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Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)

Boudu sauvé des eaux (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 23 February 1967 (USA)
A bookseller saves a tramp from drowning and shelters him, but the tramp's odd behavior starts to wear everyone down.


Jean Renoir


René Fauchois (play)




Complete credited cast:
Michel Simon ... Priape Boudu
Marcelle Hainia Marcelle Hainia ... Emma Lestingois
Sévérine Lerczinska ... Chloë Anne Marie, la bonne
Jean Gehret Jean Gehret ... Vigour
Max Dalban Max Dalban ... Godin
Jean Dasté ... L'étudiant
Charles Granval ... Édouard Lestingois (as Charles Granval Sociétaire de la Comédie Française)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Geneviève Cadix Geneviève Cadix


Boudu, a tramp, jumps into the Seine. He is rescued by Mr Lestingois, a gentle and good bookseller, who gives shelter to him. Mrs Lestingois and the maid Anne-Marie (Mr Lestingois' mistress) are far from delighted, for Boudu is lazy, dirty and salacious... Written by Yepok

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Did You Know?


The poet on the bench at the beginning is Jacques Becker, assistant director for that movie. He later directed Casque d'Or (1952) and other famous movies. See more »


[first lines]
Édouard Lestingois: Anne-Marie, you are like the nymphs. You are as graceful as they are and could frolic in mossy glades, drink from the springs, and dance naked under the moon on summer nights. Bacchus would have presided at the nuptials of Priapus Lestingois and his Chloë, Anne-Marie.
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Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »


Danube bleu (An der Schönen, blauen Donau)
Composed by Johann Strauss (uncredited)
Arranged by Raphaël
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User Reviews

One of Renoir's best
3 November 2005 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

One of the aspects to the films that I have seen of Jean Renoir so far (this, Rules of the Game, Grand Illusion, and La Bete Humaine) is that some of the more humorous or theatrical moments are given a total bed of humanity to fall back on. And, in some ways the film works on a kind of double edged sword that is surprising for a film coming from this era. It sometimes has some really hard edged, social-satire type moments involving the homeless man in a more upscale setting wreaking minor havoc. But it's also at the core full of humanity, and even the bourgeois are not necessarily 'bad' characters in the film (at one point, the man of the house sings a random song to himself, little moments like that).

Boudu, played with utter sublime "old-school" comic timing by Michael Simon, is a homeless man with a black dog. When the dog goes missing, he just sulks around for a while, taking that fateful plunge into the water. When some upper-class types, the Lestingois, come to his rescue and give him their place to stay, things start to slowly go awry. From here Renoir laces some comedy of class, some bits of romantic interludes, and little flights of fancy that give the picture's 80 minute running time a perfect fit. This is also a really well-woven together film as well, meaning all of the little touches (a band playing out in the streets, the occasional daring with the lens/camera, the little quirks all in Simon's performance as well as some others) are put into this seemingly broad story of a fish out of water, if you'll forgive the expression. It may seem not as fluid as some of Renoir's latest films, but it really isn't at times; Renoir is really working with a new form here by way of the advent of sound, and yet his presence is in every frame, setting it apart from other tales of this sort. And such wonderful music as well. This is the one Renoir film, ironically at the shortest length of those I've seen, that I can't wait the most to see again.

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Release Date:

23 February 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boudu Saved from Drowning See more »


Box Office

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
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