Human Desire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Human Desire Reviews

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March 14, 2016
Fritz Lang's modernised adaptation of Emil Zola's 'La Bete Humaine'. Gloria Grahame is at her most hypnotically seductive, with Broderick Crawford as her thuggish husband.
½ August 2, 2015
A good noir film With a railroad as background
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
April 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.
August 1, 2014
Between 2.5 and 3. It is not at the level of the original novel it is based on.
½ June 7, 2014
An average psychological drama
January 3, 2013
Suffers in comparison to THE BIG HEAT but it's still stunning visually.
½ December 8, 2012
Solid melodrama from Lang that doesn't really pull any punches.
½ November 26, 2012
One of the most unpleasant film noir in the genre. But in case of this
movie, it's rather a well-desevred compliment for its hot-edgeness and hardboiled
melodramatic sensations. Human desire aspires to be a hard-hitting, gutsy crime
picture that shows not only a story of romance bound to fail from the
start, but also makes a series of aggressive comments on the topic of
alcoholism and pathology in families.

When Jeff Warren (Glenn Ford) returns home after serving his time in
Korea, his only dream is to return back to his steady job as a train
engineer. Unfortunately, on his way he meets a vulgar, abusive Carl
Buckley (Broderick Crawford). The man is in desperate need of an
intervention in order to keep his job, and begs his beautiful wife
Vicki (Gloria Grahame) to stand by him during the meeting with his
boss. However, due to his alcohol addiction and distorted mind, Carl
thinks that she met with Owens so as to flirt with him. On the train
back Carl kills the man, and Jeff - who was very close to the whole
action - bumps into Vicky and quickly develops feelings for her. She,
on the other hand, wants to take advantage of his generosity. Being
abused by her raging husband, she finds solace in the arms of a
stranger. However, in a small city every rumor spreads faster than the
wind. Carl starts drinking more and more, and blackmails Vicky with a
letter into staying with him for as long as they'll live. Vicky soon
comes up with a devilish plan to get rid of her disgraceful chubby...

The effectiveness of this film owes much to the spellbinding
photography. It portrays not only America's working class, but also
many in-train sequences, which give the film a much-deserved
claustrophobic feel. The intensity of the atmosphere goes through the
roof as the characters argue and fight inside the small compartments,
making their disputes even more dramatic and realistic than they are.
Human Desire may not be Fritz Lang's masterpiece, but it surely
deserves a view, for it is a violently sombre tale about regular
people, who bring about their own demise through a series of tragic
misunderstandings.
May 14, 2012
Not one of Lang's best, but this sanitised remake of La Bete Humaine has excellent photography of the American railroad, a decent Grahame performance and a bleak story that has more depth than it appears. The ending also appears unsatisfactory, however that adds to the film's enigmatic quality.
½ April 3, 2012
Solid Fritz Lan directed crime melodrama, featuring two of the stars from his previous film, "The Big Heat", Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford. This film is not in the same league as "The Big Heat" but Gloria Graham is one of my favorite actresses and although Lang never achieved the same heights of filmmaking in America that he did in Germany, he was still a great filmmaker.
March 1, 2012
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
January 29, 2012
Greatest Femmes Fatales in Classic Film Noir
January 22, 2012
While this is not one of my favourite Fritz Lang films, it is still excellent and I love Lang's use of the train's forward momentum in the opening and closing scenes as a metaphor for life going on regardless. Standout performances from all the leads: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford.
August 18, 2011
Good movie. Vicki (Grahame) is a normal house wife, whos life is boring-- until her brute of a husband (Crawford) kills the man who was having an affair with her, right in front of her very eyes. After the incident, hes mean to Vicki, so shes pursues an affair with a veteran (Ford). When they begin to fall in love, Vicki asks him to kill her husband-- will he do it? Human Desire paired up Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford again after the spectacular The Big Heat. Unfortunately, this movie did not match up to its predecessor, but it was still good. Both Ford and Grahame where great in their roles (even though she looked like a duck because of her botched plastic surgery), as well as the evil Broderick Crawford, who plays the villain perfectly. Usual noir director Fritz Lang did a great job too, and I felt like at this point, it would be impossible to make a bad movie. Besides the weak ending, Human Desire is a good watch that you will enjoy.
½ July 28, 2011
Deppig noir om svartsjuka, destruktiva förhållanden och mord i suburbia. Bra, snygg och stämningsfull men inte någon av Langs riktiga fullträffar, den där lilla extra briljansen saknas. För oss Gloria Grahame-älskare kan också nämnas att hon här har fått en riktigt saftig huvudroll att sätta tänderna i.
April 24, 2011
Not as good as Renoir's version of the same material. There's too much emphasis on the returning-from-war angle, and the femme fatale is not all that fatale. Nice train photography though, if you're into that sort of thing.
March 30, 2011
It's a battle of the schlubs against a backdrop of trains. Human desire in "Human Desire" is base, pulpy and readymade for noir. Unlikeable characters, ante-upping & f**king-over, quick and dirty and modestly sublime.
March 6, 2011
The type of noir Fritz Lang made in his sleep.
½ January 28, 2011
A sensual, textbook example of what could be done with film-noir, hampered by some second-guessing with Grahame's performance (which isn't bad but at times seems like it could be until it's revealed what she's doing with the part), and an ending that feels abrupt. Otherwise a fine 2nd adaptation of Emile Zola's La Bete Humaine, formerly adapted by Jean Renoir in a superior film but in a different style.
January 26, 2011
Lots of trains in this film. Excellent cast. Fritz Lang's direction is not as noticeable as in some films and is not too noteable. The score is very nice. The ending is good, unexpected, but not too satisfying.
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