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Criterion releases Monsieur Verdoux

The Criterion Collection (U.S.) releases Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux (1947) on DVD and Blu-ray today.


Synopsis by Charles Chaplin in My Autobiography, published 1964: Verdoux is a bluebeard, an insignificant bank clerk, who, having lost his job during the Depression, evolves a scheme of marrying old spinsters and murdering them for their money. His legitimate wife is an invalid who lives in the country with her little son, but she is ignorant of her husband’s criminal enterprise. After the murder of a victim, he goes home as would a bourgeois husband after a hard day’s work. He is a paradox of virtue and vice: a man who, as he trims his rose bushes, avoids stepping on a caterpillar, while at the end of the garden one of his victims is being consumed in an incinerator. The story contains diabolical humour, bitter satire and social criticism.


Disc Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

  • Chaplin Today: “Monsieur Verdoux,” a 2003 documentary on the film’s production and release, featuring filmmaker Claude Chabrol and actor Norman Lloyd

  • Charlie Chaplin and the American Press, a new documentary featuring the director of the Chaplin company Roy Export, Kate Guyonvarch, and author Charles Maland

  • Illustrated audio interview with actor Marilyn Nash

  • Radio advertisements and trailers

- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and reprinted pieces by Chaplin and critic André Bazin