Human Desire


Human Desire

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 15


Audience Score

User Ratings: 509
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Human Desire Photos

Movie Info

After being fired by the railroad, Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford) returns home, where his femme fatale wife Vicki (Gloria Grahame) initially sympathizes with his plight. However, she resists Carl's plea to ask Mr. Owens (Grandon Rhodes), an old friend and major freight customer of the railroad, to intercede on his behalf. She finally relents, and they go to the city, where Vicki meets with Owens. When she is successful, Carl accuses her of having an affair with him. He forces Vicki to write a letter arranging to meet Owens on the train. Carl accompanies Vicki to Owens's compartment where he kills him and retrieves the letter to use against Vicki. Spotting Jeff Warren (Glenn Ford), an old railroad buddy and not wanting to be seen, Carl insists that Vicki distract Jeff. Vicki seduces him, beginning an affair in which she so bewitches Jeff that he agrees to kill her husband. An American version of Jean Renoir's version of Emile Zola's novel La Bete Humaine, Fritz Lang's Human Desire is a tragic reminder that jealousy is a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Glenn Ford
as Jeff Warren
Gloria Grahame
as Vicki Buckley
Broderick Crawford
as Carl Buckley
Edgar Buchanan
as Alec Simmons
Kathleen Case
as Ellen Simmons
Diane DeLaire
as Vera Simmons
Grandon Rhodes
as John Owens
Dan Seymour
as Bartender
John Pickard
as Matt Henley
Paul Brinegar
as Brakeman
Dan Riss
as Prosecutor Gruber
John Zaremba
as Russell
Carl Lee
as John Thurston
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Critic Reviews for Human Desire

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Human Desire

  • Apr 22, 2015
    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
  • Mar 09, 2008
    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 n Super Reviewer
  • Feb 11, 2008
    hmm. seemed a bit cheesy to me. all about some cheating mrs playing men off against one another. it's all been done many many times before in many many movies. the same old storyline.... especially so in alot of black n' white flicks. there's a few of the others with the same plot that are alot better than this too!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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