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The Great Dictator Clippings 364/369

Eugen Sharin, Screen Writer, Hollywood, October 1947.

Eugen Sharin, Exploitation Manager

Continental Europe London

(...) Motion Picture Herald, June 13, 1936

& Russian Army‘s Marshal Ivan Konev,

undated, ebay

& Hotel Imperial, Vienna, 1938

& Café Imperial, Vienna, 1941

„It is the Marshal‘s wish to see The Great Dictator

Editorial content. „Disunion in Vienna


      EUGEN SHARIN, an associate member of SWG,

      served as American Films Officer in Austria. He has worked

      in Hollywood as a writer and technical director, and

      is now in Europe again on a film mission.

      The Russian colonel was a big man, bullet-headed

and barrel-chested, and he did not like what the Americans

had done. The American Film Officer was a civilian

in uniform, quiet-mannered but sharp-tongued, and he did not

like that the Russians did not like what he, too, had

done. The meeting was expected to bring forth some fireworks.

Assistants on both sides felt like looking for buckets

and sponges. But the ornate parlor of a suite in Vienna‘s

Hotel Imperial never turned into a boxing ring.

      ,Ya ne saglassny!‘ the colonel thundered.

      ,The Colonel says he does not agree,‘ the translator


      The American nodded.

      The colonel looked sternly first at the inkwell in front

of him, then at his adversary.

      ,I represent the Marshal,‘ he said, frowning. The

Marshal was Ivan Konev, liberator of Vienna, commander

of all Russian forces in Austria. It sounded ominous.

      ,I have been charged with transmitting a request from

the Marshal,‘ the colonel went on.

      The Russians were always formal like that. They

used colonels as messenger boys, sometimes,

and the officer in question was not supposed to exercise

his own judgement, or contribute anything toward

settling matters. All he had to do was transmit messages

and receive replies, if any.

      ,I shall now put the request before you,‘ the

Russian said.

      The American nodded again but said nothing. The

whole thing boded no good. Film matters in Austria were

complicated enough, and misunderstood enough by

his own HQ, without the Russian disagreeing again. They

were doing it all the time.

      ,Please go on,‘ he said, just to say something.

      ,Precisely,‘ the colonel said, looking straight at the

American. ,It is the Marshal‘s wish to see The Great Dictator.

      The American was startled. He looked at his two

companions. They seemed puzzled.

      ,The Marshal is very fond of Charles Chaplin,‘

the colonel said. There was no mistake. The anticlimax

was not a figment of the imagination. The film

officer found himself:

      ,We shall be pleased to fulfill the Marshal‘s wish,‘

he said.

      ,You have a print of the picture?‘ the Russian asked,


      ,We have,‘ the American said, instantly, like fighter

rising to the charge. What does he knew of my troubles, he


      ,Organizatzya!‘ the Russian beamed, admiringly.

He looked at his satellites. They were all beaming. ,Some

organization! These Americans! They have


      We rose to leave, but the colonel was now all gracious

host. Vodka appeared from a sideboard and a small

chest yielded black bread, sardines and caviar. Charles

Chaplin was toasted, then Russia and America.“ (...)

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