- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
If you appreciate dark humor, Charles Chaplin’s 1947 Monsieur Verdoux, may be the film for you. It's an odd film, as it's both incredibly dark, as well as equally funny.
Shot in black & white, and photographed by the great Rollie Totheroh, who shot virtually every Chaplin production, going back to 1915, Criterion’s new Blu-ray is a feast for the eyes.
Beautiful gray scale and shadow detail, with requisite resolution and grain, the imagery is almost all there. Almost.
While the Blu-ray is supposedly based upon a new 2k digital restoration, and derived from the original camera negative, my eyes are telling me a different story.
The film needs additional work. There are continuous positive scratches, mostly on the far right side of the frame, but also elsewhere -- and some of them cutting through the emulsion. I’m also not seeing anything that appears to be from a camera original, but rather from a fine grain master. Not certain what occurred here, but the restoration was not the work of Criterion.
If I'm correct, a far higher quality harvest could have been attained by either returning to the actual camera negative, or to a new untainted fine grain. The proper thing would have been a 4k scan of the OCN, as a proper archival element would have been produced. As it appears, the Chaplin family does not have one.
Great film, from one of the greatest (and in his feature work) least prolific of filmmakers.
Image - 3
Audio - 4
Highly Recommended, in spite of image problems.