited by Le Mani
Italian version only
English publisher wanted