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

User Rating:
7.8/10   4,001 votes »
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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:
Porky and Bess 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

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Porky and Bess, 12 March 2006
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

The point that you really could do with reading at least some of Zola's mammoth saga is well taken - I've only read Germinal so I'm afraid that lets me out. The many puzzling bits in the plot would probably not be: why such fleeting references to ancestral drunkeness and epilepsy, what happened to Cabuche, were Jacques and Bess in a serious sexual relationship?

Basically outraged and cuckolded middle-aged husband murders beautiful young wife's childhood ancient sugar daddy, she (Simon) drifts into stocky Gabin's and/or a lithe young man's arms, sex and violence result as surely as the earthy pre-War French trains ran on time. Some marvellously atmospheric nitrate b&w photography even when under the arc-lights, some scintillating and also some surprisingly clumsy framings from Renoir, some tremendous acting from the leads and trains, some brief but jarring full orchestral incidental music, and what are we left with all these decades later? A clever, well-made, entertaining and then-popular now relatively ignored (IMDB eg Bete Humaine 17 Amelie 1033) film applauded to the rafters as Art because it's Renoir. There could be no other outcome for this film - it was Fated to be Art after all!

It's very good and been one of my favourites for decades now, not as essential mind furniture but more as an enjoyably engrossing proto-noir romp with subtitles.

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