The Great Dictator (United Artists) (1940)

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A Fast Exit Indicated For Two Charlie Chaplin’s Press Agent Has Big Job Suppressing News The Dictator Is Looking Pensive Charlie Interested In His Pictures, Not Himself Charlie Chaplin — perhaps the most publicized person the amuse¬ ment world has ever known — maintains a press department, of course. But unlike other studios, instead of a staff, it is manned by one person. And that person’s chief job is to suppress publicity rather than further it. For Charlie, whose latest comedy, “The Great Dictator,” comes to the . Theatre on ., believes that fundamentally the public is interested in a star for but one reason—his pictures. If they aren’t good, he maintains, all the publicity in the world means nothing. And to that end, his studios concentrate not on Charlie —what he thinks, eats, wears, likes or dislikes — but the movies he makes—and only when in produc¬ tion. Then, and then only, does news come from his publicity offices. It is a fact that no star in the business has “passed up” more space than Chaplin. On the first day’s shooting on the present pic¬ ture, his press department had to turn down single and double page spreads in five nationally known magazines, a rotogravure in the largest New York newspaper, a feature story in a Sunday Los Angeles syndicated magazine sec¬ tion with a circulation of over twenty million readers, not to men¬ tion exclusive picture spreads in three leading national pictorial magazines. Not that Charlie under-rates the value of the press. But acting in the triple capacity of producer- director-star, as well as author of all his productions, he necessarily is occupied months on his pictures. He believes that to surfeit the pub¬ lic with information so far in ad¬ vance is waste—that people tire of reading about something they won’t see for a long time. His publicity department, how¬ ever, whether in production or not, is always flooded with mail, phone calls and people from all walks of life—all wanting news or some¬ thing of Charlie. This new picture of Charlie Chaplin, the world’s greatest comedian, shows him as “The Great Dictator,” the film comedy which he produced and directed himself. It will be released by United Artists at the .Theatre on. 5 B—Two Col. Scene (Mat .30; Cut .50) Charlie Chaplin’s new comedy, “The Great Dictator,” which is now playing an engagement at the.Theatre, teams the great comedian with lovely Paulette Goddard, and in this scene they are obviously on the run. 8 B—Two Col. Scene (Mat .30; Cut .50) Paulette Goddard and Charlie Chaplin are taking a walk, but there’s more than meets the eye in this exciting scene from “The Great Dictator,” Chaplin’s new and greatest comedy which is now on view at the . Theatre. 7 B—Two Col. Scene (Mat .30; Cut .50) Kids Get Big Surprise As Glass Becomes Candy There may be a lot of youngsters in Los Angeles who for divers reasons won’t be able to see Charlie Chaplin in his new comedy, “The Great Dictator,” now playing an engagement at the Theatre, but nevertheless they will remember Charlie for a long time. One of the strange jobs connect¬ ed with picture making is the manufacture of synthetic glass— panes for windows, windshields for cars, breakaway dishes and the like. And a fact not generally known is that practically all the shatterable glass used in scenes where it has to be broken is candy. And the purest—made from the finest of cane sugars. Exactly one ton was ordered in case lots for some scenes in the new Chaplin picture. But a last minute change ruled the scenes out, and someone then thought of the enormous supply of candy glass on hand. Someone suggested that the candy be sent to various local or¬ phanages. It immediately met with Charlie’s approval, and the day before Thanksgiving a truck went out from the studio, depositing enough at five local Los Angeles or¬ phanages to insure all the children plenty of sweets to top off their turkey dinners. So though these youngsters may not actually see Charlie’s newest film, he has earned himself a warm spot in their hearts through his kindly gesture. GOOD BUSINESS In addition to her film career, Paulette Goddard, the flashing brunette actress, is an astute busi¬ ness woman, with important in¬ terests in one of the best known beauty shops in Hollywood as well as in an exclusive skiing club now being constructed near Reno, Ne¬ vada. Paulette, of course, is Charlie Chaplin’s leading lady in the co¬ median’s latest film production, “The Great Dictator,” which is slated for its premiere at the Theatre on.through United Artists release. The comedy also features Jack Oakie. Henry Daniell Famous Actor “Garbitsch,” chief aide to Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator,” is the role played by Henry Daniell one of the screen’s outstanding character actors. Born in London, March 5, 1894, Daniell had an enviable career on the stage before his advent into pictures. His first appearance was in Lon¬ don in the production of “Kismet” in 1914. Then after performances . in Maeterlinck’s “Monna Vanna” and “The Sphinx,” he joined the second Batt. Norfolk Regiment at the outbreak of the World War but was invalided out of the service in 1915. Resuming his stage career, he scored successes in both London and New York, beginning his film ca¬ reer in 1929. Brilliant characteriza¬ tions in such well known pictures as “The Awful Truth,” “Conquest” with Greta Garbo, “Holiday,” “Marie Antoinette,” “We Are Not Alone,” “The Sea Hawk” and others influenced Chaplin to selggU him for the role of “Garbitsch” iqT the noted comedian’s first all-talk¬ ing comedy, “The Great Dictator,” which will have its local premiere at the.Theatre on. “The Great Dictator” is the first Charlie Chaplin picture since “Mod¬ ern Times,” and has been eagerly awaited by Chaplin fans all over the world—for in his latest film, which satirizes current events, Chaplin not only plays a dual role, but he also talks. This latter fact should serve to stump all the ex¬ perts who for years concluded that Charlie “couldn’t talk” on tnt*^\ screen because he didn’t talk in his ) former pictures. Fly In The Ointment Slows Up Production The average movie goer who sits in the theatre watching his favorites has no idea of the many seemingly unimportant factors pertaining to the making of a picture. Take the barber shop sequence in Charlie Chaplin’s newest comedy, “The Great Dictator, Theatre on . Charlie had rehearsed this very important scene almost an entire day, and during the hot spell that broke California’s all-time heat record. Painstakingly he had worked out all the mechanics and business with Paulette Goddard and Maurice Moscovich who appeared with Charlie in the scene. Around four o’clock he gave the word to “shoot.” The usual call for “Quiet” came from the sound man—“Roll” from Dan James assisting Charlie in the directing. Moscovich started his long speech when the mixer (who works the sound control board on the set, regulating the quality and tone of the voices) gave the brief order, “Cut!” Charlie looked up in consternation. “A fly,” was all the mixer re¬ plied. “A fly?” Charlie repeated. “Yes. Come and listen for your¬ self.” Charlie and James did, and re¬ ported it sounded like a huge air¬ plane zooming around. The crew started to work on the elusive fly. Swatters and the usual remedies were used in profusion until at last the insect was cornered. The incident of the fly may sound trivial in the telling. However, it not only broke the actors’ mood but resulted in a delay in production while the search went on amount¬ ing to several hundreds of dollars. Just one of the strange incidents that go into the making of a pic¬ ture that the average person never hears or thinks of. “The Great Dictator,” which is being released through United Art¬ ists, also features Jack Oakie, Billy Gilbert, Henry Daniell and Emma Dunn. In “The Great Dictator,” in which Charlie returns to the screen for the first time since he appeared in “Modern Times,” the world’s greatest comedian not only talks for the first time in his brilliant career, but he also plays a dual role. This comes about through a series of hilarious incidents in which Charlie, an unsuspecting lit¬ tle barber, is mistaken for a great ’ coming to the and powerful dictator and is pressed into service to his country. As is usual in all Chaplin pic¬ tures, many of the old familiar faces of pictures again turn up in “The Great Dictator.” For when¬ ever there was a “bit,” Charlie gave it to an old associate. Page Twenty