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Human Desire (1954)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Romance  |  5 August 1954 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,349 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 24 critic

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.

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

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Human Beast  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Central National" Railroad was portrayed by equipment and properties of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The locomotive and yard scenes were filled on the Rock Island Railroad in El Reno, Oklahoma. RI Alco FA-1 #153 had the lettering covered on the side and a red panel added over the low nose herald. The "Yard Office" is actually the building housing the offices for the car repair facility in El Reno. The view after that is in the car repair shed north of the diesel shop in El Reno. The north side of the diesel shop is in the background. No. 717 that almost runs them over is RI Alco S-2 that was assigned to El Reno at least through the mid-60s. See more »

Goofs

When we see John Owens's wallet while Carl is loading incriminating items into the furnace, the initials on it are "DP". See more »

Quotes

Vera Simmons: Were the girls pretty in Tokyo?
Jeff Warren: Yep.
Vera Simmons: Did you date any, uh, beautiful Japanese girls?
Jeff Warren: Well, the officers got a hold of most of the beautiful ones before I got there.
See more »

Connections

Version of La bestia humana (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magnificent drama elaborately designed by the master Fritz Lang
2 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

The picture is based on the Emile Zola's novel ¨La bete humaine¨. A mild- mannered and essentially decent ex-soldier (Glenn Ford) working as unhinged trainman becomes romantically involved with a mysterious , alluring but heartless and vicious femme fatal (Gloria Grahame) . He lives temporarily at home with an old friend man (Edgar Buchanan) . She is unhappily married to a tough and brutal hubby as ever ruined (Broderick Crawford). They then are involved in a mutually destructive affair . She managed and is convinced for her unwanted husband has his job back , but he has been fired , then the problems and subsequently murder are cropping up , but she plots other malignant purports .

Columbia Pictures Film production, puts all the force of the screen into a challenging drama of furious passions and though there're pretty dialog and little action is amount entertaining . It's a psychological , dark melodrama about fatalism , duplicity , pessimism and human passions . Stylish , well designed and compelling drama , although is sometimes annoyingly shrill . Love , hatred , killing , vengeance indeed figure strongly in this brightly seedy portraits of low life as Fritz Lang did also in ¨Big Heat¨ (1953) equally with Ford and Grahame . The well-designed atmosphere elaborately recreated in railway , trains , stations is entirely convincing throughout . Wonderful performances by the entire casting . Gloria Grahame (married at the time to Nicholas Ray) as manipulating woman who subtly destroys them , winning yet another awesome acting with a smouldering predatory and absolutely hypnotic interpretation in her account of the domineering that occurs from start to ending . The film contains stunning cinematography by classic cameraman Burnett Guffey . The motion picture is narrated with agility and intelligence by the great director Fritz Lang . This movie along with ¨Scarlet Street¨ are remakes of Jean Renor films . In fact ¨the Bete Humaine¨(1938) by Renoir and with Jean Gabin and Simone Simon is considered a superior version .


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