MONSIEUR VERDOUX
1947, The Film Desk, 124 min, USA, Dir: Charles Chaplin

This black comedy from writer-director-star Charles Chaplin (based on a premise from Orson Welles) is inspired by the true-life story of bigamist wife-killer Henri Desire Landru, who married wealthy women for their money and then methodically bumped them off. Martha Raye is unforgettable as the woman Verdoux just can’t seem to kill. It was the first time that Chaplin worked with John Gabriel Beckman, who is noted for his extensive career as a set designer, art director, production designer and muralist as well as a World War I fighter pilot.


THE CIRCUS
1928, Janus Films, 71 min, USA, Dir: Charles Chaplin

The Little Tramp goes from being a circus loiterer who steals hotdogs from babies to an accidental clown in this delightful riot by comedic genius Charlie Chaplin. Don't be fooled by the freewheeling slapstick throughout - the final shot evokes the heart-tugging yet adorable melancholia that makes the Tramp one of cinema's most enduring characters.


THE KID
1921, Janus Films, 60 min, USA, Dir: Charles Chaplin

In his first film masterpiece, Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp, following his paternal instincts, takes a hapless, orphaned baby - "the Kid" - under his wing. Five years pass, and the tyke is now a precocious little boy (Jackie Coogan), helping his foster dad, the Tramp, in his "window-glass replacement" scam. But a confluence of events, including the Kid’s sudden illness, conspire to separate the two.


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