New York Times - 08/23/2005
"BOUDU seems an inexhaustible film, a nexus of political, philosophical and spiritual themes that reveals new meanings and fresh pleasures with each viewing."
Premiere - 10/01/2005
"Director Jean Renoir's comedy of bad manners is a truly essential classic..."
Total Film - 12/14/2010 5 stars out of 5 -- "This deliciously subversive 1932 social comedy kicked off Jean Renoir's greatest period."
Empire - 12/17/2010 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's still fresh, partly due to Renoir's gentle subversion and generosity of spirit, partly due to Simon's bear-like presence."
In an oeuvre permeated with ambivalence toward bourgeois life, director Jean Renoir speculates on the result of the abandonment of those values in BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING. Producer Michel Simon stars as Boudu, a vagabond who attempts suicide by throwing himself into the Seine, grieving over the loss of his dog. But Eduaord Lestingois (Charles Granval), a humane bookseller, rescues him and takes him into his home, hoping to reform the shaggy bum. Shortly thereafter, anarchy reigns as the household is turned upside down by the antics of this large three-year-old. Spitting in first editions, using silken sheets to polish his shoes, sleeping in the hallway, and similar breaches of etiquette do little to endear Boudu to Lestingois. However, once Boudu has had a bath and shave in order to please the maid, Mrs. Lestingois (Marcelle Hainia) becomes surprisingly responsive to his overtures. The maid (Severine Lerczinska), who is Lestingois's mistress, also seems to feel the tramp's mysterious charm. Lestingois, an exemplary bourgeois, now has more than one reason to envy the man he saved from drowning. Among Renoir's finest films, this sharp-eyed take on the paradox of bourgeois liberalism includes stunning photography of Paris in the 1930s and a legendary comic performance by Michel Simon.
Jean Renoir's anarchic comedy BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING stars Michel Simon as Boudu, a self-serving bum. When Boudu jumps into the Seine to end it all, he's saved from drowning by Edouard Lestingois, a bourgeois book dealer. Lestingois takes the shaggy tramp into his house hoping to help him, and Boudu returns the favor by turning his well-ordered home upside down and conducting affairs with his wife and his maid. He even manages to win the lottery, but to no avail.
Rags To Riches |
Switching Roles |
The film was released in November of 1932.
The film was shot in Joinville, France.
As Boudu starts to drown, the crowd begins to smile and wave at him, fully aware that they're watching a film shoot.
This film was remade in 1986 as DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS.
Additional cast: Severine Lerczynska (Anne-Marie), Max Dalban (Godin).