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Monsieur Verdoux

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 5,284

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My Rating

Movie Info

"Von Clausewitz said that war is the logical extension of diplomacy; Monsieur Verdoux feels that murder is the logical extension of business." With his controversial "comedy of murders" Monsieur Verdoux, Charles Chaplin makes his final, definitive break with the Little Tramp character that had brought him fame and fortune. Verdoux (Chaplin), a mild-mannered family man of pre-war France, has hit upon a novel method of supporting his loved ones. He periodically heads out of town, assumes an alias,

May 16, 2000

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (1) | DVD (11)

Perfection? Arguably not; Verdoux has clunky moments and some flat casting, but with an able assist from the great comedian Martha Raye, Chaplin's latter-day greatness is readily apparent.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Monsieur Verdoux is the spirit of modernity taken to its darkest extreme. It may be immortal.

June 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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In its uncanny depiction of a weakling whose crimes pale against those of the war-mad society around him, it's a near masterpiece.

June 9, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chaplin generates little sympathy. His broad-mannered antics, as a many-aliased fop on the make for impressionable matrons.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (4)
Variety
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Shapes up as Chaplin's most startling, most invigorating movie: its icy temperature is positively bracing after the hot syrup of his earlier work.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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An engrossingly wry and paradoxical film, screamingly funny in places, sentimental in others, sometimes slow and devoted to an unusually serious and sobering argument.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The film's cynical vision is as lucid as it is unrelenting.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

a pitch-black, arguably bitter comedy that wasn't so much a departure for Chaplin (he had, after all, lampooned Hitler in his previous film) as it was an opportunity to fully engage with his darker comedic impulses

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Simultaneously ethical and unethical, the snappily dressed Verdoux exists as an extraordinary challenge to capitalism's status quo during its seismic swing toward fascism.

March 31, 2013 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Monsieur Verdoux can boast a screenplay with a highly unusual moral complexity and a deeply philosophical bent...Yes, Verdoux is a film that name-drops Schopenhauer, but it's also damn funny... [Blu-ray]

March 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Thoungh misunderstood and a commercial flop in 1947, Chaplin's murderous satire has many merits, including Oscar nomination for Original Script.

March 2, 2013 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

It's not often you find Charlie Chaplin in the rare role of a villain, but he does nice work in this small tale of lies and murder.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

As it is, Monsieur Verdoux is a curiosity with flashes of brilliance, but definitely not one of Chaplin's best.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Gives one a greater sense of Chaplin's political breadth from his previous work.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The intensely felt social criticism that audiences had seen growing in Modern Times and especially The Great Dictator is elevated to an astonishing level of sarcasm and subversive irony.

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

Truly great Chaplin film, seldom seen, about love, war, and murder. And it's a comedy too.

March 31, 2006
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Stunningly daring social satire.

March 24, 2005
Juicy Cerebellum

A fine black comedy, not one of Chaplin's best, but still offers some illuminating moments.

May 14, 2004
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Arguably the crown jewel in the Chaplin canon.

March 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The film is not only an account of the moral slippage of one man but the record of a far larger, seemingly uncontrollable escalation.

March 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Chaplin's most fully-conceived talkie.

August 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Monsieur Verdoux

Monsieur Verdoux I suppose was a risk for Chaplin, unfortunately it didn't pay off for him at the time, the mainstream audiences wanted the only 'The Tramp' from him which is very unfair. It seems some people still don't appreciate it today which I don't quite understand. The British were making black comedies to great success at the time, I guess the American audiences just weren't ready for it and refused to let Chaplin move on. Personally I thought it was brilliant. It was a dark comedy, which I like, and it is very funny. People are wrong to say the 'Talkies' ruined Chaplin's career. He was more than capable in a talking role, in fact he excelled!
September 5, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Except for one touching moment and a hilarious poisoning scene, this uneven "comedy of murders" is of extreme bad taste and has a serious problem in structure and tone - placing a putrid character in such a sloppy attempt at a commentary.
March 12, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

The greatest comedian of all time finally leaves behind 'The Tramp' the character that made him famous, and here plays a serial killer, a very affable and charming one, though.
A gem of black comedy, in which Chaplin showed a little wickedness, without abandoning his social commentary nor his sentimentality.
He easily proves why murder can be also a laughing matter.
September 5, 2008
pier007

Super Reviewer

This reminded me a lot of Kind Hearts and Coronets, where the murder attempts are just so hilariously wicked you overlook the immorality of it all (seriously, that boat scene between Chaplin and Raye was PRICELESS) and the killer is seemingly unremorseful all the way to the end. But of course between Alec Guinness and Charlie Chaplin, I vastly prefer the latter. I'm sorry, Alec, but you don't hold a candle to Chaplin's supreme wit. Chaplin takes what could've been a very macabre and depressing subject (ok, seriously, it's Orson Welles) and turns it into a riot. Monsieur Verdoux, you are my hero.
November 17, 2007
jennifxu

Super Reviewer

    1. Henri Verdoux: I have made my peace with God, my conflict is with man.
    – Submitted by Ariel U (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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