11 Must-Watch Movies Similar to ‘The Great Dictator’

In this post, we've curated a list of 11 mesmerizing movies that will transport you to the same enchanting realm as 'The Great Dictator.' From comedies to dramas to war epics, these films will have you captivated from start to finish. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and get ready to embark on a thrilling cinematic journey that will leave you wanting more.

1) Modern Times

Modern Times is reminiscent of The Great Dictator because both movies were written, directed, and starred by Charles Chaplin. While The Great Dictator condemned Hitler and Naziism, Modern Times presents a satire of modern industrial society. In both films, Chaplin's comedic genius shines through as he uses physical comedy and visual gags to entertain the audience. The Great Dictator and Modern Times also share the same leading lady, Paulette Goddard, who brings charm and chemistry to her roles. However, Modern Times stands on its own by focusing on the struggles of The Tramp in a factory, performing mind-numbing tasks. It takes a lighthearted approach to critiquing the dehumanizing effects of modernization. With its delightful vignettes and Chaplin's silent yet expressive performance, Modern Times is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates timeless comedy and social commentary.

Release date: February, 1936
IMDB Rating: 8.5
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2) City Lights

City Lights, released in 1931, is reminiscent of The Great Dictator, released in 1941. Both films belong to the comedy and drama genres, showcasing the versatility of Charles Chaplin as a filmmaker. While The Great Dictator condemns Hitler, Naziism, and the Holocaust, City Lights captivates with its unique and sincere passion. In silent films like City Lights, the absence of dialogue and elaborate sound effects forces the audience to rely solely on visual elements, resulting in a truly visual medium. This simplicity gives birth to honesty, a powerful emotion that resonates with viewers. Just as early European art captivates with its lack of perspective, City Lights and other Chaplin films exude a warmth and charm that can be lost in the sea of modern cinematic technology. With its nostalgic quality and honest storytelling, City Lights is a must-watch for anyone seeking to experience the beauty of silent films.

Release date: March, 1931
IMDB Rating: 8.5
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3) The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush takes us back to another era, transporting us to the Klondike during the 1890s gold rush. Just like The Great Dictator, this silent classic showcases Charles Chaplin's mastery of storytelling through visual humor. The film follows a prospector who ventures to the Klondike in search of fortune and falls in love with a girl he sees in a dance hall. With its frozen north setting, rickety cabins, and memorable adventures, The Gold Rush captivates audiences from start to finish. While The Great Dictator condemned Hitler and Naziism, The Gold Rush offers a heartwarming and sentimental journey that highlights Chaplin's ability to bring laughter and emotion to the screen. The film's charm lies in its ability to communicate without words, showing how a master filmmaker can convey so much through a silent movie. Although The Gold Rush may occasionally overdo the sentimentality, it remains a fine film that exemplifies Chaplin's artistry.

Release date: September, 1925
IMDB Rating: 8.1
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4) The Kid

The Kid, just like The Great Dictator, is a turning point in Charlie Chaplin's career. While The Kid is shorter than a typical feature film, it marks Chaplin's graduation to full-length features, where he aimed to broaden the scope, scale, and dignity of his work. The Kid begins with a professional-looking backstory, setting the stage for a genuine drama. However, Chaplin skillfully balances the seriousness with comedic elements, ensuring that no environment becomes too serious. The effort put into directing the actors is evident, with performances full of subtle gestures and timings. Edna Purviance delivers a sense of dramatic realism, while young Jackie Coogan steals the show with his impressive movements and expressions, appearing more like a human cartoon character. Unlike some of Chaplin's previous work, The Kid showcases his rapport with Coogan, making their duet the basis for many gags.

Release date: November, 1923
IMDB Rating: 8.3
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5) A King in New York

A King in New York is reminiscent of The Great Dictator as both movies showcase Charles Chaplin's satirical genius in full swing. While The Great Dictator tackles the rise of Hitler and Naziism, A King in New York takes a humorous stab at the modern age, targeting right-wing politics, television, Cinemascope, and even plastic surgery. Both films use slapstick comedy to deliver their biting social commentary, with Chaplin's trademark physical humor shining through. However, A King in New York is less sentimental than its predecessor, avoiding the pitfall of excessive sentimentality that sometimes plagued Chaplin's work. With its sharp critique, superb performance by Chaplin himself, and surprising portrayal by Dawn Adams as a television star, A King in New York is a must-watch for fans of Chaplin who want to see him take on the modern world with his signature wit and charm.

Release date: September, 1957
IMDB Rating: 7

6) Monsieur Verdoux

Monsieur Verdoux, released in 1947, is a movie that will make you forget all about the lovable Little Tramp. As Charlie Chaplin himself once said, the magic was gone when the tramp finally talked in The Great Dictator. In Monsieur Verdoux, Chaplin takes a daring departure from his iconic character and introduces us to a suave yet cynical man who supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money. Now, I know what you're thinking - this is a black comedy, a genre that wasn't very popular in the US at that time. But trust me, Monsieur Verdoux is a hidden gem that deserves your attention. Based on the infamous French mass criminal Henry Desire Landru, the film follows the story of a bank clerk who, after losing his job, turns to a life of serial killing.

Release date: October, 1947
IMDB Rating: 7.8

7) Limelight

Limelight is reminiscent of The Great Dictator because both films showcase Charles Chaplin's versatility as a filmmaker. While The Great Dictator is known for its socio-historical significance as one of the first films to condemn Hitler and Naziism, Limelight delves into the personal struggles of a fading comedian and a despondent ballerina. In both movies, Chaplin explores themes of hope, redemption, and the pursuit of purpose. However, Limelight takes a more introspective and philosophical approach, with Chaplin using dialogue to convey the simple joys and mysteries of life that he once expressed effortlessly through slapstick comedy. Despite its talkiness, the film still has the power to move audiences, showcasing Chaplin's enduring talent as a filmmaker. If you enjoyed The Great Dictator, I highly recommend watching Limelight to witness Chaplin's evolution as an artist and to experience his final masterpiece.

Release date: October, 1952
IMDB Rating: 8

8) The Chaplin Cavalcade

"The Chaplin Cavalcade" is a delightful collection of four Chaplin shorts from 1916: "One A.M.", "The Rink", "The Pawnshop", and "The Floorwalker". These films mark a noticeable step up in quality from Chaplin's earlier Keystone period, where he was still evolving and finding his style. In "The Chaplin Cavalcade", the stories are more discernible and never dull, although they can be a bit busy and episodic at times. What stands out is the more mature and careful quality of Chaplin's work, as seen in this collection. While not his most hilarious or touching films, they are still very funny and showcase Chaplin's clever, entertaining, and well-timed slapstick. The collection moves quickly with no dull moments, and Chaplin directs more than competently, giving amusing and expressive performances. The supporting cast, particularly the charming Edna Purviance, adds to the sweet chemistry on screen.

Release date: August, 1941
IMDB Rating: 7.4

9) The Charlie Chaplin Festival

The Charlie Chaplin Festival is a delightful collection of four Chaplin shorts from 1917: The Adventurer, The Cure, Easy Street, and The Immigrant. These films showcase Chaplin's evolution as a comedic genius and provide a glimpse into his post-Essanay period. Compared to his earlier Keystone works, The Charlie Chaplin Festival displays a noticeable step up in quality. The stories are more discernible and never dull, although occasionally a bit busy and manic. The shorts move quickly, ensuring that there is never a dull moment. While not his most hilarious or touching works, the films still offer clever, entertaining, and well-timed slapstick humor. They also possess a level of substance and pathos that were not as prevalent in Chaplin's Keystone period. The festival demonstrates Chaplin's growth as a director, with more mature and careful craftsmanship shining through.

Release date: April, 1941
IMDB Rating: 7.4

10) The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim is a delightful film that takes us back to the early days of Charles Chaplin's career. While not as well-known as The Great Dictator, it shares some similarities that make it reminiscent of its more famous counterpart. Both films are comedies that explore social and political themes, albeit in different ways. The Great Dictator satirizes Adolf Hitler and Nazism, while The Pilgrim follows an escaped convict who poses as a preacher in a small town. Both films showcase Chaplin's genius for physical comedy and his ability to create endearing and memorable characters. In The Great Dictator, Chaplin's portrayal of the Jewish barber is both hilarious and poignant, while in The Pilgrim, he brings to life a bumbling yet lovable imposter. Despite their similarities, the films also have their differences. The Great Dictator is a longer and more ambitious film, with a runtime of 7500 seconds compared to The Pilgrim's 2820 seconds.

Release date: February, 1923
IMDB Rating: 7.3

11) The Circus

"The Circus" is reminiscent of "The Great Dictator" in its ability to captivate audiences with Charlie Chaplin's comic genius and filmmaking skills. While "The Great Dictator" condemned Hitler and Naziism, "The Circus" takes us on a delightful journey into the world of a circus. With its funny routines and action-packed sequences, this film showcases Chaplin's ability to create hilarious predicaments for his iconic Tramp character. From a hall of mirrors to a lion cage, the setting provides ample material for Chaplin's comedic brilliance. The film strikes a balance between light-heartedness and moments of depth, making the serious parts even more impactful. With plenty of humor and sympathetic characters, "The Circus" is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates classic comedy.

Release date: November, 1928
IMDB Rating: 8.1

12) The Chaplin Revue

The Chaplin Revue is reminiscent of The Great Dictator in its clever slapstick comedy and the timeless brilliance of Charles Chaplin. While The Great Dictator condemned Hitler and Naziism in a socio-historical context, The Chaplin Revue presents three of Chaplin's classic silent comedies with new connective tissue. The Revue provides a fantastic opportunity to see these hard-to-find short films, showcasing Chaplin's signature slapstick humor and his astute observations on humanity. With new music and a slightly slower pace, the Revue still captures the essence of Chaplin's work, delivering a delightful combination of comedic genius and insightful storytelling. Shoulder Arms, the standout among the three films, is a nearly flawless feature, while A Dog's Life and The Pilgrim also showcase Chaplin's ability to create sympathetic characters and explore themes of identity and social classes.

Release date: September, 1959
IMDB Rating: 7.7

13) The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin is reminiscent of The Great Dictator in its satirical take on political regimes. While The Great Dictator targeted Adolf Hitler and Naziism, The Death of Stalin sets its sights on the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. Both movies use comedy and drama to shed light on the absurdity of authoritarian rule. The Death of Stalin, however, distinguishes itself with a darker tone and a more nuanced exploration of power dynamics. The film delves into the scramble for power that ensues after Stalin's death, offering a satirical critique of the atrocities committed by the regime. With impressive performances, an intriguing plot, and witty dialogue, The Death of Stalin is a must-watch for those who appreciate intelligent humor and a cleverly unfolding storyline.

Release date: April, 2018
IMDB Rating: 7.2

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