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Trivia / Monsieur Verdoux

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Monsieur Verdoux states that his astrological sign is Aries. That's actually true, Charlie Chaplin's sign is Aries, his birthday is on 16 April 1889.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget: $2,000,000. Gross USA: $325,000. Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $1,500,000 (Note Chaplin wasn't popular in America at this time).
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Germany and Austria: The Murderer of Women in Paris and The Marriage Fraud in Paris
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    • Portugal: Bluebeard
    • Mexico: Monsieur Verdoux, the Modern Bluebeard
    • Germany: Monsieur Verdoux: The Murderer of Women in Paris
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Charlie Chaplin regarded the film as "the cleverest and most brilliant film of my career".
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Charlie Chaplin spent six weeks growing a moustache to play Verdoux.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: Charlie Chaplin claimed that Orson Welles came to his house with the idea of doing a "series of documentaries, one to be on the celebrated French murderer, Bluebeard Landru," which he thought would be a wonderful dramatic part for Chaplin. Chaplin was initially interested, as it would provide him with an opportunity for a more dramatic role, as well as saving him the trouble of having to write the film himself. However, Chaplin claims that Welles then explained that the script had not yet been written and he wanted Chaplin's help to do so. As a result, Chaplin dropped out of Welles' project. Very shortly thereafter, the idea struck Chaplin that Landru's story would make a good comedy. Chaplin then telephoned Welles and told him that while his new idea had nothing to do with Welles' proposed documentary or with Landru, he was willing to pay Welles five thousand dollars in order to "clear everything." After negotiations, Welles accepted on the terms that he would receive a "story by" screen credit. Chaplin later stated that he would have insisted on no screen credit at all had he known that Welles would eventually try to take credit for the idea.
  • Playing Against Type: This was the first time Charlie Chaplin played a character different from the Tramp persona, in this case, a wife-murderer.
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    • In fact some of the movie's posters place The Little Tramp in the background or even reference him in the text.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The film was originally conceived by Orson Welles as part of a series based on the real-life Landru, Chaplin instead made this movie and acknowledged Welles as the inspiration.
    • The film was a lot more racy with dialogue suggesting that Verdoux and Floray are sharing a bed and that the Girl was a prostitute. Censorship removed those ideas.
  • Working Title: The Ladykiller and A Comedy of Murders.

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