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Boudu Saved From Drowning Review

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When Mr Lestingois (Granval) rescues Boudu, a desperate tramp, from drowning in the Seine, he decides to take him in to help him rebuild his life, much to his wife's disgust. Sure enough, Boudu soon proves a troublesome house guest.

★★★★

If there were an award for the Greatest Movie Beard In Film History, Michel Simon would win hands down here (runner up: the cast of Gettysburg). Thankfully, Renoir’s 1932 classic has more to recommend it. With a killer premise — a Parisian tramp (Simon) taken in by a middle-class family blows the household wide open, spitting on Balzac books and seducing women — he finds farce and satire in the hobo-in-the-home shenanigans, captured in trademark deep, long takes. Loose and leisurely, it’s not quite top-drawer Renoir — see La Grande Illusion and La Règle Du Jeu — but it’s still fresh, partly due to Renoir’s gentle subversion and generosity of spirit, partly due to Simon’s bear-like presence.

Tier two Renoir, but well worth hunting down, not least for Michael Simon's mighty Catweazle beard.

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