Monday, October 15, 2012

Scenes from the premiere of THE GREAT DICTATOR, New York City, October 15th, 1940

The film premiered simultaneously at the Capitol and Astor theaters.  Charlie and Paulette Goddard appeared at both.

Charlie and Paulette at the Capitol Theater. The couple did not travel together to the New York City premiere. Paulette flew in from Mexico, where she had been spending time with artist Diego Rivera, and Charlie arrived from Los Angeles. After the premiere, Paulette flew back to L.A. and Charlie stayed on in New York for another four months. During this time, Paulette moved out Charlie’s house.

Jack Oakie with Paulette & Charlie, who gives a Hynkel salute to the crowd.
Charlie fights his way through the crowd at the Astor theater.

Two-page spread from the New York newspaper PM, October 16th, 1940

A peek inside the original program which featured artwork by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
(from the collection of Phil Posner)

 After the premiere.
Dancing with Paulette at the Monte Carlo. 
Celebrating with H.G. Wells and Constance Collier.


  1. I did a major clean up of that program and put it on my web site in a photo gallery.


  2. Some pics I had never seen before. Very lovely!

  3. Is that Ed Sullivan in the top photo (the guy in the middle)?

  4. Sure is! Good eye! And particularly interesting since Sullivan was one of the leaders of Chaplin's persecution, soon to begin.


    1. Phil, you read my mind: I recognized Ed Sullivan, and thought about the irony!

    2. I thought that guy looked familiar.

  5. The Criterion version of the Great Dictator actually has the sketches from the program in the little info booklet that comes with the movie.