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Charlie Chaplin final speech in The Great Dictator (1940)

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:08 PM
Original message
Charlie Chaplin final speech in The Great Dictator (1940)
Edited on Tue Jul-12-11 07:08 PM by joshcryer
Charlie Chaplin final speech in The Great Dictator
I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others' happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men---machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, its written the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all mens happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!


Thought about this all day today...
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for posting that
Nice to read it as text. He was such a genius.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It was racing through my mind all day today for some reason.
Had to post it as soon as I got on, some DUers may not have seen it or heard of it.
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. This has always struck me as quite possibly one of the most eloquent...
...soliloquies to Freedom and Progressivism in the English language.

:thumbsup:

PB
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. Lovely, thanks for posting..n/t
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow! What an incredible speech! Thank you so much for posting this!
I don't think I've ever seen the movie, except possibly on TV when I was a little kid -- too young to have any idea what I was seeing.

I'm very grateful you followed your impulse to post this. I feel richer for having read those words.

sw
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Meet John Doe, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, all highly progressive ideas...
...back in the day. It's a shame that modern times look far right to those days, days when we didn't have civil rights or days when we didn't have feminism. The country has been on a slow spiral downward except for those points in our history, since the 50s.
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outerSanctum Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wow! That was great! Thank you for posting!
Is it true that he was a communist?
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Nah, he famously called himself a "non-conformist." He refused to hate communists...
...but almost everyone in the media was very left-leaning, practically socialist back then. They believed in things like charity, government assistance, the rule of law, honor, justice, equality, stuff like that.

He said in his autobiography, "My prodigious sin was, and still is, being a non-conformist. Although I am not a Communist I refused to fall in line by hating them."

Wikiquote has some amazing lines by him: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Charlie_Chaplin

When he made "A King in New York" he was last accused of being a communist. Good movie, really gets down to the spectacle that is our society.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. Meet John Doe speech (the original anonymous, which was better):
Meet John Doe: speech scene
If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn't tell him because he's a million and one things. He's Mr. Big and Mr. Small. He's simple and he's wise. He's inherently honest, but he's got a streak of larceny in his heart. He seldom walks up to a public telephone without shoving his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there.

He's the man the ads are written for. He's the fella everybody sells things to. He's Joe Doakes, the world's greatest stooge and the world's greatest strength.

Yes, sir -- Yes, sir, we're a great family, the John Does. We are the meek who are -- who are supposed to inherit the earth. You'll find us everywhere. We raise the crops; we dig the mines, work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the busses. And when a cop yells: "Stand back there, you!" He means us, the John Does!

We have existed since time began. We built the pyramids. We saw Christ crucified, pulled the oars for Roman emperors, sailed the boats for Columbus, retreated from Moscow with Napoleon and froze with Washington at Valley Forge.

Yes, sir. We've been in there dodging left hooks since before history began to walk. In our struggle for freedom we've hit the canvas many a time, but we always bounced back! Because we're the people -- and we're tough.

They've started a lot of talk about free people going soft -- that we can't take it. That's a lot of hooey! A free people can beat the world at anything, from war to tiddle-de-winks, if we all pull in the same direction.

I know a lot of you are saying "What can I do? I'm just a little punk. I don't count." Well, you're dead wrong! The little punks have always counted because in the long run the character of a country is the sum total of the character of its little punks.

But, we've all got to get in there and pitch. We can't win the old ballgame unless we have teamwork. And that's where every John Doe comes in. It's up to him to get together with his teammates. And your teammate, my friend, is the guy next door to you. Your neighbor -- he's a terribly important guy that guy next door. You're gonna need him and he's gonna need you, so look him up. If he's sick, call on him. If he's hungry, feed him. If he's out of a job, find him one.

To most of you, your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barkin' dog and high fence around him. Now, you can't be a stranger to any guy that's on your own team. So tear down the fence that separates you. Tear down the fence and you'll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices. Tear down all the fences in the country and you'll really have teamwork.

I know a lot of you are saying to yourselves, "He's askin' for a miracle to happen. He's expectin' people to change all of a sudden." Well, you're wrong. It's no miracle. It's no miracle because I see it happen once every year. And and so do you -- at Christmas time. There's somethin' swell about the spirit of Christmas, to see what it does to people, all kinds of people.

Now, why can't that spirit, that same, warm Christmas spirit last the whole year around? Gosh, if it ever did, if each and every John Doe would make that spirit last 365 days out of the year, we'd develop such strength, we'd create such a tidal wave of good will that no human force could stand against it. Yes sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Doe's start lovin' their neighbors.

You better start right now. Don't wait till the game is called on account of darkness.

Wake up, John Doe. You're the hope of the world.
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ThisThreadIsSatire Donating Member (697 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. Among the greatest movies...
Edited on Tue Jul-12-11 09:13 PM by ThisThreadIsSatire
... ever made that you never hear about.

The scene with the Dictator bouncing the balloon globe is among the greatest pieces of satire ever filmed...
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Here's the scene you're talking about, and I completely concur:
Here's the original scene in The Dictator.

Especially the last part...
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
13. Kick for the late nighters.
:hi:
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 06:25 AM
Response to Original message
14. Kick for the morning. :)
Last time I promise. :hi:

*heads off to work in a world that isn't quite decent, but will do*
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