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- Introduction by David Robinson
- 'Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux,' Documentary by Bernard Eisenschitz Plan drawings and preparatory sketches Photo gallery, film posters, and trailers
Top Customer Reviews
Chaplin's ability as an actor is pushed to a new level on this film through his portrayal of a morally ambiguous, unscrupulous ex-bank clerk who has no qualms about putting a body into an incinerator in his backyard. While much has been said about this film's break with Chaplin's Little Tramp character, careful examination reveals that Henri Verdoux is just a logical, and daring, advancement in the character: The more devilish, sometimes sadistic sides of the Little Tramp taken to their inevitable conclusion, where comic mischief crosses over the line to villainy. And it's highly compelling, the perfect foil to Chaplin's most heartwarming films (eg. City Lights and Modern Times), allowing Chaplin to express an insidiousness hitherto unexplored. Martha Raye nearly steals the show as the airheaded, supernaturally unkillable Mme. Bonheur (the name itself means "happiness"), and Marilyn Nash is winning as the Belgian derelict who inspires a spark of compassion in Verdoux. The conclusion of this character relationship is one of Chaplin's most complex writing feats: Imagine the ending of City Lights twisted into a dark, steely, uncompromising version of itself.Read more ›
However, this is not what Monsieur Verdoux deserves. In every scene you see Chaplin's quick brain, keen eye and swift feet at work. Some of the love scenes are absolutely hilarious, even in this day. Martha Raye (the wife who refuses to me murdered) is a scream. The film is intended as a parody on Society prior to WWII; if you watch it with this in mind you'll be able to enjoy it tremendously.
Before Chaplin decided to make this film, he had just gone through one of the most turbulant periods in his life. His divorse with Paulette, being harrased by a neurotic former love, meeting Oona and soon to be banned from the States, accused of being a Communist had taken it toll. Chaplin fought back in the only way he knew how: by making a comedy to tackle the present cruel (at least to him) society.
This DVD quality is as good as you can get; there a no evidence of film aging. However, the text on the back of the cover is a great disappointment. I happened to read it before I watched the film (as most people do to see if the film is what they were looking for), and not only was this the dullest description of a film I ever saw, but worse, it actually managed to give away the entire film including the FINAL scene! If you decide to give this film a chance (which won't be a disappointment, garantueed), avoid reading the back of the cover at all costs.
This is a five-star film, but one star off for the cover. Shame on Image Entertainment!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
MONSIEUR VERDOUX (Writ./Dir. Charlie Chaplin, based on an outline by Orson Welles, 1946, released in Sweden et al. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hui Shen ben Israel
Wonderful movie, one of my favorites of Chaplin's masterpieces.Published 9 months ago by Strawberry Girl
I haven't purchased this movie from Amazon as of yet BUT I have recorded it via On Demand by Comcast Xfinity. I absolutely love this movie! Read morePublished 16 months ago by LippyLoo
Story goes that Orson Welles originally planned on directing Charlie Chaplin in this film, eyeing the famed silent film star as the perfect fit for the title character. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Andrew Ellington
It is the greatest film of Chaplin, one in which he does not play a character who will at once win the sympathies of his audience. Just the contrary. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Arun Khopkar
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