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Monsieur Verdoux (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2004
Format: DVD
If the willingness to take risks is the mark of a great artist -- and I believe it is -- then Monsieur Verdoux is one of Charles Chaplin's greatest films. And amidst all the controversy stirred by his portrayal of a serial wife killer, it's easy to forget that it's also a hilarious black comedy with plenty of sharp lines that would have succeeded even without its sociological message.

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.

There are certain moments when the film does threaten to fall into self-involvement -- in his later years, Chaplin did let his ego take ahold of his work -- but in the case of Monsieur Verdoux, he uses this larger-than-life persona so well, and it fits the character so snugly, that the ego becomes an advantage and adds to the depth of the character. And the script has none of the self-conscious mix of silent film and talkies that plagued The Great Dictator; Chaplin had grown quite well into dialogue writing, allowing him to formulate moments of murderous irony that are cuttingly funny. ("Don't pull the cat's tail...") I have no problems with the ending speeches in this film as I did with the final speech of The Great Dictator: In the context of this story, they fit in quite well. Verdoux at the end is a man who has given up all hope, and he seems to mock his own fate and character while unmercifully unveiling his anger at the world. The speeches are not meant to be taken for face value, and I find them thought-provoking and fascinating rather than moralistic or self-important.

I first saw this film at Symphony Space in New York City and the audience was laughing so hard it was in tears. With modern audiences generally less inclined to judge a film by its "moral standing" (Kill Bill, anyone?), Monsieur Verdoux can be seen for what it is: A hilarious, complex sociological examination which identifies social ills while at the same time taking part in it. In that, it is unique in the Chaplin canon and deserves to rank among his most important films.

A quick note about this DVD edition: For some reason, the bonus materials for this film are far less numerous than on the other DVDs in this series -- hence the single-disc package and lower price. By the standards of this series of reissues, the DVD materials are really quite scant -- a useful yet brief half-hour documentary featuring good insight from director Claude Chabrol, a trailer, some storyboards. The picture and sound are of good quality, however, and the film is one to own. Highly recommended.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 4, 2001
Format: DVD
In his autobiography, Charlie Chaplin called "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947) "the cleverest and most brilliant film I have yet made." Though not without its faults, this sardonic black comedy remains his best foray into sound. Chaplin's detailed performance as the business-minded Bluebeard is a masterpiece of screen acting. However, the supporting cast ranges from excellent (Martha Raye) to amateurish (Marilyn Nash) while the final minutes get bogged down in endless talk. Chaplin later admitted that "Monsieur Verdoux" could have used a bit more pantomime and less dialogue. Still, it's a thought-provoking and hard-hitting film. Henri Verdoux and the Little Tramp have much in common.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2000
Format: DVD
Monsieur Verdoux is Chaplin's unsung masterpiece. A very dry film, it lives in the shadow of the much broader 'The Great Dictator'. The humor is subtle (the Martha Raye scenes aside) and one has to think to get it. Example: Verdoux is tending to his rose bushes while the incinerator is finishing up one of his wives in the background. He's just murdered a woman yet he refuses to step on a little catepillar. In picking it up and moving it to safety, he becomes very squemish at touching the little creature! This character is as far away from the Little Tramp as one can get. They are the same though; both long for love however, Verdoux uses love to his 'business' advantage whereas 'Charlie' was ususally scorned by it. This is his best written talky (any viewer of the over preachy 'Limelight' would concur) while it looks technically cheap at times (a not too uncommon area of some of his later productions). Such criticism is small though and the 'speech' at the end fits well into the narrative, not to mention that with the passing of over five decades....it still makes sense. Chaplin should be commended for putting out such a daring film at a time where America didn't want to hear such things. Not for everyones tastes but still a film that should not be ignored.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2000
Format: DVD
That was the campain in the 40's, when the public didn't want to accept this film. After a few weeks of running, it was abandoned in all cinema's. The people expected a Little Tramp, instead, they got a Bigamist Lady Killer. En mass they decided to boo the film and stay away.
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!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2006
Format: DVD
When Chaplin set about to tell the tale of MONSIEUR VERDOUX, he wanted an actress for the role of the indestructible Annabella who could hold her own in the comedy department. He looked no further than stage/radio/movie star Martha Raye, who was known for her improvisational skills and was fearless when it came to comedy. Raye considered this the high point of her career, to have been chosen by the man she considered The Master as a co-star. Without exception, critics hail the rowboat scene when Verdoux is trying vainly to murder the obnoxious Annabella as the highlight of the film. Given the right director, Raye was matchless in comedy and also proved to be a capable dramatic actress in a precious few roles (Jumbo, The Gossip Columnist). Watch this film, if only to appreciate the comedy genius of Martha Raye. Oh, Chaplin ain't bad either.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
He is an icon.

Charlie Chaplin, the British comedian known for winning legions of fans through his character, "The Tramp" and one of the most important figures in cinema history.

While Charlie Chaplin will forever be a legend known for wonderful film such as "City Lights", "The Gold Rush", "Modern Times" and "The Great Dictator" to name a few. His life reads like a rags-to-riches story as a child born into poverty and hardship and would become a performer at a young age and eventually become scouted by the film industry and making his first appearance in film in 1914 for Keystone Studios.

The actor would eventually move on to do work for studios such as Essanay, Mutual and First National corporations and would become one of the most successful men in the world by 1918. And in 1919, in order to gain complete control of his films, Chaplin along with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith would create the American film studio known as United Artist.

And as Charlie Chaplin would survive the transition from silent to talkie in the 1930′s. It's the 1940′s that would prove to be detrimental for Charlie Chaplin. It began with an actress named Joan Barry accusing Chaplin that she was pregnant with his baby. Because Chaplin has had several divorces, media portrayed him as a womanizer.

While working on his latest film "Monsieur Verdoux", because he would not renounce his British citizenship and was speaking favorably to open a Second Front to help the Soviets and support Soviet-American friendship groups. Because he socialized with Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht and also attended functions of Soviet diplomats in the U.S., he was accused of being communist and branded a threat to national security. Federal authorities would use the Joan Barry case to bring up Chaplin on four indictments which include interfering with Barry's arrest and violating the Mann Act for transportation of women across state lines for sexual purposes.

While Chaplin was acquitted, unfortunately, because of the negative publicity, the federal government successfully achieved what they wanted, to hurt Chaplin's career.

More negative publicity would affect Charlie Chaplin when he married his 18-year-old protegee Oona O'Neill (Chaplin was 54 at the time), the daughter of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill and writer Agnes Boulton. And because he would not consent to her marriage to Chaplin, despite their close relationship, O'Neill ended his relationship with his daughter.

And while Chaplin was happy to be married to Oona and continued to work on his new film "Monsieur Verdoux" (which he started in 1942), a film which came from an idea from Orson Welles about a bluebeard/French serial killer named Henri Landru. While Chaplin tried to sway American sentiment that he was not a communist and even had a major publicist try to promote his new film and also to prepare audiences for a non-Tramp role, unfortunately, his reputation was already tarnished.

He was booed at the premiere, people wanted to boycott his film and Charlie Chaplin who was known to earn $5 million for his films, would only make $300,000+ in the box office and became a commercial flop. But in other countries, the film was a success.

But the damage was done and Chaplin's American career would never be the same ever again. By his next film "Limelight", when he went to screen the film in London, while returning back home with his family, the Attorney General revoked Chaplin's re-entry permit. But because Chaplin and his films were warmly received, he would make Switzerland his new home.

While the film was not looked at positively back in the 1940′s, as decades have past, many would recognize "Monsieur Verdoux" as Charlie Chaplin's first major talkie film that was a true masterpiece. Even in Charlie Chaplin's autobiography, he wrote "Monsieur Verdoux is the cleverest and most brilliant film I have yet made".

And now, "Monsieur Verdoux" will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by The Criterion Collection.

VIDEO:

"Monsieur Verdoux" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:33:1 aspect ratio). The film features wonderful contrast and is well-detailed. Whites and grays are well-contrast, black levels are also much better. I saw no damage or major flickering, banding, if anything, the film looks magnificent on Blu-ray!

According to the Criterion Collection, this high-definition digital transfer was created in 2K resolution on an ARRISCAN film scanner from the original 35 mm camera negative at L'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS and Pixel Farm's PFClean, while Image System's Phoenix was used for small dirt, grain, noise reduction and jitter.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

"Monsieur Verdoux" is presented in English LPCM 1.0. Dialogue is clear and subtitles are easy to read. I detected no pops, crackles or terrible hiss during my viewing of the film.

According to the Criterion Collection, the original monaural soundtrack was remaster at 24-bit from a sound negative. Clicks, thumps, hiss and hum were manually removed using Pro Tools HD. Crackle was attenuated using AudioCube's integrated workstation.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

"Monsieur Verdoux - The Criterion Collection #652" comes with the following special features:

Chaplin Today - Monsieur Verdoux - (27:01) Directed by Bernard Eisenschitz, featuring observations by filmmaker Claude Chabrol and actor Normany Lloyd about the troubling times of Charlie Chaplin and the brilliance of the film "Monsieur Verdoux".
Charlie Chaplin and the American Press - (24:54) Kate Guyonvarch, Director of the Charlie Chaplin Company, Roy Export and Charles Maland, author of "Chaplin and American Culture" review the coverage of Chaplin the American press.
Marilyn Nash - (8:05) A 1997 audio interview with images by Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance with Marilyn Nash (who starred as "The Girl" in "Monsieur Verdoux").
Radio Ads - (6:15) Featuring a total of eight radio ads: "A Modern French Bluebeard", "This Merchant of Death", "A Warning", "For Women Without A Sense of Humor", "Lady, Can You Take a Dare?", "The Top Picture of the Year", "The Suave, Sinister Lady-Killer" and "Remember - It's a Comedy".
Trailers - (8:38) Three trailers for "Monsieur Verdoux" from France, Germany and the United States.

EXTRAS:

"Monsieur Verdoux - The Criterion Collection #652" comes with an 38-page booklet with the following essays: "Sympathy for the Devil" by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, the article that Charlie Chaplin wrote for the "Continental Daily Mail" titled "My New Film" and Andre Bazin's "The Myth of Monsieur Verdoux" from Bazin's film "What is Cinema? Vol II".

JUDGMENT CALL:

It's hard to use the word sympathetic when it comes to a character that is a mass murderer. Nor should one sympathize for one that is amoral for the crimes they have committed.

But what Charlie Chaplin was able to create was a character that is intelligent, witty but its the idea in his head that what he has done is miniscule to what countries have done in war. Where one man kills, he is a murder. When a nation kills, they are seen as not.

This is an interesting juxtaposition from Chaplin's last film "The Great Dictator" in which the threat of Hitler was scaring the masses, Chaplin used his famous personality to preach for a kinder world where people rise above their hate, greed and brutality.

But by 1947, he had been branded guilty by the mass media and U.S. government for his political beliefs and because of his personal life. Two years before "Monsieur Verdoux" was released in theaters, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II and while images of the devastation was suppressed by American media at the time, because Chaplin was a person who traveled the world and had conversations with many of the affluent people in business and also military, he had a chance to know about war, the effects of war and was tired of war.

But as he seeked to form a working bond between American and Soviets, it would backfire on him as he would be branded a communist. Anyone who dare side with him, would also be branded a communist and unfortunately, many people in the entertainment industry were automatically judged to be communist but Chaplin would be remembered not just as a silent film star icon but also an actor persecuted by the U.S. Govt. and never allowed to come home until 1972, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offered Chaplin an Honorary Award and would be Chaplin's first time in the U.S. after 20-years since his re-entry to the U.S. was revoked. And a standing ovation that would last 12-minutes, the longest in Academy's history. Chaplin would also be awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975.

So, as we look back at "Monsieur Verdoux" and many see this film as a masterpiece, you can't help but feel a bittersweet attitude towards the film. Primarily because how poorly the film was received because of his treatment by the U.S. government but also the large amount of negative press that he received.

Chaplin tried his best to defend the film. A film that cost him two million dollars and took seven years to make. But it was his drive to tell a story about how a poor French clerk who lost his job due to the Depression looked at wooing wealthy women, marrying them and murdering them as a way to support the wife and child that he does love. In his mind, that contemporary civilization is making mass murderers of us all.

While the film is a comedy, Chaplin knew the state of how things were in America and the world at the time. After a major World War, these were serious times in which he felt he could use his personality for good and at 58, there was no need for the tramp as he could not play the popular character all his life. But it was his opportunity to create pity for all humanity as he would say, "in the drastic circumstances of present-day living".

Charlie Chaplin in "Monsieur Verdoux" is wonderful. His ability to play a character that is calm, collected but able to pursue multiple women by using his charm and trying to find anyway he can to get their money.

Meanwhile, as much as he has been able to travel and marry or have relationships with many married women in his life, some he manages to kill, some he doesn't (because he doesn't know how to get them to give him access to the money), we are introduced to another character, a girl (portrayed by Marilyn Nash) who has been released from prison and receives inspiration from the one man who tries to help her and most of all, listen to her...Monsieur Verdoux. Her character has become an important and pivotal character towards the end of the film but it's the planning of the characters in the film that make "Monsieur Verdoux" a fascinating film and at times a comedy.

Most of the comedy is derived from the scenes featuring comedian Martha Raye as Annabella Bonheur, a wisecracking, blunt and yet wealthy woman with a laugh of a hyena. But in addition to Bonheur, we have appearances by William Frawley (best known as Fred Mertz in the sitcom "I Love Lucy") and Fritz Leiber, Sr.

But the work and performance of Charlie Chaplin is incredible. If anyone was able to get away from his well-known "Tramp" role, we as audiences of today, recognize that Chaplin was successful. Unfortunately, because of the release of the film during his worse time of his personal life, the film would not receive the recognition then, as it does now.

So, we go back to the question of whether a film about an amoral mass murderer should be regarded as wonderful cinema, especially among the many masterpieces in his oeuvre. I have to say yes. We sympathize with Verdoux, but we know that as much as his amoral perspective is only justifiable to him but not to the masses, it's because Verdoux was a man who knew he did wrong but he was the product of society and that he will not be the only one with that mindset.

But as a society who believes one man who kills any is a murder, what of a country that kills many more for the sake of war or business. Is he any different?

As for the Criterion Collection Blu-ray release, the film delivers the most beautiful version of this film to date. The special features are also important in introducing people to what Charlie Chaplin was enduring in his personal life and his career at the time but also featuring interviews with people who knew him.

Overall, "Monsieur Verdoux" is another magnificent Charlie Chaplin Blu-ray release but is also a film that is deserving of its recognition as a true Charlie Chaplin cinematic masterpiece. Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2004
Format: DVD
Many people seem to have a hard time stomaching this movie, I think in large part because, despite all possible warning to the contrary, people go see this movie with the idea that it will be like Chaplin's earlier movies, with him playing a character that either symbolizes human virtue or directly espouses Chaplin's views. These people are sorely dissapointed, because Chaplin's character, Monsieur Verdoux, is neither virtuous, nor does he express Chaplin's personal ideology. In fact, sometimes people come out of this still holding the point of view that this is just a regular Chaplin movie and are disgusted with Chaplin's apparently murderous tendencies!

The basic plot has been oulined here many, many times, and I don't think anything can be gained from going over it again; I will simply provide my views on what the characters mean so that those who watch this movie for the first time can at least go into it without drastic misconceptions. Verdoux is a French bank clerk layed off as a result of the depression, he sees no alternative but to marry women, obtain their assets, and murder them, in order to support his family. He loves his family (son and invalid wife) dearly, but despite this is cynical about the world, viewing it as a hostile place where one has to be hostile in return to survive in it. NOTE: Chaplin is NOT Verdoux (although they have some similarities: more on this later), at least, Verdoux is not Chaplin's vision of an ideal human being. In fact, Chaplin's ideal, which in earlier films took the form of the Tramp, is most nearly expressed by a female ex-con that Verdoux runs into. I forget exactly what she says, but one essential point is that a little kindness can make the world a wonderful place. Her optimistic world view is at direct odds with Verdoux's cynicism, and in fact Verdoux tells her that her optimism is corrupting his philosophy. There is much else that I could say about the themes of Monsieur Verdoux, but it is better if you simply see the movie, which I highly recommend.

Looking at the film in a fair and balanced way, however, it does have flaws. The only one of real importance to me is that Chaplin makes the character of Verdoux too sympathetic, especially at the end, with his statement to the court, which comes off, at least partly, as an excuse for his atrocities, rather than as purely an indictment of the hypocritical, inhuman world he lives in. My view of Verdoux is that he is a product of the mechanized, impersonal, ungrateful world so briliantly satirized in Modern Times, as inevitable as the Sun rising in the East, and not that he is a wise person (not that his statements at the end are what I would call wise, but they contain elements of wisdom that invite one to place trust in what Verdoux says). Perhaps at least part of this half-sympathetic portrayal is that Verdoux's disillusionment, his lashing out at a world that has turned his back on him, were traits that Chaplin at this stage in his career deeply identified with, and perhaps he couldn't help but put a little of himself into Verdoux. At any rate, these minor quibbles are no reason, I think, to deny the film the status of a classic masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Monsier Verdoux is an offbeat black comedy which keeps the most refined sentiments and the darkest brutality in constant contrast. Chaplin depicts a dapper and clever fellow who has lost his job in the depression. He resorts to murdering women he has charmed and taking their fortunes to support his family. Always the gentleman with exquisite manners and apt philosophical quips, he nevertheless dispatches his victims with equal aplomb. His philosophical remarks appear at odd moments. While he is pumping a chemist friend about the formula for a poison, he remarks that "chemistry is the outward manisfestation of the metaphysical". He then proceedes to bring a girl off the street into his quarters as his intended victim. After setting a poisoned glass of wine on the table for her, she declares that life is beautiful despite all the wrong in the world, this promted by her belief that Verdoux is sincerely helping her. Verdoux is moved by the girl and leans over saying " I believe there is some cork in your wineglass, let me get another for you", therby saving her.
The movie has a charm, wit and intelligence to it. Critics who do not see this are too literal minded and seemingly cannot reconcile the contrast between the refinement and brutality of Verdoux. Of course they cannot be reconciled! They seem to expect a moral balance sheet to be closed out like an accountant. Verdoux is a thought provoking contradiction-perhaps a microcosm of civilization itself-full of art and noble impulses, but also of violence and injustice too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
Format: DVD
It's hard to believe this film once had such an awful reputation and was considered extremely politically dangerous. Times have really changed for the better since 1947. This is Chaplin's first full dialogue film, even though 'The Great Dictator' was his first sound film. As is pointed out in the documentary, that film seems to go back and forth between dialogue scenes and silent scenes. This film was the first film he wrote expressly as a dialogue film, with much less of the pantomimic scenes hearkening back to his earlier work. It's also just as funny and brilliant as his earlier masterpieces.

We know right from the opening shot of the film what the fate of Henri Verdoux was, since we see a grave bearing his name and the years he lived. The film that follows tells us the story of just how and why he got there. Monsieur Verdoux is a bluebeard (an old-fashioned slang word for a man who marries and then murders one woman after another), something he never foresaw himself as. For much of his adult life he worked as a successful bank clerk, but then came the world Depression, and he lost his job. Society didn't seem to have any other use for him, at least not anything that would enable him to make as much money as he needed to support his young son Peter and his disabled wife Mona. I suppose this story was considered controversial in its day because Monsieur Verdoux is portrayed as sympathetic, charming, and intelligent, with understandable reasons for what he's doing. He's not shown as a cold-blooded killer who murders these women for their money for the fun of it or because he's a sadistic monster. He does what he feels he has to do because there is no other way. And as we see, he isn't incapable of having a change of heart, such as when the young woman he was going to use as his test subject for the new poison he mixed reveals that she is in much the same situation as he is. He decides to spare her and help her. There are also the hilarious scenes in which he's trying and failing to murder Annabella, which are among the film's highlights and illustrative of why the subtitle is 'A Comedy of Murders.' The ending scene of the film (which was the first scene Chaplin shot, wanting to get the hardest part out of the way first), an attack on a system that rewards mass murderers and capitalist robber-barons but condemns people who are driven to murder because that very system cheats them, instead of celebrating them as they do people who go to war, almost made me change my mind about supporting the death penalty. Since I share many of Chaplin's political views, I didn't find this film to be overly preachy or like the comedy were ruined by working in a moral and political message as well. I felt it was seamlessly worked in instead of totally dominating the story, and besides, the reason so many people in 1947 hated this film was because it challenged what they believed and held as absolute truth, and that offended them. Instead of listening to a different viewpoint with an open mind, they chose to boycott and trash this film instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I belong to the group of people who think 'Monsieur Verdoux ' is Chaplin's greatest film. ('Limelight' runs a very close 2nd for me) Everything from the script and acting, to the production design, to the photography and absolutely top notch focus pulling and even the music reflect Chaplin's unerring dedication to his singular vision of all around quality in his films. Quite frankly, his films are among the very best looking ever made with the greatest of attention paid to even the smallest of details.

With that said, this review is going to focus on the video and audio quality of this Blu ray presentation and not the film itself.

'Monsieur Verdoux ' comes to Blu Ray in an excellent package from Criterion. An almost flawless 1080p presentation. A few instances of print damage keep it from being "perfect" but overall this is one of THE sharpest looking B&W Blu Ray transfers I have ever seen. The PQ just screams QUALITY and I found myself frequently shaking my head in amazement as the film progressed. Hats off to the folks at Criterion. They did a really fantastic job with this title. Also, cheers to Criterion for always giving us PROPER cases for our treasures. No eco-case baloney here folks!

Superior contrast balance & grey scale, amazingly precise delineation and proper motion rendering are in abundance here. The level of detail is astounding really. This easily blows away the much ballyhooed new 4K transfer of 'Casablanca' and that fact is a true testament to the artistry of Chaplin himself, who famously oversaw each and every aspect of his productions with a full hands on approach. ( I have the BD release of 'Limelight' as well and the detail is just as abundant)

On a merely technical level, Chaplin was peerless in his film making. On an artistic level, the very same can be said.
So the PQ is really great, how about the audio?

Again, this product does not disappoint. You get the original MONO mix in LPCM uncompressed format. The original elements have held up and some very good post work was done to eliminate almost all signs of age. Dialogue is crisp an clear, music shows no sign of distortion and overall balance is great. All extraneous noises have been removed (clicks, pops, hiss, etc) and you end up with a soundtrack just as compelling as the video.

OK, sound and picture quality are superb, how about the extras? With almost 90 minutes total worth of extra material, over half in HD, you get a virtual cornucopia of extra features here. All who love this film will dig right in and enjoy them all.

'Monsieur Verdoux ' is a real living testament to the genius, artistry and absolute perfectionism of Charlie Chaplin. If you don't like the film then you just don't get it. That's fine. Many don't. BUT if you among those who LOVE this film, then rest assured that this Blu Ray package will NOT disappoint in any way and measures up to the master himself. Worth every single penny of the purchase price!

Marty G's most HIGHEST recommendation!
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City Lights (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
City Lights (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) by Charlie Chaplin (Blu-ray - 2013)
$21.71
 
     

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