Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator is stinking up theaters as we speak so it’s a good time to remind ourselves that movies about crazy people with absolute power can actually be awesome. Here’s a look at some of the best.
Hitler - Downfall
After so very many annoying parody videos of this famous scene, it’s easy to forget just what an amazing job Bruno Ganz does of portraying the 20th century’s worst dictator as the world closes in on him. And what a novel idea, a Nazi movie staring people who don’t have English accents!
Saddam Hussein - Hot Shots! Part Deux
There have been a lot of really great Saddam parodies everywhere from Jane Austen’s Mafia! to The Big Lebowski. What you might not know is that almost every single one of them has been by Jerry Haleva. To date he has played Saddam, and only Saddam, six times.
And while he may not have been a dictator in his own right, Uday Hussein got his own starring role in The Devil’s Double.
Idi Amin - The Last King of Scotland
Forest Whitaker deservedly won almost every award they offer for his amazing transformation into the batshit insane Ugandan dictator. Supposedly he never dropped the character when he was on set, which means he probably executed most of the catering staff by the end of filming.
Kim Jong-Il - Team America: World Police
Everyone’s favorite adorable dictator, his turn in Team America is even funnier now that he has died and can’t actually nuke us anymore. We’re sure it is just a matter of time until his chubby son and heir gets a similar treatment.
Benito Mussolini - The Great Dictator
Two dictators for the price of one! Charlie Chaplin’s classic send up of Hitler also features Mussolini heavily. Their characters remain hilarious today, although Chaplin later said that if he had known just how bad things were going to get in Germany he never would have been able to make the parody.
Fidel Castro - Fidel!
I’ll be honest, don’t watch this movie (the entire thing is available on YouTube) for Víctor Huggo Martin’s Castro, but for the effortlessly sexy Gael García Bernal in his first of three turns as Che Guevara.