7.2/10
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Human Desire (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 5 August 1954 (USA)
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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Writers:

(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:

A rarity on the screen... a RAW slice of life! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Human Beast  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang did not like the title and thought it redundant. "What other kind of desire is there?" is his reported comment. See more »

Goofs

The closing sequence shows the famous "Trenton Makes, The World Takes" bridge over the Delaware River and the NJ State Capitol out the side window of the locomotive over Jeff Warren's shoulder, meaning the train is headed south on the four-track Pennsylvania Railroad Northeast Corridor. The scene cuts to the front window and the train is on a single-line track in farmland passing a track gang. After Glen waves to the workers, the scene cuts back to a forward view of a three-track railroad passing an opposing steam train that was not visible in the previous shot. See more »

Quotes

Carl Buckley: It's 6:30 already.
Jean: If you're married, that's late, and if you're single, it's early.
See more »

Connections

Version of La bestia humana (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
desire trumps reality
3 April 2008 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

Broderick Crawford and Gloria Grahme make an interesting couple as the two of them unravel in yet another boozy black and white (but mostly drab grey) plot of murder, betrayal, and blackmail, this time on a train as well as in a railroad yard, with Glenn Ford in the middle, coming back to his job as an engineer after fighting in the Korean War. It makes for a cozy and claustrophobic setting. While the lines that they say seem a bit unconvincing, their situations and personalities are what make this a memorable film. Crawford is especially impressive as a hulking railroad office employee with a vicious temper and jealousy for his younger wife. The plot has some inescapable holes in it, but the drama and tension build fairly well, first because of his tortuous marriage with Grahme which seems to go with the film's title, as the marriage is a sham that represents another unattainable desire for him. He carries the part off all the way to end.


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