La Bete Humaine is French production at its best. Jean Renoir, in adapting and filming Emile Zola's penetrating study of a man obsessed by an irrepressible desire to kill, inherited from a long line of alcoholics, has captured that repression in all of its nuances.
La Bete Humaine is French production at its best. Jean Renoir, in adapting and filming Emile Zola’s penetrating study of a man obsessed by an irrepressible desire to kill, inherited from a long line of alcoholics, has captured that repression in all of its nuances.
Jean Gabin, as the humble locomotive engineer, knows and is haunted by his desire to strangle whoever is within reach when the urge strikes his numbed brain. Drink heightens that desire.
Ledoux is the station chief at Le Havre, Gabin’s terminus, and Simone Simon is Ledoux’s unfaithful wife. Ledoux, much older, is foolishly in love with his wife and murders her lover before her eyes. Gabin and Ledoux’s wife become lovers, she aware that he knows who committed the murder. She tells Gabin he must kill her husband or he will kill them both.
Throughout Gabin never misses. Simon is very effective. Ledoux takes the station master in good stride. Photography is good.
La Bete Humaine
Paris. Director Jean Renoir; Screenplay Jean Renoir; Camera Curt Courant; Editor Marguerite Renoir; Music Joseph Kosma; Art Director Eugene Lourie
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 96 MIN.
Popular on Variety
Last Time I Cried at the Movies
How Alfonso Cuarón Filmed that 'Roma' Beach Scene in One Shot
Rebel Wilson on 'Isn't It Romantic' Controversy: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'
'Lorena' Director: Howard Stern Owes Lorena Bobbitt a Public Apology
Daniel Radcliffe on Answering Prayers in 'Miracle Workers'
BTS Wants to Sing With Lady Gaga
How Miley Cyrus Set Up Her Duet With Shawn Mendes
Smokey Robinson Defends J. Lo’s Motown Grammy Tribute
Brandi Carlile on LGBTQ Representation: 'It's Important to Be Out in Your Music'
Rams vs. Patriots: Who Should Win Super Bowl LIII?
MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]
An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]
When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]
If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]
After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]
Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]
Graham Burke, the Australian film industry veteran, is to step down from Village Roadshow by the end of the year. His move follows a period of feuding among the family owners, and significant corporate restructuring. Describing the 2018-19 financial year, which runs to June, as a “reset and transition to FY20,” the group presented a [...]