IMDb > La Bête Humaine (1938)
La bête humaine
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La Bête Humaine (1938) More at IMDbPro »La bête humaine (original title)

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Émile Zola (novel) and
Jean Renoir (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for La Bête Humaine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 February 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A Link With Hollywood and American Film Noir See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jean Gabin ... Jacques Lantier

Simone Simon ... Séverine Roubaud

Fernand Ledoux ... Roubaud (as Ledoux Sociétaire de la Comédie Française)
Blanchette Brunoy ... Flore
Gérard Landry ... Le fils Dauvergne (as Gerard Landry)
Jenny Hélia ... Philomène Sauvagnat (as Jenny Helia)
Colette Régis ... Victoire Pecqueux (as Colette Regis)
Claire Gérard ... Une voyageuse (as Claire Gerard)
Charlotte Clasis ... Tante Phasie, la marraine de Lantier (as Germaine Clasis)
Jacques Berlioz ... Grandmorin (as Berlioz)
Tony Corteggiani ... Dabadie, le chef de section (as Cortegianni)
André Tavernier ... Le juge d'instruction Denizet
Marcel Pérès ... Un lampiste (as Perez)

Jean Renoir ... Cabuche
Julien Carette ... Pecqueux (as Carette)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jacques Roussel ... Commissaire Cauche (as Roussel)
Jacques Beauvais ... (uncredited)

Jacques Becker ... Un lampiste (uncredited)
Jacques B. Brunius ... Un garçon de ferme (uncredited)
Marguerite de Morlaye ... (uncredited)
Guy Decomble ... Le garde-barrière (uncredited)
Émile Genevois ... Un garçon de ferme (uncredited)
Léon Larive ... Le valet de chambre (uncredited)
Maurice Marceau ... Un mécanicien (uncredited)
Georges Péclet ... Un cheminot (uncredited)
Georges Spanelly ... Camy-Lamotte, le secrétaire de Grandmorin (uncredited)
Marcel Veyran ... Le chanteur (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Renoir 
 
Writing credits
Émile Zola (novel)

Denise Leblond  dialogue (uncredited)
Jean Renoir  adaptation and dialogue (uncredited)
Jean Renoir  screenplay

Produced by
Raymond Hakim .... producer
Robert Hakim .... producer
 
Original Music by
Joseph Kosma  (as J. Kosma)
 
Cinematography by
Curt Courant 
 
Film Editing by
Suzanne de Troeye 
Marguerite Renoir  (as Marg. Houlet Renoir)
 
Production Design by
Eugène Lourié  (as Lourié)
 
Costume Design by
Laure Lourié (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Frédéric Liotier .... production supervisor
Metchikian .... unit manager
Roland Tual .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Suzanne de Troeye .... assistant director
Claude Renoir .... assistant director (as Claude Renoir ainé)
 
Sound Department
Robert Teisseire .... sound engineer (as Teissere)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Guy Ferrier .... assistant camera
Sam Levin .... still photographer
Jacques Natteau .... assistant camera (as Natteau)
Maurice Pecqueux .... assistant camera (as Pecqueux)
Claude Renoir Jr. .... camera operator
Alain Renoir .... assistant camera
Claude Renoir .... camera operator
 
Other crew
Suzanne de Troeye .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La bête humaine" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | France:U (Visa #789) | Germany:6 (DVD rating) | Italy:16+ | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1939) (passed with cuts) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16 (nf)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Severine likes Malaga wine. Malaga is a sweet fortified wine from the Spanish city of Málaga and is made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes.See more »
Quotes:
Jacques Lantier:Pecqueux, I have to tell you something. Don't say a word and don't move. I killed her. That's right, I killed her. It's all over. I'll never see her again. It'll be the death of me, I know it. I couldn't bear to hold her anymore. I loved her, you know? I loved her little hands most of all. But there's one thing I don't get: why haven't they arrested me?See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Le coeur de NinonSee more »

FAQ

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A Link With Hollywood and American Film Noir, 22 September 2006
Author: malvernp from United States

"La Bete Humaine" is many things------an excellent film version of an Emile Zola novel; an outstanding (if little known) work by the famous French film director, Jean Renoir; a movie that captures memorable performances by its very capable cast; probably the greatest movie to use real trains as an essential plot device ever made; and a superbly photographed drama that holds your interest from beginning to end.

But perhaps the most critical claim this movie can make is to define the basic text of the film noir femme fatale role that was to become such an important aspect of Hollywood's most innovative creations of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Simone Simon's Severine Roubaud can and should be seen as the precursor of such similar characters as Jane Greer's Kathie Moffett in the film noir classic "Out of the Past (1947)" almost ten years later. Both are highly complex characters with dangerous sexuality and a totally amoral view of life. Both make it very difficult to distinguish between truth and fiction in what they say to us. Simone Simon plays the Jean Gabin character like a well-tuned musical instrument-----and Jane Greer's Kathie is no less successful in manipulating Robert Mitchum's character. Both are beautiful, childlike at times, feminine at other times, very different than what they seem to be, seductive to an extreme and in the end---destined to experience the consequences of a life not well lived.

"La Bete Humaine" can be enjoyed on its own terms as a seminal example of great French film drama of the 1930s. However, its more important message is to give us an early illustration of the origins of Hollywood film noir's femme fatale.

Next time you wonder where all those deadly dangerous female predators came from in American film noir, check out "La Bete Humaine." For fans of the genre, it should definitely be on your must-see list.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (37 total) »

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