Human Desire (1954)
Human Desire (1954)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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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 Carl, but at the last minute Jeff relents, taking on the letter which Carl has used to blackmail Vicki with. Vicki leaves town on the train with Carl -- all the while taunting him with her infidelity. Carl is overcome with a jealous rage that ultimately leads to tragedy. Directed by Fritz Lang), Human Desire an updated remake of Jean Renoir's adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, La Bete Humaine, is a grim sordid story in which desperate people try to relieve their desolate lives with cheap pleasures. Gloria Grahame is perversely alluring as the sexually driven Vicki and Broderick Crawford evokes some empathy as the obsessed Carl. … More
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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 Matt Henley
as Matt Henley
as Prosecutor Gruber
as John Thurston
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Critic Reviews for Human Desire
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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