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Monsieur Verdoux: The Chaplin Collection

Charlie Chaplin's mordant satire from 1947 flopped both critically and commercially, and it sure proved that he had put his Little Tramp character to rest for good. Chaplin plays Henri Verdoux, a dandified Parisian bank clerk who loses his career in the Great Depression. Verdoux devises another means to care for his dear wheelchair-bound wife and the young son he loves — he woos rich widows in other cities, marries them, then murders them for their money. Chaplin used Monsieur Verdoux's climax to indict the corrupted ethics and power politics of bourgeois society, a move that brought the full force of the Cold War red-baiters, who were already gunning for him, down on his head. It's a film that's more famous for what it spurred publicly than for its inherent merits as filmmaking (which admittedly are few). But the DVD, part of The Chaplin Collection from MK2 and Warner Bros., is first-rate. The print is excellent and the supplements really load on the sociology surrounding Chaplin's first all-out failure. Dual-DVD keep-case in paperboard sleeve.
—Mark Bourne

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