We are of course talking about the irrepressible Charlie Chaplin, born on this day in 1889 in London. On a tour of the United States in 1913 he caught the eye of film producer Max Sennett. In was in preparation for his second film that he stumbled upon his persona as the "Little Tramp" a role that would become his signature. Today, if you took a photograph of the "Little Tramp" to almost any corner of the world touched by Western culture, chances are someone would recognize it. That's a powerful statement given that the character hasn't appeared in a film for almost eighty years. We should be pleased that such greatness persists.
My personal favorite among all of his films is The Great Dictator (1940). Interestingly, this film was Chaplin's first "talkie." In it Chaplin portrays two characters, the "Little Tramp" variation of a Jewish veteran of World War I attempting to reestablish his life as a barber, and Adenoid Hynkel, dictator of Tomainia. Any resemblance between Adenoid Hynkel and Adolph Hitler is completely intentional. The film is a masterful piece of political satire made as an appeal to Americans and their leadership to wake up to the threat of Nazi Germany. If you have not watched The Great Dictator (1940), add it to your queue today. You won't regret it.
Here is a 25 minute, French documentary on The Great Dictator produced in 2003. I normally do not link to long videos here but this one is exceptionally well-made. It's packed with important background information and features several scenes including the "globe scene" [19:26] rightfully described as "one of the most brilliant scenes in all of cinema."