|Selected Scenes from the Great Dictator (1940)
||[Oct. 26th, 2008|08:35 am]
Charlie Chaplin - the Great Dictator of Tomania. This film is just as much about advances in the dissemination of information ( via radio ) as it is about the ramblings of dictatorial overlords who seek to restrict freedom of speech and liberty. In 1940 radio was fairly new and it's impact on the world being assessed.
"We now pause for station identification. This is the Parismutual Network bringing you direct from Tomania Adenoid Hynkel's address to the son's and daughter's of the double cross. The English interpretor is Heinrich Stick - Adenoid Hynkel's personal translator who was apparently reading from a prepared manuscript. Standby for further commentary. Go Ahead Tomania."
This film was made four years before I was born and several years before television was introduced to the United Kingdom. I recall mum purchasing our first TV set in or around 1948 from a store in Grays Essex. I asked what it was and what it did. She explained the the set (an EKCO ( for E. K. Coles of Southend - the manufacturer ) displayed moving pictures. I recall asking her if it would show me any picture I wanted and she replied "No - only what they send over the airwaves." Most of the time it sat in the corner and displayed a "test pattern" until 5 pm when "Children's TV" was broadcast (until 6 pm). At 8 pm until 10 pm adults could watch a small selection of shows broadcast exclusively by the BBC. It was several years before ITV was allowed to broadcast commercial TV and a long time before the government permitted morning broadcasting and (heaven forbid) all day broadcasting.
In the film above Charlie Chaplin in his roles as dictator and the barber mistaken for Hynkel declares that he no longer wishes to be a dictator and asks the world to consider the perils of listening to those who seek to dictate their personal values on others making them slaves to the system and applauds radio as the means of bringing information to the world.
This was long before the Internet which is now being cobbled in attempts to hinder freedom of thought and freedom of expression.
As per the BBC
See also EKCO Eric Kirkham Cole Wikipedia
Nostalgia EKCO Domestic Products (our olde TV 4th down the page on the right)