7.2/10
2,720
40 user 25 critic

Human Desire (1954)

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in a sordid affair with a co-worker's wife and murder.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Emile Zola)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane
Moonfleet (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Moonfleet is set in Dorset, England. The Fleet refers to the land just west of Portland, Southern England.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood
You and Me (1938)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Robert Cummings
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas
Adventure | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In WW2, the Allies race against time to persuade two nuclear scientists working for the Germans to switch sides.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Lilli Palmer
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Vicki Buckley
...
Carl Buckley
...
Alec Simmons
Kathleen Case ...
Ellen Simmons
...
Jean
Diane DeLaire ...
Vera Simmons
Grandon Rhodes ...
John Owens
Edit

Storyline

Jeff Warren, a Korean War vet just returning to his railroad engineer's job, boards at the home of co-worker Alec Simmons and is charmed by Alec's beautiful daughter. He becomes attracted immediately to Vicki Buckley, the sultry wife of brutish railroad supervisor Carl Buckley, an alcoholic wife beater with a hair trigger temper and penchant for explosive violence. Jeff becomes reluctantly drawn into a sordid affair by the compulsively seductive Vicki. After Buckley is fired for insubordination, he begs her to intercede on his behalf with John Owens, a rich and powerful businessman whose influence can get him reinstated. When Buckley suspects she has used sexual favors to persuade Owens, he stabs him to death in a jealous rage in a railroad compartment. Jeff, a potential witness to the homicide, becomes an accessory after the fact. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was born to be bad...to be kissed...to make trouble! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1954 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Human Beast  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang wanted to film the movie in Jasper, Alberta, Canada. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, the train as seen from a high shot, is being pulled by a Baltimore and Ohio locomotive manufactured by Electro Motive. The locomotive Jeff Warren climbs down from is an ALCO manufactured locomotive lettered for Central National Railroad. While such a change of locomotives was certainly possible, the same engineer would never be operating it for two different railroads. See more »

Quotes

Jean: [Dressing for a date] Zip me up will you, Carl?
Carl Buckley: [Impatiently] You dames, you spend more time gettin' dressed...
Jean: Have to! It's much better to have good looks than brains because most of the men I know can see much better than they can think.
See more »

Connections

Version of La bestia humana (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lang's gloomy remake of Renoir's "La bete humaine"
4 May 2003 | by (Ottawa) – See all my reviews

"Human Desire" is NOT one of Fritz Lang's masterpieces. Though it has its moments, it ultimately comes off as a second-rate work. A remake of Jean Renoir's 1938 "La bete Humaine" starring Jean Gabin, "Human Desire" is less successful than Renoir's adaptation of the Zola novel, but when all things considered, it is not bad, and is filled with some interesting geometric images & visuals. The film turns out to be gloomy, often bleak melodrama that has a striking affinity with Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity" in its plot, dealing with a married woman (Gloria Grahame) trying to get rid of her bland husband (Broderick Crawford) through the help of a train engineer (Glenn Ford). If you stop concentrating on the melodramatic plot and focus on Lang's lovely architectural compositions, "Human Desire" becomes quite engrossing picture, on par with "The Big Heat", Lang's previous film noir with Grahame & Ford. From the first image to the last, the scenes of railroad tracks are masterfully handled: we see a series of precise lines and converging tracks moving forward. Moreover, Grahame and Crawford's rooms in their working class house are characterized by a series of squares, boxes, rectangles to conjure up a nightmarish vision of fate and destiny.

Also, it is worth noting that in the same house we see the appearance of television for the first time in Lang's films. Lang will later explore the dangers of media manipulation in his last two American films: "While the City Sleeps" and "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt".


36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?