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The beginning of the death of utopia as a consequence of the World War II.
Chaplin's style saw no limit in terms of comic material. As a Tramp, he would easily laugh at hunger, poverty and politics. As the negative image of the Tramp, that is, Monsieur Verdoux, he makes a sarcastic social mockery that he calls a "comedy of murders", embodying an anti-hero that's both a criminal and sensitive, and being the source of rather tasty scenes (with a welcome participation from William Frawley) of sheer dark humor without forgetting its touching signature. 'Monsieur Verdoux' is an efficient mixture of elegance and bad taste.
Pretty dark for this time period and fucked up. Charlie Chaplin plays such a different character than his earlier stuff and it's jarring and brilliant. A lot of the themes are also profound, crazy and deep as they mix in with great slapstick comedy we're used to with Chaplin.
France, early 1930s. After working for 30 years at a bank, Henri Verdoux is laid off. The world is in the middle of a depression and work is hard to find. To support his wife and child, Verdoux takes to a life of crime - marrying rich women, murdering them and taking their money. After a while the police start to piece the puzzle together...
A dark comedy-drama from the great Charlie Chaplin. Not a laugh-a-minute, unlike his best works and a bit uneven. The first hour is quite dry and contains very few laughs. In addition, the drama is slow-paced and the movie doesn't seem headed for much. However, things pick up considerably in the second half with some hilarious scenes and some interesting dramatic themes developing.
The main reason for the better second half is the performance of comedienne Martha Raye, who plays one of his wives. Wonderfully over the top, she provides most of the best comedic moments and breathes life into what was otherwise a fairly stuffy, play-like affair.
Charlie Chaplin's most peculiar film has its moments. There are some funny scenes thrown it with its suspenseful nature. I didn't like the ending at all though. It was annoyingly preachy. (First and only viewing - 2/20/2017)
It feels more like a Hitchcock movie than a Chaplin one. This one is pretty short on laughs.
Chaplin plays the titular Verdoux, a serial killer married to about a dozen different women across France. Chaplin's performance is wonderful. He's charming, witty, and has a gift for gab. Interesting for one of the best silent comedians ever to be a gifted talker, yes? Chaplin's performance is one of the few bright spots.
The film bills itself as a comedy of murders, but there's very little comedy. There are a few attempts, yes. One or two gags land, but this feels more like a thriller than anything else. There are definitely a few scenes that would be right at home in a Hitchcock movie. As a matter of fact, Chaplin's tension building in this one rivals the master of suspense himself.
The film gets a little preachy towards the end. Verdoux's social commentary feels very tacked on and forced. It has nowhere near the power his amazing speech in the Great Dictator did.
Still, it is entertaining, if only to watch a man known for making us laugh transition so effortlessly into one who shocks us with his horrifying deeds.
It tries to be a dark comedy of murdering the unmurderable. But it's too slow to build up to hijinks and not over the top enough when hijinks ensue to come across as anything but glorifying a killer. I understand Chaplin was trying to make a statement at the end, but it didn't pay off the same as his previous work.
A surprising film for several reasons. Chaplin in a speaking role is one. It's not much of a comedy, a bit, but not much. He is probably one of the least likely actors to play a serial bigomist and murderer. On top of all these elements, it's a good story with a typically moralistic message.
Probably my least favourite Chaplin film. By no means a bad film, but I don't find it to be particularly funny, leaving me wondering what the point is. It all leads to a startlingly dumb concluding speech from the main character, leaving me to conclude it wasn't really about all that much after all.
I don't understand the acclaim for this film. As much as I love both black comedies and Chaplin, the film felt like a dull slog with an even duller ending.