Filmsite Movie Review
The Great Dictator (1940)
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The Great Dictator (1940) is director/actor Charlie Chaplin's first full all-talking ("talkie" with dialogue) picture (in a film similar to the Marx Brothers' anti-war comedy Duck Soup (1933)) in which he delivered spoken lines (a full 13 years after the advent of sound in the movies). It was his last film with the Little Tramp character, and his most financially-successful film. It was also the first film whose entire script was prepared in advance by Chaplin.

The bold and controversial war-time parody, with its social and political commentary, came almost five years after the release of his last silent film, Modern Times (1936) (with sound effects!), and was a rare American film to indict the Third Reich's leader. The film's message was made even more powerful by the satire that poked fun at demagoguery, Fascism and Anti-Semitism. In fact, it was one of the first Hollywood films to combat Anti-Semitism.

It was the product of Chaplin's own Hollywood studio (United Artists, founded in 1919), and his sixth project for UA. The protracted production of the film, due to Chaplin's perfectionist nature, started with preliminary planning in late 1937 and began in earnest in March of 1938 at the same time that Germany invaded and absorbed Austria (Osterlich in the film). His script for the film, originally called simply The Dictator, was registered in November of 1938, and to avoid duplication, it was renamed The Great Dictator. Some set construction occurred in June of 1939, while actual filming (after more script revisions) commenced in mid-September 1939 (about the time of the Nazi attack on Poland, and Germany's non-aggression pact with Stalin) and ended in early February 1940 (about three months before Nazi troops entered and attacked Paris).

Most Americans, at least at first, viewed Adolf Hitler as an ally (not an enemy) and were opposed to entering WWII. The Great Dictator was released for its premiere in mid-October of 1940, well before the United States' entry into World War II (in late 1941) and before knowledge of the Holocaust. [Note: During the intense war years, Chaplin withdrew the film from circulation due to its comedic lampooning of war. The film was again reissued by United Artists in 1958 when it was first widely seen in Germany and Italy. It was first shown in Spain in 1976, soon after General Franco's death in 1975.]

The film was a slapstick political satire and thinly-veiled lampooning of world conditions, the Third Reich and Fascism at the start of World War II. Hitler detested the film and banned German audiences and those in occupied Europe, South America and Ireland from viewing the picture due to its offensive characterization. Even some American audiences believed that Chaplin had become self-indulgent, and he received some death threats. Some believed that Chaplin was trivializing the Nazi's violent rise to power.

The film's taglines were:

  • THE WORLD Greets A Comedy Masterpiece!
  • Once again - the whole world laughs!
  • HE TALKS...and How!
  • Laughs Heard Around the World

Chaplin played a demanding dual role as:

  1. a humble, poor, unnamed Jewish barber (a semi-Tramp character) with amnesia, an Everyman who returned years after being a soldier in World War I to discover that his long-abandoned shop was now part of the Jewish ghetto, occupied by thuggish Aryan storm troopers of the Double Cross (Chaplin replaced the Nazi Iron Cross swastika with two vertical X symbols, referred to as a 'double-cross'), and
  2. an Adolf Hitler look-alike named Adenoid Hynkel, the ruthless, power-mad, tyrannical and despotic dictator and Fooey (Fuhrer) of the fictional European country of Tomainia, who persecuted the Jews.

[Note: The clever names in the film included a number of references to illness, waste or potential disease: (1) Tomainia - a reference to ptomaine food poisoning, representing Germany, (2) Bacteria, the neighboring country, representing Italy, (3) Adenoid Hynkel - if enlarged, adenoids often require removal, (4) Garbitsch ("Garbage"), and (5) Phooey - the Fuhrer, etc.]

The criss-crossing stories of the barber and the dictator eventually ended in a case of role reversal and mistaken identities (a well-known narrative cliche), similar to Shakespeare's Love's Labor Lost, and Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper tale. The two intercut stories provided a striking contrast between two very different worlds, identified in the title credits as - good ("People of the Ghetto") and evil ("People of the Palace").

Due to his similar appearance in the conclusion, the Jewish barber was mistaken for the country's tyrannical dictator Hynkel, who was obviously a mocking satire of Adolf Hitler, complete with his squared-off mustache and Nazi-ish uniform. Hynkel's anti-Semitic fascist party sought to invade their neighboring pacifist country, Osterlich. [Note: Osterlich represented Austria - Österreich was the German/Austrian name for Austria.] However, another tyrannical dictator of the rival neighboring country of Bacteria - the character of Benzino Napaloni (Jack Oakie), a burlesque portrait of Italy's Benito Mussolini, was also interested in conquest. During the tale, the barber won the admiration of pretty, impoverished Jewess neighbor washer-woman Hannah (Chaplin's wife at the time, Paulette Goddard, divorced in 1942).

There were many memorable scenes:

  • the opening World War I scenes: the Jewish soldier trying to escape an unexploded Big Bertha shell-projectile, and flying upside down in an airplane
  • Hynkel's rally speech, delivered with gibberish German-English double-talk and gutteral sounds, coughing fits and dictatorial hand gestures
  • the 'Double-Cross' Storm-troopers' assault on the Jewish ghetto in Tomainia, and the Jewish barber's resistance (with the help of Hannah)
  • Hynkel graceful dance ("pas de deux") in a ballet-like sequence, when he delicately tossed around an inflated world globe balloon (of Planet Earth) to the tune of the Overture (Act 1) of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin - a visual, satirical metaphor of his dream to dominate the world. [Note: Lohengrin was Hitler's favorite Wagnerian opera.]
  • the barber's shaving of a customer in time to a radio broadcast of Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5
  • the funny but tense pudding-coin scene - to identify one resistance member to engage in a suicide mission to blow up Hynkel's palace
  • the meeting between Hynkel and Napaloni, including their Palace office visit, their competition to get higher in adjoining, ascending barber chairs, and their comedic cream-cake fight during the evening's Grand Ball
  • the concluding, lengthy, powerful and impassioned six-minute speech; the barber (disguised and impersonating Hynkel) at the time of the celebration of the conquering of Osterlich (Austria) after an invasion, delivered a message about hope, peace, understanding, world tolerance and human rights; he called for the end of dictatorial tyranny (often interpreted as Chaplin's own plea delivered in his own voice).

Other US films (some were known as 'Holocaust comedies') that took satirical aim at Hitler's rise to power and personally ridiculed him at the time included:

  • The Three Stooges' short two-reel comedy You Nazty Spy! (1940), filmed in 1939, with Moe Howard parodying Hitler; it was released in late January of 1940, nine months before the Charlie Chaplin film, and has been noted as the first Hollywood film to spoof Hitler; it spawned a sequel I'll Never Heil Again (1941)
  • MGM's war-time drama The Mortal Storm (1940)
  • Ernst Lubitsch's screwball black comedy To Be or Not to Be (1942)

The film was produced at a cost of between $1.5 and $2 million and was possibly Chaplin's most expensive film. It was difficult for it to recoup its production costs due to the fact of its limited distribution throughout Europe. However, it became Chaplin's highest-grossing and most profitable film ($5 million worldwide). Although it didn't win any awards, it earned Chaplin three Oscar nominations from its five nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Charlie Chaplin), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Oakie), Best Screenplay (Charlie Chaplin), and Best Score (Meredith Willson). Charlie Chaplin was the first to ever receive three simultaneous nominations, as producer, actor, and screenwriter for a film. Its competition was formidable: it lost the Best Picture Oscar to Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940), Best Actor to James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story (1940), and Best Supporting Actor to Walter Brennan in The Westerner (1940).

The Story

Opening Title Credits:

After the credits, one of the inter-titles provided a disclaimer: "Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental." A prologue followed, describing the main setting of post World War I - a time of horrific destruction, senseless death, and war machines:

This is a story of a period between two World Wars - an interim in which Insanity cut loose, Liberty took a nose dive, and Humanity was kicked around somewhat.

The World War - 1918:

In the trenches of no-man's land criss-crossed with barbed wire, explosions rocked the barren landscape amidst cannon fire. During battle in the last few months of 'The Great War' in 1918, the narrator described the scene:

In the last year of the World War in which many a nation began to weaken, behind her lines, a revolution had broken out. Her diplomats were frantically suing for peace, while at the front, Tomainia's army fought on, confident its war machine was invincible, confident its war machine would smash the enemy's lines. Big Bertha, a cannon that could hurl a projectile a 100 miles, was this day to make its first appearance on the Western Front, was this day to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy. 75 miles away was her target: the cathedral of Notre-Dame.

The army of Tomainia, in the last days of the war in 1918, unveiled its ultimate weapon - a gigantic cannon known as Big Bertha, supervised by a Gunnery Officer (Leyland Hodgson). It was loaded with an explosive projectile directed to bomb Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral about 75 miles away. Helping to man the gun and fighting in the 21st artillery for the fictional nation of Tomainia (one of the Central Powers fighting against the Allied Powers) was an unnamed, mustached Jewish soldier (Charlie Chaplin), who would become involved in a series of physical sight-gags on the battlefield. After the range of 95,452 feet was determined, the first shell was fired - and the errant, faulty bomb destroyed a nearby outhouse. The second projectile was a "defective shell" that barely discharged out of the cannon barrel.

The main commanding officer turned to his second-in-command with orders to check the fuse of the unexploded defective shell on the ground. The second officer delegated the task to a third person in line (a Lieutenant?) with the same order: "Check the fuse." The third officer turned to speak to the fourth in line - the lowly Private (the Jewish soldier) to complete the dangerous task - there was no one else behind him. When he warily approached the bomb, the shell rotated and kept aiming at him (like a magnet or compass pointer) as he frantically circled it, and then it ignited and blew up. The Private was then ordered to defend against an air-raid of biplanes by deploying the hand-cranked, multi-directional anti-aircraft gun, but he was unable to maneuver the spinning and out-of-control gun that twisted and flipped him around.

When the enemy broke through, every soldier was ordered to the trenches to face the enemy at the front lines. There, the Tomainian soldier was given a live hand-grenade and told: "Pull the pin, count to ten and throw it!" But he accidentally dropped the hand grenade into the sleeve of his own uniform as he reared back to throw it, and it slithered down into his pants. When the troops prepared to attack and advanced forward, he blundered around and lost his way in the smoke and chaos, and called out "Captain" when he became separated from his unit. [Note: This was a clear instance emphasized by Chaplin to be a reversal of his normally silent films, when there was sound and no picture.] When the fog cleared during the mayhem, he found himself marching with the enemy patrol.

He helped an exhausted pilot-commander, later identified as Commander Schultz (Reginald Gardner), who pleaded: "Help me to my plane...I'll see you get the Tomainian Cross for this." He was assisted to his single-engine plane where the two boarded the aircraft. The exhausted and weakened Commander asked: "Can you fly a plane?" - and the soldier optimistically responded: "I can try." They avoided enemy ground fire from an onslaught, and the soldier helped to commandeer the plane toward their destination - Tomainia. The weakened Commander revealed he possessed important dispatches that could win the war ("Hold on to these dispatches....If we can deliver them to General Schmelloffel, Tomainia may yet win the day!"). However, the plane began to rotate and fly upside-down - when the Commander asked: "What's below?" and was told: "Looks like the sun!...It seems to be shining upwards."

Concerned about the fuel supply, the Commander also asked: "How's the gas?" and the Jewish soldier misunderstood and replied: "Terrible, it kept me awake all night." During the sketch, suddenly the image of the upside-plane was turned to be right-side-up, interfering with some of the sequence's comedic effect. The sight gags continued when the soldier's pocket watch (and chain), and water from his canteen floated upwards ("We seem to be defying the laws of gravity"). Shortly later, they ran out of fuel, and as the plane was dropping out of the sky, the Commander delivered a parting soliloquy about his wife Hilda, as the soldier desperately hung upside-down onto the stick:

What month is it? April. Spring! In Tomainia. Hilda will be in the garden now, tilling the daffodils. How she loves daffodils. She would never cut them for fear of hurting them. It was like taking a life, to cut a daffodil. Sweet, gentle Hilda.

They crash- landed in a muddy marsh. They both survived, although were told as medics arrived that the war was over ("We lost") and Tomainia was defeated by the Allied Powers - and that their efforts to deliver the dispatches were in vain.

The Tomainian Gazette's headline was: ARMISTICE!

The Tomainian soldier was taken to a military hospital to be treated for serious head injuries. A succession of headlines in Tomainian newspapers reported the passage of time over the next two decades:

  • November 18, 1918: PEACE!
  • July 4, 1919: DEMPSEY BEATS WILLARD!! [Note: This referenced the epic heavyweight boxing match in Toledo, Ohio between the winner Jack Dempsey and his challenger Jess Willard.]
  • 1929: DEPRESSION

Tomainia's New Dictator - Adenoid Hynkel - His Rousing Speech:

Actual newsreel footage of a Hitler rally was presented to demonstrate the rise of dictatorial leader Adenoid Hynkel (also Charlie Chaplin) who assumed power over Tomainia, at approximately the same time as the release of the Jewish soldier from the hospital. A narrator summarized:

Hynkel party takes power. Meanwhile, the Jewish soldier, ex-fighter and veteran of the world war, suffered a loss of memory and remained an inmate of the soldiers' hospital for many years. He was ignorant of the profound change that had come over Tomainia. Hynkel the dictator ruled the nation with an iron fist. Under the new emblem of the double-cross, liberty was banished. Free speech was suppressed, and only the voice of Hynkel was heard.

The symbol or emblem of ruthless Hynkel's Fascist regime was a "double-cross" (a substitute for the Nazi swastika). The egotistical megalomaniac delivered an exaggerated radio-broadcast speech to crowds of Tomainians - often bastardizing and distorting the German language in a parody of Hitler's own speeches.

[Note: It was Chaplin's intention to humiliate and emasculate the German leader by speaking nonsense and using dictatorial hand gestures.]

He often inserted English words into the indecipherable gibberish of the German-sounding words, such as "wienerschnitzel," "sauerkraut," and "baloney," while wildly gesturing with hand movements, and receiving 'Heil Hitler' salutes before immediately silencing the hysterical audience with a quick flip of his hand. Two different times, he ended a sentence with a random series of gutteral sounds, including stuttering, burping, and coughing fits.

His speech was actually intelligible to some degree - at first, it emphasized that he desired to strengthen Tomainia under his absolute control without freedom of speech. The English-speaking translator Heinrich Schtick (voice of Wheeler Dryden) guided the audience by interpreting and simplifying the words of Hynkel's diatribe about the danger of democracy, the virtues of the strengthened Tomainia, and the detestable democratic rights of liberty and free speech. Hynkel also demanded that everyone had to sacrifice ("sacr-office") for the good of the state and tighten their belts.

As Adenoid Hynkel has just said, yesterday Tomainia was down, but today she has risen. Democracy is fragrant. Liberty is odious. Freedom of speech is objectionable. ("Democratsie shtunk", "Libertie shtunk," and "Freisprachen shtunk") Tomainia has the greatest army in the world. The greatest navy in the world. But to remain great we must sacrifice. We must tighten our belts ("Tighten de belten!").

During the non-sensical speech, two of Hynkel's closest associates were introduced ("The Phooey (Fuhrer) now speaks to Field Marshal Herring, the Minister of War," and "He's now addressing Herr Garbitsch, his Minister of the Interior"):

Film Character
Field Marshal Herring
(Billy Gilbert)

During the rally speech, Herring chided Hynkel for being too lenient by tightening his belt even further. When the belt broke on his rotund figure, Hynkel criticized him: "Ah, Herring. Poop-shin, Herring. Bismarck, Herring!"

[Note: In the late 1800s, Otto von Bismarck was a Prussian statesman and the first Chancellor of Germany]
A disguised mockery of
Hitler's Minister of War
Hermann Wilhelm Göring

A second alternative:
Hitler's Head of the SS
Heinrich Himmler
Minister of the Interior Garbitsch
(Henry Daniell)

(pronounced 'Garbage')
An impersonation of Hitler's Secretary of the Interior and Minister of Propaganda
Joseph Goebbels

According to the translator: "His Excellency recalls the struggles of his early days, shared by his two loyal comrades." Hynkel also made references to the superiority of the Aryan race in contrast to the denounced and persecuted Jewish population, as his microphones bent backwards due to the force of his hateful words. His main doctrine was Anti-Semitism, including:

  • the superiority of the Aryans and the beauty of their fertile maidens: ("Ah, und de Aryan. Und de Aryan maiden. Ah, de Aryan maiden! Ah, the delicatessen bitte schön...") - He shouted out: "Soldiers for Hynkel!"
  • the persecution of the Jewish people ("The Juden. The Juden! Un de striff de sauerkraut with a Juden!"), using the word "strangulation"

The translator condensed his rhetorical anti-Semitic message, delivered with extreme vehemence: "His Excellency has just referred to the Jewish people....In conclusion, the Phooey remarks that for the rest of the world, he has nothing but peace in his heart." [Note: The translation always downplayed the vitriol of the dictator's words and minimized the threat being suggested.]

At the conclusion of the speech that was met with rousing cheers, the announcer added: "We now pause for station identification. This is the Pari-Mutual network, bringing you direct from Tomainia, Adenoid Hynkel's address to the sons and daughters of the double-cross. The English interpreter is Heinrich Schtick, Adenoid Hynkel's personal translator, who was apparently reading from a prepared manuscript. Stand by for further commentary."

As Hynkel was about to descend the stairs from the platform, he was bumped from behind by Field Marshal Herring and he rolled down the steps. He chastised Herring, inserting words such as "cheese n crackers" and "banana" into their conversation ("Ein been poopin' era eina cheese-n-crackers withouten!"). The announcer described the progress of Hynkel through the crowd in an open-car motorcade as he was lauded by onlookers, after being presented with flowers by young Aryan girls, and a baby (from a proud mother) to hold for promotional photographs:

His Excellency seems well-pleased as he's greeted by a committee of Tomainian children and their mothers. Now, he pauses before a woman with a child....Even the baby is thrilled and seems all smiles at His Excellency's attention. (Hynkel wiped his hand that had touched the child's wet bottom. His admirers saluted as he departed: 'Heil Hynkel.') His Excellency leaves the scene of his triumph and will return to the palace along Hynkel Strasse, the Avenue of Culture, where he'll pass Tomainia's modern masterpieces: the Venus of Today and the Thinker of Tomorrow.

They rode along and passed two recently-erected statues (mock versions of two important art sculptures doing the Nazi salute):

  • the ancient Greek statue of the Venus de Milo - with her full right arm raised in a Heil salute
  • Rodin's more modern Le Penseur (The Thinker) - with his left arm also in salute

Hynkel asked his Interior Minister Garbitsch about his opinion of the speech, and was told that he was too soft on the Jews: "I thought your reference to the Jews might have been more violent....To arouse the people's anger. At this time, violence against the Jews might take the public's mind off its stomach."

The Storm-Trooper Assault on the Jewish Ghetto:

In a Jewish ghetto (in an unidentified Tomainian city) where the persecuted population was forced to settle, Aryan storm troopers had painted the word JEW on the shop window of a barber shop. Members of the Tomainian military patrolled the streets.

Nearby, a patriarchal figure in the ghetto, Mr. Jaeckel (Maurice Moscovitch) spoke to old acquaintance Mr. Mann (Bernard Gorcey) about his fears of the political situation and the anti-Jewish policies following Hynkel's speech. He spoke about the fate of the Jewish barber, who had been hospitalized since the war for many years with a war injury. His barber shop had been closed but it was conjectured that it could be rented (Mann: "It's a pity it should be idle all these years"), but the barber was thought to be returning soon. Jaeckel feared the business would be confiscated anyway: "With the taxes, the government will soon take it away from him."

Living with Jaeckel was pretty, impoverished Jewish laundress Hannah (Chaplin's wife at the time Paulette Goddard). She was a recently-orphaned and troubled girl who had no place to live on her own:

Look at Hannah, poor girl. A hard worker, can't get a job. Father was killed in the war, mother died last year. Can't earn enough to pay the rent for her. What can I do? I can't throw her out.

While delivering neighbor Mrs. Shoemaker's laundry, Hannah was told to take Jaeckel's key: "Mrs. Jaeckel and myself are going out. I'm locking up all the doors in case the storm troopers will start their monkey business again." On the streets, she heard Hynkel's destructive Aryan storm-troopers marching and drunkenly singing ("Arya, Arya, Arya, Arya, Aryan! And Kings go marching by!"). The Commander of the Troopers (Peter Lynn) decided they would steal from a Jewish fruit stand proprietor (Harry Semels) selling tomatoes and potatoes. One of the troopers (Hank Mann) lawlessly carried away much of his produce, and then the entire group hijacked a lorry driving by. Hannah witnessed the theft and confiscation of property, and dared to challenge the storm troopers to assault her - one at a time:

Why don't some of you do something? I wish I was a man. I'd show ya....Ah, you're very brave, all together, but not one of ya has the guts to stand up alone and fight!...All right, come on and take me. You'll get a lot of medals for it. All you can do is pick on women and rob defenseless people.

From the back of the lorry before it pulled away, the marauding military guards brutally assaulted her by pelting her with the tomatoes. The laundry in her basket was ruined and she sighed: "I'll have to do it all over again. Pigs!"

The Return of the Amnesiac Unnamed Jewish Soldier/Barber to His Shop - His Acquaintance with Hannah:

A discussion was being held by hospital officials in a military facility about Patient 33 who was about to be released - it was the strange case of a Jewish soldier (born in 1914) who suffered from amnesia and memory loss for many years. His war injury was the result of a plane crash with Commander Schultz. The soldier only remembered that he had been self-employed as a barber in Tomainia ("His one interest seems to be in his barbershop, which he believes he left only a few weeks ago").

[Note: It was no coincidence that Patient 33 matched or linked to the year of 1933 - when Hitler rose to power and was appointed as the German Chancellor. About to be released from the hospital, the Jewish soldier reappeared, to play a double role as Hynkel's alter-ego - and a caricature of Hitler.]

The doctors were notified that the Patient, who was about to be examined, had just disappeared from the hospital. The officials decided that since his case wasn't "serious" that they would let him go. However, they worried that their patient would be blissfully ignorant and didn't realize that many drastic changes had taken place in society ("Poor devil. He'll have many surprises waiting for him").

The Jewish barber (Chaplin, a sound-version of his silent-era Tramp character) approached the front of his ghetto shop, located next-door to the Jaeckel residence. [Note: The shop signs or writings in the ghetto were written in a language known as Esperanto, a language created in 1887.] After unlocking the door, a litter of a dozen young cats escaped as he went to remove the three wooden boards covering his front windows (the ones painted "JEW"). He entered, removed his black coat and hat and placed them on a coat rack, and donned his barber's white uniform. After years of being locked up, the entire interior of the workplace was dusty and covered with thick cobwebs (on the sink, the cash register, etc.). Because he was unaware of the many years that had passed, including Hynkel's rise to power, he was bewildered and shocked by the shop's condition.

Outside, one of Hynkel's storm troopers (Eddie Dunn) repainted the word "JEW" with white paint on the barber's shopfront windows. The barber went outside to wipe away the defaced window, and was kicked in the pants by the trooper who confronted him and asked: "What do you think you're doing?...Well, you leave that alone." When the barber objected: "Don't be silly," the trooper ordered him to replace the painted label, and also commanded: "When you talk to me, 'Hail Hynkel' and salute!" The resistant barber was threatened with physical violence, pushed and grabbed, and told to report to "headquarters." He opposed the trooper's orders and they began to scuffle together ("Gonna put up a fight, are ya?!"). After whacking the man in the face with the paint brush, the barber approached a second trooper and demanded that the first one be arrested: "Are you a policeman? Arrest that man for assault." The barber was physically attacked by both troopers but he was charged with "attacking a storm trooper!", while he argued back: "You'll hear from my lawyer."

Hannah, whose window was above them, knocked both of the troopers over the head with a frying pan. However, an errant blow also mistakenly struck the barber in the head, and he staggered and wove down and back the entire street block in a daze. Hannah apologized for hitting the barber, and complimented him for fighting back: "You were wonderful. I enjoyed that." But she warned him: "But don't stand there. You'd better beat it." Thoroughly confused, the barber contemplated calling a policeman, but she frantically warned: "No, no! Don't do that!...Are you crazy?...What's wrong with you? You seem foolhardy." She offered to hide him in the courtyard of her residence. A gang of storm troopers was alerted and drove up to the scene to assist their unconscious comrades, but then promptly left.

Afterwards, Hannah again expressed her appreciation for the barber's refusal to comply and for fighting back:

Thanks, mister. That did me a lot of good. You've sure got some nerve the way you fought back. That's what we all should do - fight back. We can't fight alone, but we can lick 'em together. We didn't do so bad, did we? So long.

Soon after, she realized he was the barber (who had been hospitalized) in the adjoining building who was often mentioned by Mr. Jaeckel. She cautioned him that more storm troopers would return: "The storm troopers will be lookin' for ya. You'd better hide. Wait, I'll get the key to the cellar." As predicted, two storm troopers returned to arrest the barber, but he again resisted, splashed one of the troopers with the can of paint, and fled. But when more troopers arrived to surround him, he was threatened to be strung up and hanged on a street lamp post. The Jewish barber was saved by the arrival of superior officer Commander Schultz - the man whom the barber had saved years earlier, although he couldn't remember him. Presently, Schultz had been promoted as a high-ranking officer in Hynkel's military establishment, and he intervened and offered a reprieve to spare the barber, plus he helped the barber to regain his memory:

Schultz: You! Don't you remember me?...The war, you saved my life...Strange, and I always thought of you as an Aryan.
Jewish barber: I'm a vegetarian. [Note: "Vege-t-aryan"]
Schultz: But don't you remember? The enemy tried to capture us, but we got away in my plane...And then we crashed.
Jewish barber: Crashed? Oh, yes. Now I remember. Well, how are you?
Schultz: What has my friend done?
Storm trooper: Our men were painting his windows, Commander, and he resisted.
Schultz: Any brave man would resist. I'm sorry this occurred.
Jewish barber: No, no harm.
Schultz: I'm sure that in future, you will not be molested again. However, if you or your friends are ever in any trouble, I hope you'll let me know.

Schultz even ordered no action against Hannah, who had just thrown a piece of heavy roof masonry at a storm trooper's head from Jaeckel's roof-top. The barber sheepishly admitted that she was one of his "friends."

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