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

Director:

Writers:

(an original story written by), (based on an idea by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Limelight (1952)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A recently-deposed European monarch seeks shelter in New York City, where he becomes an accidental television celebrity and is later wrongly accused of being a Communist.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde
The Circus (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A kept woman runs into her one-time fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller
A Dog's Life (1918)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Dave Anderson
The Gold Rush (1925)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In Hong Kong, the wealthy Ogden Mears is traveling in a transatlantic and is near to be assigned Saudi Arabia Ambassador and is divorcing from his wife Martha. His friend Harvey and he are ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Sydney Chaplin
The Pilgrim (1923)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Tramp is an escaped convict who is mistaken as a pastor in a small town church.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin
Shoulder Arms (1918)
Short | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three Chaplin silent comedies "A Dog's Life", "Shoulder Arms", and "The Pilgrim" are strung together to form a single feature length film. Chaplin provides new music, narration, and a small... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Albert Austin
Pay Day I (1922)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie is an expert bricklayer. He has lots of fun and work and enjoys himself greatly while at the saloon. As he leaves work his wife takes the pay he has hidden in his hat. But he steals... See full summary »

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
Edit

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
...
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
Edit

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:

Hysterical laughter! Haunting romance! Shocking drama! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally meant to be directed by Orson Welles and starring Charles Chaplin, but Chaplin backed out at the last moment, saying that he had never had anyone direct him before and didn't want to start. Instead, he bought the screenplay off Welles and re-wrote parts of it, crediting Welles with only the "idea". Welles said that, despite most of the script being his, he didn't mind as it was one of his lesser works. 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

Henri Verdoux: [after almost getting drowned] Where's my hat?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Great Gatsby (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A sublime, eloquent Charlie in his finest sound-era vehicle.
1 March 2001 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

The word "Bluebeard" ("Landru" in French) has been a part of the American vernacular for some time now, synonymous with the term "wife-killer." Several variations of the infamous Parisian charmer who married then buried have been filmed over the decades - some OK, others not. John Carradine starred in a respectable but unheralded version in the mid-30s as a puppeteer-turned-perpetual strangler. A so-so French/Italian co-production in 1962 starring Charles Denner and Michele Morgan strove for dark comedy but ultimately lacked the creative spark. The worst of the lot was a wretched Richard Burton/Raquel Welch/Joey Heatherton rehash in the 70s, the nadir of Burton's screen career.

It seems most fitting then that the wry, comic genius of Charlie Chaplin, our beloved "Little Tramp," is allowed to put its delightfully macabre spin on the Bluebeard tale with 1947's "Monsieur Verdoux," winding up with perhaps the most entertaining version yet. First and foremost, it is a pleasure to hear Charlie talk. I also venture to say this is the best of his sound-era films, well-mounted and shot meticulously in black and white, in which he not only produced and directed but provided the music. Who but the loveable Chaplin, with that ever-present tinge of pathos, could play the role of a methodical, unrepentant human wife-disposal who kills purely for financial reward, and have the audience rooting for him!

Our titular hero is a charming fop of a fellow who operates his deadly deception by a precise timetable - he fastidiously charms, marries and eliminates his unsuspecting victims with keen attention paid to banker's hours! But it's Monsieur Verdoux's motive that gains the viewer's empathy. Our boy is not the mad, demented, twisted, cold-hearted monster one must think. He carries out his dastardly deeds out of selfless need. His out-of-town "business" is conducted solely in order to support and tend to his wheelchair-bound wife, a hopeless cripple and invalid, and family. His devotion, in fact, is so honorable, he succeeds in wrapping you around his little wedding finger. As much as you sympathize for the dowagers he does in, you can't help but think at least the old dears died having been graced by such a noble gentleman.

Brash loudster Martha Raye, often considered a bust in films for being intolerably larger-than-life, has one of her best roles here, grabbing her share of laughs as one of Verdoux's intended victims - a shrill, obnoxious, but verrrry wealthy dame whom nobody would really mind seeing knocked off. The problem is Charlie can't seem to off her! Every industrious attempt fails miserably. In one truly madcap scene that directly parodies Theodore Dreiser's classic novel "An American Tragedy," Charlie takes Martha, outlandishly bedecked in silver fox furs, out on a crude fishing boat excursion in the hopes of drowning the tenacious harridan. Two comic masters in vintage form.

Of course, Charlie does get his comeuppance but its all done in grand, sophisticated style. The whole movie is, in fact, so precise and polished that one must forgive him, given his controversial "subversive" leanings at the time, for tacking on an interminable, out-of-character piece of political diatribe at the finishing line. The movie's theme and bitter irony did not even pretend to disguise his great personal anguish and bitterness at America when political conservatives were breathing down his neck. Forgiven he is, for this black comedy, a sublime, eloquent retread of an old familiar creeper, comes off refreshingly original.


22 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Flying though the money... elf_gurl3021
Deserves a Criterion release classicmoviecomedy
Discuss Monsieur Verdoux (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?