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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7.8/10   3,761 votes »
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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 women who has helped her husband commit a murder. | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Renoir meets Zola:up where they belong. 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)
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Directed by
Jean Renoir 
 
Writing credits
Émile Zola (novel)

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

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
 

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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) | 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:I can't go on. I can't go on.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Le coeur de NinonSee more »

FAQ

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Renoir meets Zola:up where they belong., 10 March 2002
Author: dbdumonteil

Jean Renoir's work has been the best of all possible cinemas in the French thirties:a ruthless bourgeois wholesale massacre (la chienne,1931,Boudu sauvé des eaux,1932),Italian neorealism ten years before Rossellini,DeSica et al(Toni,1934),cinema verité before Godard (la vie est à nous ,1936)romantic and tragic pastoral,(une partie de campagne,probably his masterpiece,1936),pacifism(la grande illusion,1937,his most overrated,thus the most popular),history (la revolution française,1938)then "la bête humaine".

"La bête humaine" is arguably the best Zola screen adaptation.Seventeenth part of the Rougon-Macquart family saga-one of the peaks of French lit in the 19th century-,this could be the best with the exceptions of "l'assommoir" and "Germinal".The hero is a son of Gervaise Macquart ,Jacques Lantier.He was not mentioned in any of the previous books,because Gervaise had only 3 children (Nana,Etienne(in Germinal) and Claude (in l'oeuvre),and Zola needed one more,so he made up this fourth child from start to finish.What he needed was a hero with a history of mental illness (stemming from alcohol).Jean Gabin portrays Jacques with a sublime conviction:the scene in which he tries to strangle Blanchette Brunoy to whom he confesses he can't help it,he can't escape the terrible fate which is in store for him.

When he meets Severine(Simone Simon,the future heroine of Tourneur's "cat people'(1942)),and is attracted by her sexually,the woman,whose husband (Fernand Ledoux) is anything but handsome, feels in deep in her perverse soul, that she's found the right killer,because she has discovered he's unable to keep his self-control .

Some scenes are absolutely unforgettable:the beginning,which films the railroad tracks as never before;the railroad men dance,during which a murder is committed while a singer is crooning an old song,"le petit coeur de Ninon";the final,faithful to Zola to a fault: a train,belting in the night,gone mad,which becomes a metaphor not only for Lantier's descent into hell,but for the country (it's 1938!) heading for the darkness.Renoir had transposed the action in th thirties.These dazzling pictures perfectly echo Zola's extraordinary lines:"Elle roulait,roulait sans fin,comme affolée de plus en plus par le bruit de son haleine"(It was rolling,endlessly rolling,as if it were more and more panic-stricken by the sound of its breath).

Remake by Fritz Lang in 1954 :"human desire" with Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame;although I admire Fritz Lang very much,I think his effort is neatly inferior.

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