- Actors: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis, Audrey Betz
- Format: PAL
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Whv
- DVD Release Date: 22 Sept. 2003
- Run Time: 118 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0000AISJR
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,083 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Charlie Chaplin: Monsieur Verdoux [DVD]
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This blistering little black comedy was well ahead of its time when released in 1947. Originally, Orson Welles had wanted Chaplin to star in his drama about a French mass murderer named Landru, but Chaplin was hesitant to act for another director and used the idea himself. He plays a dapper gent named Henri Verdoux (who assumes a number of identities), a civilised monster who marries wealthy women, then murders them (as we meet him, he's gathering roses as an incinerator ominously bellows smoke in the background) and collects their money to support his real family. The Little Tramp is now a distant memory, though this was the first film not to feature Chaplin's beloved creation. Verdoux is largely viciously clever. Ultimately, Chaplin breaks character (much as he did in The Great Dictator) to preach to the masses, declaring that against the machines of war that grip the planet, humble killer Verdoux is "an amateur by comparison."
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Top Customer Reviews
A master at his very best, a fantastic film.
Charles Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" was released in 1940 and was his first full, talking cinematographic film. His next film, "Monsieur Verdoux" followed seven years later shortly after the ending of the Second World War.
There was some trepidation in the initial phases as to how "The Great Dictator" would be received but in the event it quickly became Chaplin's most lucrative single venture in film making; it was also universally accepted as an outstanding work of art.
"Monsieur Verdoux", on the other hand, had a generally frosty reception. Today critics still differ as to its merits. For example, from the "Second Virgin Film Guide", where the rating has 4 stars (maximum 5 stars) we have 'Chaplin, that master comedian, cannot seem to decide here which way to go either into straight drama or farcical crime, but his black humour is in force nevertheless and he has produced a compelling film about the notorious Landru, better known as Bluebeard.' (It would appear that the idea to make a film modelled on the character of Landru first came directly from Orson Welles.)
Virgin cites two episodes, including the one in which Verdoux - he surely relishes the secret "joke" - gently reprimands his young son for pulling a cat's tail, wondering from where his sibling inherits such a cruel streak. This misses the point. Life is too serious a thing to be taken seriously. A world in which the free democracies protect their way of life by threatening to destroy the planet using weapons of mass destruction is so absurd as to defy analysis.Read more ›
A sheer delight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
According to the commentary included with this 1947 film, Chaplin considered Monsieur Verdoux one of his best films. Read morePublished on 15 Dec. 2008 by Michael W. Perry