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

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Monsieur Verdoux -- An enigmatic family man goes to extreme lengths to support his wife and child, attempting to bump off a series of wealthy widows.

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   10,545 votes »
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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 »
User Reviews:
Brilliant black comedy with a very serious message See more (71 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)

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)
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
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 | South Korea:All | 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:
Verdoux's quote "One murder makes a villain; millions a hero" is taken from the abolitionist Bishop Beilby Porteus (1731-1808).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:
Henri Verdoux:It's the approach of death that terrifies.
The Girl:I suppose if the unborn knew of the approach of life, they'd be just as terrified.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux (2003) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant black comedy with a very serious message, 22 April 2008
Author: blanche-2 from United States

Charlie Chaplin is "Monsieur Verdoux" in this 1947 film based on the real-life serial killer Henri Landru. Verdoux is a bank clerk who is laid off late in life and turns to marrying and killing women for their money in order to support his invalid wife and child. Sounds brutal, and when you think about it, it really is, but Chaplin as usual manages to couch his message in comedy. While we see that he is successful in knocking off a couple of women and getting their money (though we never actually see a murder), Verdoux has a couple of failures as well, and there the fun begins. One of his women, Annabella Bonheur, is played hysterically by Martha Raye as a vulgar loudmouth eternally suspicious of Verdoux, who is posing as a boat captain. He tries some different ways of killing her, but no matter what he does, nothing works. He then turns his attention to another woman he's been chasing for some time, Marie Grosnay (Isobel Elsom). He's about to walk down the aisle when who does he see as a guest at the wedding - Annabelle. His attempts to get out of the house are priceless.

Despite some genuinely comical scenes, the speech that Verdoux makes gives its deeper message - Verdoux was in it for the money. To him, the women were business propositions to be exploited. His point is that what he has done on a smaller scale is being done by dictators worldwide; people are not treated as human beings but merely for economic gain, for power and for exploitation. Though Verdoux's argument doesn't absolve him of responsibility or justify his actions, the warning is a good one - people need to care more about each other and about what's going on in their world, and put their attention on really important matters like suppression of the masses. Why, he asks, are the headlines full of Verdoux and not of what is going on around the world? (The film's ending takes place in 1937.) It's interesting to consider what would have happened to this story in the hands of Orson Welles, whose idea it was originally. He wouldn't have made it a comedy. It would have been a drama or a detective story. Only Chaplin would think of making the story of a serial killer into a comedy of sorts. Certainly 1967's "No Way to Treat a Lady" takes a page or so from this script.

"Monsieur Verdoux" wasn't well received by the public - at all - and by 1947, people were questioning Chaplin's politics instead of reveling in his genius. It possibly was ahead of its time; it certainly wasn't appreciated as it is today. The movie is not without some problems, the biggest one being, what the heck happened to Verdoux's wife and child? It is never explained.

"Wars, conflicts - it's all business. One murder makes a villain; millions a hero. Numbers sanctify." Charlie Chaplin as Verdoux said that 61 years ago.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
One thing that saddens me... jonasmendigo
The Girl walt2
What happened to Verdoux's (real) wife and child? trinitymplayers
'How long is he going to keep that incinerator going?' mmmjv
Edna Purviance???????? aitg_108
'I have made my peace with God, my conflict is with man.' Ghostiejo
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