- Charles Chaplin got the idea when a friend, Alexander Korda, noted that his screen persona and Adolf Hitler looked somewhat similar. Chaplin later learned they were both born within a week of each other, roughly the same height and weight and both struggled in poverty until they reached great success in their respective fields. When Chaplin learned of Hitler's policies of racial oppression and nationalist aggression, he acted this similarity as an inspiration to attack Hitler on film.
- Chaplin states that had he known the true extent of the Nazi atrocities, he "could not have made fun of their homicidal insanity."
- - Production on the film started in 1937, when not nearly as many people believed Nazism was a menace as was the case when it was released in 1940.
- The German spoken by the dictator is complete nonsense. The language in which the shop signs, posters, etc in the "Jewish" quarter are written is Esperanto, a language created in 1887 by Dr L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish Jew.
- When The Great Dictator was released, Hitler had it banned from all occupied countries. Curiosity eventually got the best of him and he had a print brought in through Portugal. He screened it not once, but TWICE! Unfortunately, history did not record his reaction to the film. When told of this, Charlie Chaplin stated, "I'd give anything to know what he thought of it."
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