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Monsieur Verdoux

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Daringly unsavory for its time, Chaplin’s tale of a Depression-era bluebeard (himself, sans the Little Tramp outfit) seems slack and timid today. Aside from some delicious low comedy with Raye, who plays a wife so robust she proves unmurderable, it’s all polite, static tableaux of victims in living rooms. The disc’s supplemental material isn’t much livelier: It aspires to document censors’ objections to certain racy and anticapitalist speeches but instead just presents script excerpts without highlighting what got changed. If you really want a happy marriage of entertainment and exegesis, rent Monsieur Verdoux on tape and get the lowdown on the film’s creation in Chaplin’s My Autobiography.

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