Boudu Saved From Drowning (Bondé sauvé des eaux) (1932)
as Priape Boudu
as Monsieur Lastingois
as Édouard Lestingois
as Emma Lestingois
as Madame Lastingois
as Poet on a Bench
as Rose, the Neighbor'...
as Marriage Guest
as Wedding Guest
as Marriage Guest
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Critic Reviews for Boudu Saved From Drowning (Bondé sauvé des eaux)
A beautifully rhythmed film that makes one nostalgic for the period when it was made.
Amid the early-talkie crudeness you can see Renoir discover what it means to visually evoke the unpredictable flow of life with composition, movement, and depth.
The most startling thing about Boudu is just how incredibly fresh it remains.
Jean Renoir's effortless 1932 masterpiece is as informal, beguiling, and subversive as its eponymous hero.
Audience Reviews for Boudu Saved From Drowning (Bondé sauvé des eaux)
The plot is well known by now but the inventive execution's the thing here, still fresh after so many years. But in addition to whatever entertainment or cinematically historical value contained within, here is out and out immersion into Parisian life circa 1930, before the nearly universal acceptance of the thought that "all the world's a stage" and so a look at our planet before our obsession with mirrors ("... and what's wrong with that!") changed it.
Anyone who has seen "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" knows the thumbnail plot of Jean Renoir's "Boudu Saved from Drowning": a nihilistic bum is taken in by a generous, upscale couple and (contrary to Hollywood formula) abuses their kindness and does not transform into a wonderful citizen. But people who saw "Down and Out" first may be surprised at just how unlikeable Boudu is, even compared with Nick Nolte's later incarnation. The character is made still more distasteful by Michel Simon's rather broad, burlesque performance (which, alas, still seems mired in silent-movie theatrics).
"Boudu" makes some sharp satirical points -- such as showing the police's variable interest in finding a lost dog, depending on the stature of its owner -- but the humor suffers from stiff, outdated filmmaking. The score is almost non-existent, breeding plenty of deadly silences, and the sporadic music only occurs onscreen (examples: a marching band, a wedding orchestra, an organ grinder, a neighbor who enjoys playing flute). Also, it's a comedy that is directed like a drama -- one yearns for quicker editing and more reaction shots. Still, it was a film ahead of its time.
Jean Renoir's "Boudu Saved From Drowning" is as watchable and enjoyable today as it was 1932, and that is quite a feat.
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