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Festival Charlie Chaplin

The Great Dictator



19:30 — Bâtiment des Forces Motrices

Concert film

Partenaire de prestige


Timothy Brockconductor

Charlie Chaplincomposer

Charlie Chaplin
The Great Dictator (swiss premiere)

Music composed by Charles Chaplin and Meredith Willson
The score of The Great Dictator was restored for screenings with orchestra by Timothy Brock in 2023

Movie in english, french subtitles
Film duration: 2h

The music

The movie

A barber wounded during the First World War returns home after 20 years within hospital walls. His shop has grown full of cobwebs and dust, but it is the hateful graffiti on his shop window that takes him totally by surprise. Hynkel, the tyrannical dictator, and his henchmen persecute the barber, as well as the rest of the Jewish community, including the beautiful Hannah… A visionary satire that marked history, just as history itself left its mark on the film.

The music

In July 1940, Charlie Chaplin finished shooting The Great Dictator, but there was still plenty of work to be done. Directly after shooting, Chaplin continued editing the picture and as his son Charles Chaplin, Jr. recalled, “things did relax for Paulette [Goddard] and the rest of the cast … but not for Dad. Still the human dynamo, he turned his attention to composing.” As for his previous two films, City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936), Chaplin controlled the music for The Great Dictator by composing his own.

The Great Dictator was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Original Score in 1941.

The Great Dictator © Roy Export S.A.S.
Music from The Great Dictator © Roy Export Co. Ltd. & Bourne Co. All rights reserved.

The videos

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OSR Live

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Debussy - Ellington - Strauss | Jonathan Nott, Marc Perrenoud, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

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Maurice Ravel

Valses nobles et sentimentales, pour orchestre

Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 09 December 2015 at Victoria Hall, Geneva