When one thinks of Charles Chaplin, one usually thinks of silent, black and white classics such as The Kid (1921), and Gold Rush (1925)—made popular by Chaplin’s loveable and mischievous tramp character. Yet, as the film industry continued to evolve with sound and colour, Chaplin’s films also began to take on a new level of complexity. Chaplin’s 1947 Monsieur Verdoux is such a film, a black comedy “talkie” which illustrates Chaplin’s full range of talent as actor, director and scriptwriter.
Chaplin plays the film’s title character, Henri Verdoux, a father, a husband and polygamist, first marrying wealthy women, exploiting them financially, then doing away with them. Literally. Continue reading