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


Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   2,102 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
You never knew me. See more (35 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)
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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
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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:
Upon his return from Japan after the Korean War, veteran Glenn Ford brings Kathleen Case a kimono and jokingly refers to "The Teashouse of the Rising Moon," a clear reference to the then-current Broadway hit "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1953-1956). Ironically Ford would star in the 1956 screen version two years later.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: 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:
[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

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
You never knew me., 4 April 2011
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

Human Desire is directed by Fritz Lang and adapted for the screen by Alfred Hayes from the story "The Human Beast" written by Émile Zola. It stars Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford. Music is by Daniele Amfitheatrof and Burnett Guffey is the cinematographer. The story had been filmed twice before, as Die Bestie im Menschen in 1920 and La Bête humaine in 1938.

The plot revolves around a love triangle axis involving Jeff Warren (Ford), Vicki Buckley (Grahame) and Carl Buckley (Crawford). Crawford's Railroad Marshall gets fired and asks his wife, Viki, to sweet talk one of the yards main investors, John Owens (Grandon Rhodes), into pressuring his yard boss into giving him his job back. But there is a history there, and Carl is beset with jealousy when Viki is away for far too long. It's his jealousy that will start the downward spiral of events that will change their lives forever, with Jeff firmly in the middle of the storm.

The Production Code of the time ensured that Fritz Lang's take on the Zola novel would be considerably toned down. Thus some of the sex and violence aspects in the narrative give way to suggestion or aftermath. However, for although it may not be in the top tier of Lang's works, it's still an involving and intriguing picture seeping with film noir attributes. It features a couple of wretched characters living a bleak existence, what hope there is is in short supply and pleasures are futile, stymied by jealousy and murder. Thrust in to the middle of such hopelessness is the bastion of good and pure honesty, Jeff Warren, fresh from serving his country in the Korean War. Lusted after by the sweet daughter of his friend and landlord (Kathleen Case and Edgar Buchanan respectively), Jeff, back in employment at the rail yard, has it all going for him. But as the title suggests, human beings are at times at the mercy of their desires, and it's here where Lang enjoys pitting his three main characters against their respective fates. All set to the backdrop of a cold rail yard and the trains that work out of that steely working class place (Guffey's photography in sync with desolation of location and the characters collision course of fate).

Featuring two of the principal cast from The Big Heat (1953), it's a very well casted picture. Grahame is a revelation as the amoral wife stung by unfulfillment, sleazy yet sexy, Grahame makes Vicki both alluring and sympathetic. Lang had wanted Rita Hayworth for the role, but a child custody case prevented her from leaving the country (much of the film was shot in Canada), so in came Grahame and film noir got another classic femme fatale. Ford could play an everyman in his sleep, so this was an easy role for him to fill, but that's taking nothing away from the quality of his performance, because he's the cooling glue holding the film together. Crawford offers up another in his line of hulking brutes, with this one pitiful as he has anger issues take a hold, his original crime being only that he wants to desperately please his uncaring wife. Strong support comes from Buchanan, Case and Diane DeLaire.

Adultery, jealousy, murder and passion dwells within Human Desire, a highly accomplished piece of film noir from the gifted Fritz Lang. 7.5/10

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