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Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 9,336 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 67 critic

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

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(an original story written by), (based on an idea by)
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Title: Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mady Correll ...
Mona - His Wife
Allison Roddan ...
Peter - Their Son
Robert Lewis ...
Maurice Bottello - Verdoux's Friend
Audrey Betz ...
Martha - His Wife
Martha Raye ...
Annabella Bonheur
Ada May ...
Annette - Her Maid (as Ada-May)
Isobel Elsom ...
Marie Grosnay
Marjorie Bennett ...
Her Maid
Helene Heigh ...
Yvonne - Marie's Friend
Margaret Hoffman ...
Lydia Floray
Marilyn Nash ...
The Girl
Irving Bacon ...
Pierre Couvais
Edwin Mills ...
Jean Couvais
Virginia Brissac ...
Carlotta Couvais
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Storyline

Monsieur Verdoux is a bluebeard, he marries women and kills them after the marriage to get the money he needs for his family. But with two ladies he has bad luck. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

New hat. new coat, new pants, new shoes, new laughs, but the same great Charles Chaplin! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 December 1947 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Comedy of Murders  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,044 (USA) (11 July 2008)

Gross:

$64,636 (USA) (28 June 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Lewis, "It was easy to define the position held by Charlie Chaplin in the making of "Monsieur Verdoux." He was everything - writer, star, director, producer, and casting director, as well as supervisor of all other departments: costumes, scenery, make-up, lighting, shooting schedules, camera set-ups, and the musical score. He also crawled around on the floor with a knife, scraping up bits of old chewing gum stuck to the floor. For good measure he'd entertain the troops between shots with hilarious imitations, such as William Gillette's inanimate playing in "Sherlock Holmes," a Kabuki actor pounding his feet on the floor, and crossing his eyes with pain, or Maurice Schwartz, the Yiddish actor, intoning a speech while twirling an imaginary beard that went clear to the floor." See more »

Goofs

Although the story takes place in the years 1932-1937, all the women's fashions and hairstyles are strictly in the 1946-1947 mode, when the film was made. See more »

Quotes

The Prosecutor: Never, never in the history of jurisprudence have such terrifying deeds been brought to light. Gentlemen of the jury, you have before you a cruel and cynical monster. Look at him!
[all heads turn to face Verdoux, who turns around himself to look behind]
The Prosecutor: Observe him, gentlemen. This man, who has brains, if he had decent instincts, could have made an honest living. And yet, he preferred to rob and murder unsuspecting women. In fact, he made a business of it. I do not ask for vengeance, but for the...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Bluebeard (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps Chaplin's greatest talking moment.
1 December 2009 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Charlie Chaplin is of course best known for the slapstick work he did in the silent period. He however made some equally good and also equally funny talky movies, of which this movie is perhaps his greatest moment as a talking actor.

In a way the movie got made like and old fashioned Chaplin movie, in terms of the character's approach, the story and also the humor. This movie has still some slapstick moments in it but it foremost is a comedy that relies on its story and acting performances. It's a more subtle and darker comedy, without being an heavy one. I still wished the movie would had some more slapstick humor in it, since the movie begins so incredibly well and promising with this. Perhaps this was done on intention to let people think this movie was going to be simply like a classic Chaplin movie.

The movie foremost is a great accomplishment from Chaplin himself, who hadn't made a movie for 7 years before completing this one. As always he didn't just starred in it but also wrote and directed the movie. With "The Great Dictator" he had already shown before that he could come out of the silent movie era and still make some great comedies and with this movies he shows his talents once more. He also with this movie shows that he can play other comedy characters just as effectively, without portraying the tramp with his cane and bowler. You also have to remember that Chaplin was close at being 60 years old already at the time of this production but his never ever showed on screen. Instead it looked liked they had to use heavy make-up in the later scenes to really make him look like an 'older' guy.

Basically Chaplin's performance is what makes this movie such a great one to watch. He shows that he was a real great actor and not just comical-wise. It's a great role and he also brings out the best of the other actors. Martha Raye was for instance also real enjoyable in her role.

The movie its story itself got based on true story and the first script for it got written by Orson Welles. It still seems like a quite odd thing to set a comedy around a lady-killer, who seduces widows for their money before killing them off. No surprise that the movie had some controversy surrounding it at the time. But that's what makes black comedies also often such strong ones. It doesn't use everyday normal characters but instead focus on the more downsides of life and the true nature of people and their struggle for survival in a tough world.

A late Charles Chaplin movie that is perhaps his greatest talking moment, actor-wise.

8/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


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One thing that saddens me... jonasmendigo
What happened to Verdoux's (real) wife and child? trinitymplayers
'I have made my peace with God, my conflict is with man.' Ghostiejo
Chaplin/Welles collaboration mattdeen
Deserves a Criterion release classicmoviecomedy
Flying though the money... elf_gurl3021
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