in about 100 words or less
France 81m, B&W
Director: Jean Renoir; Cast: Michel Simon, Charles Granval, Marcelle Hainia, Severine Lerczinska
Tired of his miserable and lonely life as a tramp, Monsieur Boudu is given a second chance after his failed attempted suicide in the river Seine. Upon his rescue by Edouard Lestingois – a paternalistic Parisian bookseller, Boudu’s fortunes look brighter when he realizes that his rescuer also wants to be his benefactor. Unfortunately for Boudu, his good fortunes come with a price – he is expected to reform his “savage” ways. Despite the turn of events, which include a winning lottery ticket, Boudu realizes that he must escape the confines of middle class life to be truly happy. Renoir’s fluid camera movements and use of Johann Strauss in the film’s score mirror the flowing river in which Boudu initially emerges and eventually returns. Beautifully filmed, realistically shot, and skilfully crafted, Boudu Saved from Drowning is a cinematic delight in every respect (Klaus Ming February 2011).