Human Desire (1954)

April 25th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Fritz Lang | Cast: Gloria Grahame, Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford | US Noir 91’

Jerry Wald had so been intoxicated by those shots of trains going into tunnels he’d long wanted to do a remake of ‘La Bete Humaine’. By far the lesser of two films by Jean Renoir by Fritz Lang ‘Human Desire’ relocates a very gallic tale by Emile Zola of amour fou to the American heartland (evocatively shot in the bleakness of winter by Oscar-winning cameraman Burnett Guffey) with decidedly mixed results.

Instead of archetypical Frenchman Jean Gabin and provocative young Simone Simon we get all-American boy Glenn Ford (not exactly convincing as a sexual psychopath), while Gloria Grahame alone earns the film another as Broderick Crawford’s lawful wedded nightmare. @RichardChatten

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