Chaplin's radical departure from the little tramp into the dapper murderer "Monsieur Verdoux" was his greatest commercial failure. It became embroiled in Hollywood's Communist witchhunts that were to force Chaplin out of the country, as you'll find out on this revealing DVD.
This disc is available to buy on its own or as part of "The Chaplin Collection: Volume 2" and "The Complete Chaplin Boxset".
Picture There is some occasional print damage in some scenes, but the black and white contrast is quite striking.
Sound The 5.1 sound mix adds sinister depth to Chaplin's music score when required.
Introduction David Robinson packs plenty of information into his five-minute introduction to the movie. He relates how Chaplin described his dark comedy as "the cleverest and most brilliant film of my career". Robinson also talks a little about Orson Welles' involvement in coming up with the original idea, but discounts his claims that he wrote the script.
Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux
Claude Chabrol is the guest speaker for this documentary and offers some pertinent thoughts on the film, but the main area of interest is its troubled background. Chaplin was being made to pay the price of supporting friends such as Albert Einstein, HG Wells, and particularly Hanns Eisner, whom he spoke up for when questioned by the House of Un-American Activities Committee, which was investigating Communism in Hollywood. A day after his appearance he premiered the film in Washington, which only inflamed matters further.
Additional Extra Features Also on the disc are trailers, a photo gallery, plan drawing for the sets, a film poster gallery (with radio ads played while the posters change) and a selection of clips from all the films in "The Chaplin Collection".
Ratio: 1.33:1 (original fullscreen ratio)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and 1.0 (mono)
Audio Tracks: English, French, Italian
Subtitles: English and multiple languages
Captions: English, French, Italian
Menus: Static, with music
Special Features Subtitles: All of the special features come with subtitles, apart from "Chaplin Today: Monsieur Verdoux" and the trailers.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.