The Pestle


Ep 230: “The Great Dictator” (1940)

April 11, 2023

We crash into Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” and discuss:

  • Cinematography, old aspect ratios, classic glow-up;
  • Story & Writing, destroy something beautiful, how machine men act;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

The deeper the truth in a creative work, the longer it will live. – Charlie Chaplin

Notes & References:
Charlie Chaplin Behind the Camera on The Great Dictator, 1940 (Reddit)
1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Gardens (wiki)
Anti-halation backing (wiki)
Buster Keaton house falling down around him (YouTube)
Buster Keaton stunts (YouTube)
Chaplin using a matte painting to force perspective (
The Adventures of Prince Achmed trailer (YouTube)
D.W. Griffith (wiki)
Color timing vs correction vs grading
Christopher Nolan discusses coloring his films chemically: “We save a lot of money shooting on film and projecting film and not doing digital intermediates. In fact, I’ve never done a digital intermediate. Photochemically, you can time film with a good timer in three or four passes, which takes about 12 to 14 hours as opposed to seven or eight weeks in a DI suite.” (DGA interview)

Watch us on YouTube!

Short Spotlight:

“I Won’t Let Me Down” trailer

This Week’s Recommendations:


  1. Uwe says:

    Guys, the last 5-6 episodes were a streak of perfect entertainment. Thx so much! And after that trailer of that short film of yours I can’t wait to see the whole thing. And Todd, I had no idea you can act like Bradley! See you with different eyes now.

  2. wes says:

    Dude! Thank you so much for saying that! After a couple hundred episodes one does wonder if we’ve run out of good films to dig into, but it seems like an endless pool to select from.

    And I’m certain I misquoted you on our recent Menace episode haha, but I agree! Todd def has some skill. However, unlike Bradley Cooper I couldn’t get him to wet his pants in public.

    1. Uwe says:

      You quoted me perfectly ^^

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