Human Desire (1954)

Human Desire (1954)

Human Desire



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford) needs the intervention of his beautiful wife Vicki (Gloria Grahame) to keep his job, so Vicki meets with Carl's boss Owens (Grandon Rhodes), and Carl's job is secure. Insanely jealous, Carl finds Vicki with Owens on board a train and kills Owens. Jeff Warren (Glenn Ford), an off-duty train engineer protects Vicki and they begin an affair. Still obsessively jealous, Carl becomes an alcoholic and blackmails Vicki into staying with him. Vicki persuades Jeff to kill … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Lawrence V. Hayes, Alfred Hayes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 6, 2010
Columbia Pictures

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as Jeff Warren

as Vicki Buckley

as Carl Buckley

as Alec Simmons

as Ellen Simmons

as Vera Simmons

as John Owens

as Bartender

as Matt Henley

as Matt Henley

as Brakeman

as Prosecutor Gruber

as Russell

as John Thurston

as Lewis
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Human Desire

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

Though the action pivots on blackmail and murder, the heart of the movie is a regular guy's struggle with the inner violence of sexual frenzy and the outer violence of war.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

Fritz Lang, director, goes overboard in his effort to create mood. Long focusing on locomotive speeding and twisting on the rails is neither entertaining nor essential to the plot.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

There isn't a single character in it for whom it builds up the slightest sympathy -- and there isn't a great deal else in it for which you're likely to have the least regard.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Lang's version of Zola's La BÍte Humaine is, like all his best '50s work, as cold, hard and steely grey as the railway tracks which here mark out the action.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A gripping melodrama.

Full Review… | May 10, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A superb, highly polished example of Lang's craft.

Full Review… | January 27, 2015
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Human Desire

Not as good as The Big Heat but on its own a fine gritty noir. Gloria Grahame is excellent as usual, incredibly alluring but venal and base.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

In "Human Desire," Jeff Warren(Glenn Ford) is just back from the wars and at his job as a train engineer. At work, he encounters Carl Buckley(Broderick Crawford), a friend, who soon enough loses his job in a fight with management. So, Carl travels to the city with his wife Vicki(Gloria Grahame) to get his job back. Which she does. But when it takes much, much longer than he originally thought, this only goes to fuel his jealousy.

Directed by Fritz Lang with no small amount of relish, "Human Desire" is not just a very good crime movie of the era it was made in, but also one very much ahead of its time. First, it is still the rare movie to point out when an older man is paired with a much younger woman which is usually still taken for granted. Second and more importantly is how the movie is also very honest about domestic violence, even if the vocabulary did not yet exist when this was made.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

lang directs this awesome noir movie, with grahame ("the big heat") rolls out her femme fatale but u never really know til the end who side shes on

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