IMDb > Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Monsieur Verdoux
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Monsieur Verdoux (1947) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   9,319 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Charles Chaplin (an original story written by)
Orson Welles (based on an idea by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Monsieur Verdoux on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 December 1947 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Chaplin's Bluebeard comedy is a killer! See more »
Plot:
A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 5 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(26 articles)
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User Reviews:
a black comedy of manners; stunning performance from Chaplin See more (69 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Chaplin ... Henri Verdoux - Alias Varnay - Alias Bonheur - Alias Floray
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
Almira Sessions ... Lena Couvais
Eula Morgan ... Phoebe Couvais
Bernard Nedell ... Prefect of Police (as Bernard J. Nedell)
Charles Evans ... Detective Morrow

William Frawley ... Jean La Salle
Arthur Hohl ... Real Estate Agent
Barbara Slater ... Flower Girl
Fritz Leiber ... Father Fareaux
Vera Marshe ... Mrs. Vicki Darwin
John Harmon ... Joe Darwin
Christine Ell ... Louise - Maid
Lois Conklin ... Florist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Abbott ... Defense Attorney (uncredited)
Warren Ashe ... Garden Party Guest (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Garden Party Guest (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Sidewalk Cafe Customer (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Pharmacist (uncredited)
Julius Cramer ... Executioner (uncredited)
James Craven ... Bismo - Annabella's Friend (uncredited)
Joseph Crehan ... Broker (uncredited)
Albert D'Arno ... Waiter (uncredited)
Daniel De Jonghe ... Waiter (uncredited)
George Dee ... Waiter (uncredited)
Josette Deegan ... Waitress (uncredited)
Cyril Delevanti ... Postman (uncredited)
Wheeler Dryden ... Salesman (uncredited)
Elspeth Dudgeon ... Old Woman (uncredited)
Ella Ethridge ... Woman in the Street (uncredited)
Herbert Evans ... Garden Party Guest Getting Sprayed (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Victim of the Stock Market Crash (uncredited)
Joseph Granby ... Bailiff (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ... Prison Official (uncredited)
Fred Karno Jr. ... Mr. Karno (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Police Detective (uncredited)
Bert LeBaron ... Cafe Royal Doorman (uncredited)
Ruth Lee ... Gossipy Woman Hanging Clothes (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness ... Reveler at Can Can Club (uncredited)
Therese Lyon ... Jeannette - the Verdoux Maid (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Garden Party Guest (uncredited)
Lester Matthews ... Prosecutor (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Onlooker in Hotel Lobby (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... French Waiter (uncredited)
Benito Mussolini ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Garden Party Guest (uncredited)
Barry Norton ... Garden Party Guest (uncredited)
Albert Petit ... Bystander (uncredited)

Edna Purviance ... Garden Party Guest (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... Doctor (uncredited)
Addison Richards ... Bank Manager (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Night Club Patron (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Carlo Schipa ... Waiter (uncredited)
William Self ... Max - a Reporter (uncredited)
C. Montague Shaw ... Mortgage Banker (uncredited)
Millard Sherwood ... Mr. Carno (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Stock Broker (uncredited)
Nanette Vallon ... Maid (uncredited)
Herb Vigran ... Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Wagenheim ... Bank Manager's Friend (uncredited)
Pierre Watkin ... Prison Official (uncredited)
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Directed by
Charles Chaplin 
 
Writing credits
Charles Chaplin (an original story written by)

Orson Welles (based on an idea by)

Produced by
Charles Chaplin .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Charles Chaplin (music composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Roland Totheroh (director of photography)
Curt Courant (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Willard Nico (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
John Beckman 
 
Makeup Department
William Knight .... makeup
Hedy Mjorud .... hair stylist (as Hedvig Mjorud)
 
Production Management
John McFadden .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rex Bailey .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Curt Courant .... artistic supervision (as Curtis Courant)
 
Sound Department
James T. Corrigan .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Wallace Chewning .... operative cameraman
Frank Testera .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Drew Tetrick .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Rudy Schrager .... music arranger (as Rudolph Schrager)
Rudy Schrager .... music director (as Rudolph Schrager)
Georg Kreisler .... musician: piano double: Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Wheeler Dryden .... associate director
Robert Florey .... associate director
Russell Birdwell .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Harry Crocker .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Johnny Kascier .... stand-in: Charles Chaplin (uncredited)
Dale Tate .... title designer (uncredited)
Ann Toth .... stand-in: Helene Heigh (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
124 min | West Germany:110 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Denmark:7 (2003) | Finland:K-16 (original rating) | Finland:K-11 (re-rating) | France:U | Norway:16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (1986) | UK:A (1947) (cut) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #12225) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Chaplin's leading lady in his early silent films, Edna Purviance, tested for the role of Madame Grosnay but was deemed unsuitable. She hadn't worked with Chaplin since 1923, but was kept on the payroll throughout this time, such was the esteem Chaplin held her in. She does, however, appear briefly as an extra in the garden party scene, and is glimpsed behind Chaplin when he and Martha Raye bump into each other.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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:
[to the court, after being found guilty of murder]
Henri Verdoux:I shall see you ALL soon - very soon.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
a black comedy of manners; stunning performance from Chaplin, 9 July 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

It would be hard to imagine anyone else playing Monsieur Verdoux; Charlie Chaplin was the only one who could pull it off in any form or style or way that wouldn't make the character as just an unlikeable killer of women. As it's written on the page the character, if played by someone with less charisma or charm or comic timing, would just be another character actor playing a villain. But Chaplin taking the part is inspired on his part, and it's a good thing too (and I never thought I'd say this) that he didn't let Orson Welles direct. With Welles it obviously would have been a visually awesome picture, but would the comedy be the same? Or the emphasis on the social message blending in with the ultimate sanctimonious attitude of the character? It would be interesting to see Welles script, if it exists, but as it stands he's mostly a footnote in his tale, if a thankful one.

Under Chaplin's direction and writing Monsieur Verdoux is timed with finesse and glee and with a repetitive transition of the train going by quickly with Chaplin's piano key strokes, and it's often devilish fun to hear how Chaplin's Verdoux gets around and about (or sometimes not) killing and robbing his victims. And yet, I'm inclined to say that it's above all else a triumph for Chaplin as an actor, a performer who's iconic appeal, even past the Tramp character, makes us (or at least me) almost cheer him on or feel awkward or cringing during a scene leading up to a murder, or, as does happen once or twice, not. He knows how to put on an air that's genuine, even as it's the most blatant con, and he does it with a gentleman's manner hiding his desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures ex-bank clerk. While I wouldn't go as far as James Agee in calling it the greatest male performance ever, it might just be my favorite Chaplin performance, full of ranging subtleties and over-the-top expressions and just lingering looks of contempt and malaise and sorrow and outright lying and etc that are just a knockout.

Monsier Verdoux is a peculiar character, as his crimes are meant to be for the good of his wife and child who, of course, have no idea of what he's really doing (in an acidic touch, his wife is also crippled). Is it wrong what he's doing? In the legal sense, of course. But Chaplin sets up a moral code for this character that makes things trickier, a little warped in thinking. If the woman has lots of wealth stored away- and maybe, as with the one who keeps getting away via wine glass and fishing trip, almost deserving in the perception of the character- why carp? But then there's the woman who's just out of prison, her husband's gone, nothing to her name, and... he just can't bear to do her in (especially, as should be noted, as a "test" run for another victim). It becomes curious to see her later on, sort of as the not-quite Chaplin heroine of the story, and how saving the right one for Verdoux is what counts, despite forgetting her until she reappears.

So there's this twisted logic, but in the set-pieces that Chaplin sets up are some of the finest, most brilliantly timed comic moments of his career, filmed for a dark suspense tinged with a near sweetness that we know and love from him. It's satire on a level that is no more or less sophisticated than Chaplin's major silent works, and yet it's just a little sharper, more pointed at the ills of man in turmoil than a simple psychopath, all in the realm of delightful crimes in the upper class. While the end may seem derivative of the Great Dictator with a speech and message chocked forward like spray-paint on a wall, it's a mixed reaction one might have; the sanctimonious attitude, of being accepting and pointing the finger back on society, is haunting and obvious and also, importantly, speaks to the nature of the character. Would a man somewhat comfortable in his own mortality face the end any other way?

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Edna Purviance???????? aitg_108
One thing that saddens me... jonasmendigo
'I have made my peace with God, my conflict is with man.' Ghostiejo
Chaplin/Welles collaboration mattdeen
Marilyn Nash RIP thegalaxybeing
Flying though the money... elf_gurl3021
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