Thursday, October 22, 2009

Boudu Saved From Drowning

(1932) - B&W - 81 min
Starring - Michel Simon as Priape Boudu, Charles Granval as Edouard Lestingois, Jean Daste as the student Marcelle Hainia as Emma Lestingois, Severine Lerczinska as Chloe Anne Marie, the upstairs maid Max Dalban as Godin, Jean Gehret as Vigour
Directed by - Jean Renoir

An enchanting 1932 Jean Renoir film, Boudu sauve des eaux, or in English - Boudu Saved from Drowning. A poor homeless man named Boudu tries to drown himself in the Seine River, but is saved by the wealthy book store owner, Edouard Lestingois who was watching Boudu from his window. Boudu moves in with the family and has quite an impact on each of their lives. Also of note, this film caused a major scandal when it was released. Not because of the kissing or extramarital affairs (hey, they're French)... but people took major exception to, of all things - the filthy side of being homeless. Boudu's table manners, especially eating the food with his fingers. Totally taboo! The Police came and shut down theaters. It was a very serious matter at the time. In addition, Boudu doesn't seem particularly grateful to Monsieur Lestingois' generosity. Folks were infuriated by this as well.

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