Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Genre: Crime Drama Comedy
Starring: Charlie Chaplin (Limelight), Martha Raye
Directed By: Charlie Chaplin (The Circus; City Lights)
Overview: This is the story of a modern day Bluebeard, a con artist who preys on women for their money, all to support his real family.
Acting: This Martha Raye plays this big-mouthed obnoxious woman. I think that in everything I've seen her in she's the same character, so does that make her a good actress? Uh no. God, Chaplin plays such a stupid fumbler in this and he does such a bad job of it, it's embarrassing, not to mention how he goes on and on and on. And finally, the opening scene has this family bickering with one another with stage direction so terrible that I knew to brace myself for the next two hours. Man I should have given up right from the start.
Cinematography: Flick, short for Flicker. We all know that once they were called moving pictures because that's what they do, but did you have any idea that the very first movies made by Edison's company were called Flickers because that's what they were like back then? Right. Well flicker also means a brief moment, like the flash in my mind that is this film, soon forgotten, with therapy. Chaplin knew how to throw money at a movie and make it look good, that I'll admit. Don't care, hated it.
Script: Frig, I got burned again. I should have know that all the Chaplin talkies would be the same. I don't understand how this could be recommended viewing! It's long winded, awkward and amateurish. I swear Chaplin got hit in the head in his later career. Mark my words, never again will I watch a Chaplin talkie. It's garbage, but at least it was better than Limelight.
Plot: I will admit that there are some moments of intrigue, since it is a crime drama there are point at which you learn about the true darkness of Verdoux. It's mildly interesting to watch the lengths he will go to safeguard his family... his REAL family. To add elements of comedy and farce kicks all that's been built up like a jock kicking sand in your face at the beach while he steals your girlfriend. Not a good feeling.
Mood: This piece of turd claims that it is comedy. There are really awkward moments when Chaplin does an out of context funny thing. He adds no follow-up gag, so here we are in a dramatic scene, then Chaplin falls out the window and they ask if he's alright, then they keep the scene going dramatically. This happens way too often for me not to get embarrassed for him. Oh and nothing beats a movie set in Paris, where everyone speaks English, except to say "Oui Monsieur", and "Merci", but I suspect I'll be seeing a lot of that when i hit the early 50s American stuff.
Ok I'm going to try to make this as simple as possible...
Before: The Tramp= Good. After: Verdoux = BAD
Overall Rating: 44% (Ver-Don't)
Aftertaste: Well that was my Easter, 9 movies in 4 days, and plenty of time for the nightlife too. This was so bad that when I found out the other Chaplin disk Zip.ca had sent me was a Chaplin talkie too, I just returned it without watching it: A King in New York. Urgh.