Landru

  • 1962
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

An inconsistent black comedy, this film is based on the exploits of French mass murderer Henri-Desire Landru, who romanced, swindled, and then dismembered at least 10 women during WW I. Denner coldly plays the balding, bearded villain who places ads in the lonely hearts section of a newspaper to find his victims. He picks out profitable targets--women in...read more

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An inconsistent black comedy, this film is based on the exploits of French mass murderer Henri-Desire Landru, who romanced, swindled, and then dismembered at least 10 women during WW I. Denner coldly plays the balding, bearded villain who places ads in the lonely hearts section of a

newspaper to find his victims. He picks out profitable targets--women in their fifties with large fortunes. He then romances them in his villa, cons them into signing over their assets, kills them, dismembers their bodies, and burns them in his incinerator. Denner's reason, however, is not that of

a psychotic but of a "responsible" member of the bourgeoisie (a favorite target of Chabrol's). Denner insists that he only kills for the money, which he needs to support his family. The killings become ritualistic, each ending with smoke pouring from his chimney. His killing spree continues

through the war until he is recognized by the sister of one of his victims. He is later brought to trial (where he refuses to comment on his guilt or innocence) and, on February 25, 1922, guillotined. Scripted by famed French author Sagan (at age 19 she wrote the critically acclaimed BonjourTristesse, which was filmed by Otto Preminger in 1959), LANDRU takes a casual approach to the murderer's legend, concerning itself more with the condemnation of bourgeois ideals than the psychology of crime. This was not the first attempt to bring Landru's escapades to the screen. In 1947, Charles

Chaplin released MONSIEUR VERDOUX, a thinly disguised version which was eventually pulled from distribution. (Dubbed in English.)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An inconsistent black comedy, this film is based on the exploits of French mass murderer Henri-Desire Landru, who romanced, swindled, and then dismembered at least 10 women during WW I. Denner coldly plays the balding, bearded villain who places ads in the… (more)

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