Charlie Chaplin, the silent film star , never spoke in movies until The Great Dictator of 1940. When Chaplin finally spoke, he created one of the great iconic speeches of all time. Many call it the greatest speech ever made.
At the time of its first release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. Chaplin’s comic film advanced a stirring, controversial condemnation of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini‘s fascism, antisemitism, and the Nazis, whom he excoriates in the film as “machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts”.
The speech endures today in several mediums. The speech has been remixed in a hundred different ways. .
I was reminded of this beautiful remix of the original when my friend, Anita, posted it on facebook today. As Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas are times of gratitude and reflection, here it is below. Prepare on being moved.
I posted the original speech a year or so ago on this website. Interestingly, the search “The Kingdom of God” brings people to my website every day or every week because of “The Kingdom of God is Within You” post from 2012.
It is always touching for me to see folks searching for “The Kingdom of God” and finding it in Chaplin’s iconic speech
In this touching performance, Chaplin, quotes from Luke 17:21:
In the NIV version the verse reads : “Once having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied,’ The kingdom of God does not come from your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’ or “There it is’ because the Kingdom of God is within you.”
Chaplin’s take is the following from the film, “In the 17th chapter of Saint Luke it is written the Kingdom of God in within man, not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men, in you, you the people have the power!”
Here is the original speech as it occurs in the original movie: