Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Charles Chaplin. 1947, 133 mins. 35mm. With Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll and Allison Roddan. Chaplin’s first film after World War II is a brooding and darkly funny reflection on society’s basest inclinations, in which Chaplin plays Henri Verdoux, an out-of-work Paris bank teller whose newfound vocation consists of marrying and murdering wealthy widows. Set directly before the war and in the throes of financial collapse, Verdoux was met with backlash upon its initial release for appearing to condone murderous behavior as though it were merely an extension of modern business practices, not to mention Chaplin’s unhinged take-no-prisoners approach to satire. As contemporary championer Robert Warshow noted, “ultimately the whole world, is enveloped in ambiguity and irony, and it is no longer certain whom the joke is on.”
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