In 1947, post-tramp, a very distinctely “Charles” Chaplin wrote himself the role of an oddly sympathetic murderer who tends to his roses while the incarcerator spits out the black smoke of his victims. There’s an awful lot of dirty talk about business in this film, and the prostitute who grows up to marry a munitions manufacturer reminds us that state-sanctioned murder is always better regarded than the small-business approach. “Numbers sanctify.”

Monsieur Verdoux, Charles Chaplin, 1947. ****