This satirical comedy from Jean Renoir seems to have an ardent following but for my tastes his great run of films of the latter part of the 1930s ("La Grand Illusion", "La Règle du Jeu" & "La Bête Humaine") seem a very long way off here. There are strong traces of the silent movie tradition of the previous decade not yet shaken off, with long static takes and unimaginative framing, and the overt comic acting is sits firmly in the theatrical. Much of your enjoyment of "Boudu" would depend on your opinion of Michel Simon's titular performance as the boorish and obstinate tramp that the well-meaning but hypocritical middle-class bookseller Lestingois rescues following a suicide attempt. Simon spends the whole film stumbling around the set, rolling his eyes as if he were drunk and causing anarchy in the household of his benefactor which I found both profoundly annoying and more than unnecessarily mannered. There are some unwelcome traces of misogyny too
as Boudu tries his luck with the maid (already having an affair with her employer) and then Mrs Lestingois who quickly succumbs under light flattery and then force. It's amazing what a shave can do. There are hints of later wonders Renoir would accomplish - the real scenes of Parisian life beside the Seine are a fascinating snapshot of the city in the early 1930s and
The simultaneous revelation of the two affairs results in Boudu being paired off with the maid after all, who seems perfectly happy with the arrangement, seemingly because Boudu has managed to win a 10'000 franc lottery.
Boudu calmly floating down river as he escapes from his unwanted riches and new wife are notable, but it's a slight story, far less impactful in its satire of the liberal middle classes than it probably once was and often hard work thanks to an abundance of gurning in the central role.