7.9/10
16,110
87 user 76 critic

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

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:

Charles Chaplin

Writers:

Charles Chaplin (an original story written by), Orson Welles (based on an idea by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final theatrical film with Martha Raye until Jumbo in 1962. 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: 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.
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Connections

Featured in Momma's Man (2008) See more »

User Reviews

 
Amusing comedy, great message
24 August 2020 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

Is it just me, or does Charlie Chaplin look like John Stewart in this film? I saw it in everything from the pursed lips to body mannerisms and that spit take, and smiled because I adore both men.

This is a film that picks up steam as it goes, after its setup that has normally-lovable Chaplin established as a serial killer preying on women for their wealth. I was amused and liked all of the times Chaplin breaks the 4th wall by looking directly into the camera, speaking to us with his eyes, but I only really started loving the film when he meets a young woman he intends to test a poison on. From there the scene out on that boat fishing with Martha Raye is hilarious, and the film doesn't let up with its misdirections.

Weirdly, there is both a humanity here in Chaplin's character but also a monster, and there is also a comment on mankind. The end of the film is set in 1937 but it's certainly the Chaplin of 1947 who tells us: "As for being a mass killer, does not the world encourage it? Is it not building weapons of destruction for the sole purpose of mass killing? Has it not blown unsuspecting women and little children to pieces? And done it very scientifically? As a mass killer, I am an amateur by comparison." Not that the character has a leg to stand on morally, but it's a fascinating comment just a couple of years after Hiroshima/Nagasaki and the dawning of the atomic age.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1947 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

A Comedy of Murders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$64,636

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$64,636
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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