Tag Archives: Chaplin

Three Criterion picks (before the Barnes & Nobles sale is over)

Barnes and Nobles have been marking 50% off from the regular price of its Criterion titles (as they do once a year). Many have taken advantaged of this unbeatable deal already, and you have a couple more days until the sale is over by the end of July. Besides the obvious favorites and essentials (Breathless, 8 ½) here are three should be on your shelf:

1. The Great Dictator
Modern Times is Charlie Chaplin’s undisputed masterpiece, but at $15 (discounted from its original $30 tag), there is no such thing as a better deal than this 2-disc set of Chaplin’s first real talkie. The commentary by Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran is on the spot; the extras including a documentary tracing the parallel lives of Chaplin and Hitler is fascinating; the booklet features insightful essays, Chaplin’s own response to critics and the original illustration for the film’s release. Released in 1940, when Hitler was at the height of his power and the United States had yet to enter the war, the audacity of which Chaplin displayed by making this stinging satire is unprecedented and has not been matched by any artist in any era. His passionate speech at the film’s end polarized critics of its day and The Great Dictator remains as Chaplin’s boldest career move. Continue reading


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