"Wars, conflict, it's all business. One murder makes a villain; millions a hero. Numbers sanctify."
- Monsieur Verdoux (CHARLES CHAPLIN)
Academy Awards 1947 -
Best Foreign Language Film
Los Angeles Times - 02/26/2004
"[T]he pitch-dark satire of MONSIEUR VERDOUX seems timelier than ever."
A.V. Club - 03/27/2013
"An assured combination of suspense and pitch-black comedy, MONSIEUR VERDOUX proceeds as a series of sketches, mixing light slapstick with snappier dialogue than anything Chaplin had attempted before." -- Grade: A-
Subtitled a "Comedy of Murders," this Charlie Chaplin film is about a middle-aged Bluebeard who murders wives for their money. An off-beat comedy which was ahead of it's time but is now considered as a Chaplin favorite. Academy Award Nominations: Best Original Screenplay.
Charlie Chaplin abandoned his "Little Tramp" persona for this dark comedy about a man driven to murder. Like so many others, bank clerk Monsieur Verdoux loses his job during the Great Depression -- and can't find another. Because he has an invalid wife and child to support, the desperate Verdoux hits upon a novel way of making a living: he marries wealthy women, one after another, and kills them. Then he returns home to his beloved family, who remain in blissful ignorance of his extracurricular activities. But when an unexpected tragedy occurs, he finds it impossible to continue the charade... Martha Raye, as a woman who continually frustrates Verdoux's murderous plans, provides one of the film's comic highlights.
Theatrical Release |
Laserdisc is part of the FoxVideo collection, "Chaplin: A Legacy of Laughter."
The film was somewhat based on a French murderer named Landru.
"Monsieur Verdoux" did enormously well in Europe, particularly in France. However, when it opened in the US, the House Un-American Activities Committee was already beginning its hearings, and Chaplin's left-wing politics didn't go down too well.