Monsieur Verdoux (1947)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1947.  .  Screenplay by Charles Chaplin, based on an idea by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Charles Chaplin.  Music by Charles Chaplin.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Charles Chaplin is adorable in this hilarious black comedy about an impoverished bank clerk whose only way to support his invalid wife and child during the Depression is to marry rich old women under an assumed name and then murder them for the cash. He goes from town to town in his native France in a complete moral haze until a chance encounter with a sensitive young woman makes him think twice about his lifestyle. It isn’t long before his actions catch up with him, which allows Chaplin the opportunity to make some very interesting observations about morality and murder. Expertly produced and extremely well written by Chaplin himself (from an idea by Orson Welles, according to the credits), it’s a delightful romp that features many of the maestro’s common themes (the curative love of a good woman, the moral soap box in the conclusion), but as usual it’s all pulled off with expert style and wit.

The Criterion Collection:  #652

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Original Screenplay


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s