Wednesday, February 11, 2015

With Fannie Brice at the Trocadero, c. 1938



An early version of The Great Dictator script included a wife for Hynkel, a role intended for Brice. The following scene suggests that it may have encountered serious problems with the Breen office and other censorship groups (I think it would have been brilliant, though!):
SCENE: Mrs. Hinkle alone - boredom and sex starvation with Freudian fruit symbols. Enter Hinkle from speech. She’s mad at him—orders him about. He’s preoccupied with matters of State.
MRS: I’m a woman. I need affection, and all you think about is the State! THE STATE! What kind of state do you think I’m in?
HINKLE: You’ve made me come to myself. I’m not getting any younger. Sometimes I wonder. (good old melo)
MRS: Life is so short and these moments are so rare…Remember, Hinkle, I did everything for you. I even had an operation…on my nose. If you don’t pay more attention to me I’ll tell the whole world I’m Jewish!
HINKLE: Shhh!
FANNY: [sic] And I’m not so sure you aren’t Jewish, too. We’re having gefüllte fish for dinner. 
HINKLE: Quiet! Quiet!
FANNY: Last night I dreamt about blimps.
HINKLE: Blimps?
FANNY: Yes, I dreamt we captured Paris in a big blimp and we went right through the Arc de Triomphe. And then I dreamed about a city all full of Washington monuments.
(She presses grapes in his mouth, plays with a banana)
(David Robinson, Chaplin: His Life & Art)

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