Oscar Movies: Great Dictator, The

United Artists
(Charles Chaplin Productions)

Oscar Nominations: 5

Picture, produced by Charles Chaplin
Screenplay (Original): Charles Chaplin
Actor: Chaplin
Supporting Actor: Jack Oakie
Original Score: Meredith Wilson

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

In 1940, Hitchcock's Oscar winning thriller “Rebecca” competed for the top award with nine other films: Hitchcock's own “Foreign Correspondent” (on of his lesser movies), “All This and Heaven Too,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Great Dictator,” “Kitty Foyle,” “The Letter,” “The Long Voyage Home,” “Our Town,” and “The Philadelphia Story.”

Like Hitchcock, John Ford had two movies in contention: “The Grapes of Wrath,” starring Henry Fonda, and “The Long Voyage Home,” with John Wayne. The most nominated pictures were: Hitchcock's “Rebecca,” with 10, John Ford's socially-aware class drama “The Grapes of Wrath,” and William Wyler's Bette David melodrama, “The Letter,” each with 7.

Chaplin's timely political satire emerged as one of the biggest losers in 1940. The winner of Best Actor was Jimmy Stewart for the comedy “The Philadelphia Story.” Preston Sturges won the Original Screenplay Oscar for “The Great McGinty,” and Walter Brennan won his third Supporting Oscar in five years (a record) for Wyler's “The Westerner.” The Original Score award went to Disney's animated “Pinocchio.”

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