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Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux (2003)

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2003 (France)  »

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This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc DVD for Monsieur Verdoux (1947), released in 2004. See more »

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Good Episode in the Series
25 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux (2003)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

The "Chaplin Today" series was something that was extremely hit-and-miss but this episode is certainly one of the good ones. Chaplin's MONSIEUR VERDOUX was a controversial movie when it was released and it still divides fans today in regards to its humor and style. Director Claude Chabrol, who filmed a similar film with BLUEBEARD, discusses the decisions made by Chaplin during various aspects of the film. The French director talks about various shots in the movie but his most interesting observation comes with the final shot where he connects the walk to that of The Tramp meaning that this killer can be anyone and you would never know it. Having seen the movie it's certainly an interesting take on the ending. He also talks about the famous staircase sequence, which he compares to the work of Hitchcock. The documentary not only covers the film but also what was going on behind the scenes with Chaplin having to battle being called a communist. There's also some discussion of the film being killed by critics of the time and there's even a funny audio clip where Chaplin tells the media to go ahead and just rip the film apart. To this day fans can't agree on the merit of this movie but it's certainly interesting hearing the various issues that it originally went through. It was even rejected by the production code at the time but Chaplin continued to make the film his way except during one where where he changed the dialogue from "Come to bed." to "Go to bed." Fans of the film or those wanting to know its history should really enjoy this 23-minute documentary.


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