IMDb > Human Desire (1954)
Human Desire
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Human Desire (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   2,152 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Alfred Hayes (screenplay)
Émile Zola (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for Human Desire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 August 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A rarity on the screen... a RAW slice of life! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(16 articles)
Movie Poster of the Week: Nicholas Ray’s “In a Lonely Place”
 (From MUBI. 8 December 2012, 8:33 AM, PST)

Clip joint: Taking the train
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 15 August 2012, 9:49 AM, PDT)

Daily Briefing. Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism 3
 (From MUBI. 24 December 2011, 4:24 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Back on the tracks – not really a Renoir remake See more (38 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Glenn Ford ... Jeff Warren

Gloria Grahame ... Vicki Buckley

Broderick Crawford ... Carl Buckley

Edgar Buchanan ... Alec Simmons
Kathleen Case ... Ellen Simmons
Peggy Maley ... Jean
Diane DeLaire ... Vera Simmons
Grandon Rhodes ... John Owens
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Paul Brinegar ... Brakeman (uncredited)
Victor Hugo Greene ... Davidson (uncredited)
Don C. Harvey ... Yard Dispatcher (uncredited)
Carl Lee ... John Thurston (uncredited)
John Maxwell ... Chief of Police (uncredited)
John Pickard ... Matt Henley (uncredited)
Dan Riss ... Prosecutor Gruber (uncredited)
Dan Seymour ... Duggan - Bartender (uncredited)
Olan Soule ... Lewis (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Gruber's Assistant at Inquest (uncredited)
John Zaremba ... 'Russ' Russell, Train Conductor (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
 
Writing credits
Alfred Hayes (screenplay)

Émile Zola (novel "La Bête Humaine") (as Emile Zola)

Produced by
Lewis J. Rachmil .... producer
 
Original Music by
Daniele Amfitheatrof 
 
Cinematography by
Burnett Guffey (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Aaron Stell 
 
Art Direction by
Robert Peterson 
 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Milton Feldman .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
John P. Livadary .... recording supervisor (as John Livadary)
 
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... conductor
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (2010) | UK:X (1954) | USA:Approved (PCA #16878, Adult Audience) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Gloria Grahame's part was originally intended for Rita Hayworth.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: On the last trip shown, the locomotive pulling the train into the station is one manufactured by Electro Motive but the locomotive that Jeff Warren climbs down from that would have been pulling the train is one manufactured by ALCO.See more »
Quotes:
[First lines]
John Thurston:Good to see you back, Jeff.
Jeff Warren:Town looks great
John Thurston:80% better than Korea, I'll bet.
Jeff Warren:100%.
John Thurston:No medals?
Jeff Warren:They ran out of them.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Girl on the Late, Late Show (1974) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Back on the tracks – not really a Renoir remake, 3 August 2007
Author: manuel-pestalozzi from Zurich, Switzerland

It is interesting to compare Jean Renoir's La bête humaine (1938) with Human Desire as they both are based on the same novel by French literature heavyweight Emile Zola. Whereas in Renoir's movie the train and its engineer seem to be wild beasts which have to be kept under control by tight regulations, Lang's engineer is a regular guy who has returned from the Korean war and just yearns to be back on the tracks again. He clearly wants order, regularity and predictability in his life, the very things which seem to destroy the Broderick Crawford character who appears to be the real beast in Human Desire. His counterpart in the Renoir movie is an authority figure in the railroad system who more than anything else wants to keep up a front of respectability.

Gloria Grahame's character is less a femme fatale, like cocky Simone Simon in La bête humaine, than a true victim who has suffered on the hands of different men. She really looks exhausted and seems to have given up on life. In the vain hope that war experience has awakened the beast in the train engineer, she succeeds in rousing some passion in him, but it is not enough for his murdering her husband (who really is a bad character for whom it is hard to feel any pity). The final scene very much looks like her executing a carefully planned suicide-scheme which also definitely brings down her evil husband.

Both movies show that the layer of civilization is pretty thin. Lang's Human Desire distinguishes itself for being a careful probe into the social conditions of the USA in the first part of the 1950ies which is also evident in the careful set design. On several occasions the engineer talks about his war experiences which led him to have new esteem for the merits of order and civilization. It is an important item in Human Desire. Up to you to decide if this makes it a pro or an anti war movie.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (38 total) »

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