Human Desire

Lidska-bestie-2Human Desire
Lidská bestie
USA, 1954, 87 min.

Director: Fritz Lang
Producer: Lewis J. Rachmil (Columbia Pictures)
Screenplay: Alfred Hayes podle románu Émila Zoly
Director of Photography: Burnett Guffey
Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof
Cast: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Edgar Buchanan, Peggy Maley


While in exile in America, Fritz Lang directed two films whose stories had already been told in the 1930s in France by Jean Renoir. They are Scarlet Street (1945), which is supposed to be a remake of Renoir’s La Chienne (1931), and Human Desire, which refers to Renoir’s work – The Human Beast (1938). All the titles are adaptations of literary works: the first duo of films is based on Georges de La Fouchardièr’s novel, and the source for the other is one of Émile Zola’s naturalistic novels from the Les Rougon-Macquart cycle. The plot of Lang’s film, in which the Gloria Grahame-Glenn Ford pair met once again after the success of The Big Heat (1953), is transferred to 1950s America where a Korean War veteran, rail worker Jeff, succumbs to the charm of an attractive woman suffering in thrall to a violent husband. So much that, in his desire to save her, he entertains thoughts of murdering him.

Jana Bébarová

SCREENINGS: Thursday, Aug 17, 4.15 pm, HBO Hall / Saturday, Aug 19, 10:00 am, Lizabeth Scott Hall