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Charlie Chaplin plays shockingly against type in his most controversial film, a brilliant and bleak black comedy about money, marriage, and murder. Chaplin is a twentieth-century bluebeard, an enigmatic family man who goes to extreme lengths to support his wife and child, attempting to bump off a series of wealthy widows (including one played by the indefatigable Martha Raye, in a hilarious performance). This deeply philosophical and wildly entertaining film is a work of true sophistication, both for the moral questions it dares to ask and for the way it deconstructs its megastar’s lovable on-screen persona.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 32
- Fresh: 31
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 8.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: An engrossingly wry and paradoxical film, screamingly funny in places, sentimental in others, sometimes slow and devoted to an unusually serious and sobering argument.
Fresh: In its uncanny depiction of a weakling whose crimes pale against those of the war-mad society around him, it's a near masterpiece.
Fresh: A film of serene elegance and sharp teeth.
Fresh: Shapes up as Chaplin's most startling, most invigorating movie: its icy temperature is positively bracing after the hot syrup of his earlier work.
it's the best movie really good
Chaplin At His Best
Charlie Chaplin tackles his second "talkie" (his third film overall with dialogue) with a dark sense of humour and moral goaded on by an idea from Orson Wells. The story of a professional widower looking out for his family, including a first wife who is very much alive. No one can help but laugh at the amazing sound of Verdoux counting money from his late wives, nor listen to Verdoux's moving and final speech without considering other matters at large. If you can handle movies that dare to delve both into drama and comedy, and aren't stingy about a lack of colour, this is a fantastic film to enjoy, over and again.