31 user 15 critic

Blood of the Beasts (1949)

Le sang des bêtes (original title)
Bucolic scenes from the outskirts of Paris are contrasted with stark footage from slaughterhouses.


Georges Franju


Georges Franju, Jean Painlevé (commentary)




Cast overview:
Georges Hubert Georges Hubert ... Récitant / Narrator (voice)
Nicole Ladmiral Nicole Ladmiral ... Récitante / Narrator (voice)
Alfred Macquart Alfred Macquart ... Self - horse slaughterer
Maurice Griselle Maurice Griselle ... Self - cow slaughterer
André Brunier André Brunier ... Poleaxer
Henri Fournel Henri Fournel ... Butcher


An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the fate of the animals and that of the workers in graphic detail. Written by <xaviermartin@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short


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Did You Know?


Was awarded the "Grand Prix International du Court Sujet" in 1950. See more »


Referenced in Lynch (2007) See more »


La Mer
Music by Charles Trenet
Lyrics by Charles Trenet
Performed by Charles Trenet
See more »

User Reviews

The silence of the lambs
3 March 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

George Franju had one of the strangest careers in the French cinema.His shorts were revolutionary.When he began full-length features ,as contemporary of the Nouvelle Vague,he was drastically different.All his best works ("la tête contre les murs" "les Yeux sans Visage" "Thomas L'Imposteur" even his minor films such as "Pleins Feux sur l'Assassin" and his remake of Feuillade's "Judex) have a sense of mystery you would never find in his peers' works (with the exception of some of Chabrol's ones).

"Le sang des bêtes" has not lost its strength even in 2006.It still stands as one of the best shorts ever done.It depicts horror: inside a slaughterhouse ,where the beasts suffer and man himself risks his life ,there's a world nobody had entered before Franju 's camera let us in.The pictures are sometimes so harrowing,so unbearable,you find yourself looking away.There's this sublime picture of a horse ,bowing before being shot.

The commentary is brilliant,and the two actors who say it are to be commended.

Georges Hubert uses a neuter voice,even when he describes the most terrifying of the scenes: should he depict the riverboat for sightseeing,he would not use a different tone.He makes me think of the commentary in Luis Bunuel's " Hurdes" Nicole Ladmiral,on the other hand has a warm voice ,sometimes verging on tenderness as she describes the urban lugubrious landscapes outside the slaughterhouse.Life goes one ,people fall in love,around the buildings with its sinister "steeple" which is not that of a church . Nowadays Nicole Ladmiral is forgotten:her career was short-lived and very sad.After an important part in "Journal d'un curé de Campagne ",Robert Bresson's classic, she could never find another role worthy of her talent (except for some uninteresting supporting parts on stage)and she threw herself under a train in a metro station.

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Release Date:

1949 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood of the Beasts See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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