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April 15, 2012 1:58 PM   Subscribe

The climactic speech from Charlie Chaplin's first talking motion picture, The Great Dictator, re-enacted by Team Fortress 2's own Herr Doktor
posted by radwolf76 (26 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
So many mashups have used Charlie Chaplin's speech but I'm particularly fond of the ones set to Hans Zimmer's Time piece.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:08 PM on April 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bin ich verliebt.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:16 PM on April 15, 2012


I just reserved a copy of the movie from the library. Thanks for posting.
posted by danep at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2012


I'm sorry, theres a stickybomb in my eye.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 3:02 PM on April 15, 2012


Wonderful stuff. :)
posted by Drexen at 3:05 PM on April 15, 2012


Someone should do the Globe scene next.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 3:11 PM on April 15, 2012


Yeah, that was good.
posted by JHarris at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2012


Lovely.
posted by adrianhon at 4:36 PM on April 15, 2012


Always loved the speech. Don't have the foggiest idea why it should be delivered by this particular CG character, though, nor why it should be intercut with other CG characters brandishing heavy weaponry and such. But that's probably because I'm... old? Yeah, probably. But hey, if it leads some young 'uns who otherwise might not have heard Chaplin's beautiful speech to hear it, then OK, all's good.

Here's ol' Charlie's version, for the old timers.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM on April 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've never heard it before, and I play tf2, and now we are all in tears here at my place.

Wow and thanks.
posted by vrakatar at 5:02 PM on April 15, 2012


Nthing the Wow. It was awesomeness incarnate. Or, at least, much much better than I expected. Of course, I always expected him to look a little different.
posted by Samizdata at 5:25 PM on April 15, 2012


I'm not an expert on Team Fortress 2, but I think I can explain why it makes sense for this character to give this speech to these people.

Mann Co. is a military-industrial corporation in the ACME cartoon tradition which finances battles between the Red and Blue teams, inventing and fostering conflicts where none has any right to exist. It stomps out romances, friendships (such as the famous one between the blue soldier and red demoman) and peace offerings until the employees have no choice but to destroy each other as viciously as possible over and over again.


In this video we watch the medic see through Mann Co president Saxton Hale's deceptions and use Chaplin's words to inspire both teams to lay down their arms and escape the deadly grind of Hale's dictatorship in favor of a new, universal peace. The black and white of the medic's video portions serves the dual purpose of better flavoring his part as a piece of classic film and obscures his own team colors, reinforcing the meaninglessness of the distinction.


I think that's what's happening anyway. Hope that helps, flapjax.
posted by sandswipe at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


Christ that Chaplin-Zimmer mashup is good stuff. If that caliber of sincerity was what post-modernism cost us, then the price was too high.
posted by Ryvar at 9:57 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought you meant Mefight Club and Metafilter's own herrdoktor for a minute, there, and was confused and excited.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:01 PM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seeing that got me to look up the original video on YouTube, and Ebert's Great Movies writeup on The Great Dictator, where he notes that the speech, in the movie, doesn't really work. You never know when it's going to end, he writes, which is a mistake in a comedy, and there is nothing funny about it. He notes that the movie was also risky for Chaplin, although it was his most successful commercially, at the time it was made we didn't yet know of the depth of Hitler's evil, there were still elements in the U.S. that publicly supported him, and Chaplin's satire of Hitler (which trades on Chaplin's tramp character's resemblance to him) was seen by some as a bit "pinko."

But as its own think, I think, the speech is riveting, wonderful, and necessary to hear.
posted by JHarris at 1:22 AM on April 16, 2012


Also, Ebert notes that The Great Dictator, Chaplin's first talkie, is the last time he played his tramp character, and the speech comes at the end of the film. So you could take this as the tramp's farewell.
posted by JHarris at 1:23 AM on April 16, 2012


Fitting that I saw this post here on April 16th 2012, Charlie Chaplin's 123rd birthday.
posted by the cydonian at 3:18 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really want to like TF2 -- it's a well made game and a fun, silly shooter. But in order to play it, I have to play a man, and I'm a woman. I've just gotten so tired of having my nose rubbed in the fact that the industry doesn't think I exist, or that I'm important. So I don't play TF2. It's a foolish stand, a tiny stand, but one that I can make.

If you can make hundreds of hats, you can make female versions of your character classes and let women gamers that they're welcome to play your game.


That being said, I had no idea that the TF2 machinima community was so large and so awesome. And it's sad that the speech is so topical and appropriate 80-some years later.
posted by Concolora at 5:04 AM on April 16, 2012


know. Let woman gamers know.

My kingdom for an edit. :)
posted by Concolora at 5:05 AM on April 16, 2012


This is the first I've heard of the speech, and wow, is it excellent. Thanks for this post.
posted by odinsdream at 9:48 AM on April 16, 2012


The pyro is a woman, and there exist a handful of mods of various quality to genderswap the game in part or whole to something a little more balanced. If letter writing isn't helping, maybe letting valve see the popularity of such mods could? They're usually pretty good about listening to feedback.
posted by sandswipe at 12:35 PM on April 16, 2012


The pyro is a woman

[Citation needed]
posted by radwolf76 at 1:02 PM on April 16, 2012


Ebert's Great Movies writeup on The Great Dictator, where he notes that the speech, in the movie, doesn't really work. You never know when it's going to end, he writes, which is a mistake in a comedy, and there is nothing funny about it.

Wait what? He's kinda missed the point hasn't he? While it definitely doesn't really work as part of the film, the speech itself was not supposed to 'funny', as at that point the film moves from comedy mode to serious business mode. I read the scene as essentially being a non-diegetic direct address from Chaplin to the audience - I mean he's looking directly at the viewer much of the time, breaking the fourth wall.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:12 PM on April 16, 2012


I suppose. I've not seen the speech in context. I'm not defending Ebert, just noting his opinion. Here's the original article.
posted by JHarris at 5:29 PM on April 16, 2012


Okay, I was half wrong. The pyro is a mystery.
posted by sandswipe at 8:11 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


No didn't think you were defending Ebert, and having read the article his opinion just strikes me as kind of weird. He's technically correct in that Chaplin violates generic expectations in a way that in most situations would kind of wreck the overall experience of the film, but he also treats the whole thing almost dispassionately, as if the form of the film is more important than the context in which it was made.

Anyway, here's the Globe Scene as no one has linked it yet.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:22 AM on April 17, 2012


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