'Monsieur Verdoux'An outstanding film. Deeply disturbing. Proof, if needed, that Charlie Chaplin was a genius, Chaplin’s politics in his films, we are told, “scarcely seem like politics at all; more like a wishful, sometimes fuzzy, sometimes sharply focused appeal to an old-fashioned ethic of kindness, which is the reverse of ruthlessness.” Thus Verdoux, in his speech at his trial, declares he was “forced to go into business for myself,” and insists that in comparison with the contemporary “world,” which is “building weapons of mass destruction for the sole purpose of mass killing,” he is only “an amateur.” The reference to America’s atom bombs is “purely topical,” Wood asserts, in a dismissive phrase that wipes away a lot of history. For in 1947, a world-wide, Kremlin-inspired peace offensive against atomic America was in full cry. Monsieur Verdoux represented Chaplin’s first contribution to this campaign, but it was not his last, as evidenced by the public statement he made in 1949 in support of the Paris meeting of the Communist-front World Congress for Peace, his endorsement of the Mexico City meeting that following September of the Communist-front American Continental Congress on World Peace, and his acceptance in 1954 of the World Peace Prize of the Communist-sponsored World Peace Council '
"One murder makes a villain, millions a hero."
'I am at peace with God; my conflict is with man'
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