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BÍte humaine, La (1938) - movie overview

BÍte humaine, La (1938)

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Plot Description

DVD Release Date
ē R1: Feb 14, 2006

Running Time
1 hour, 40 minutes

Country France

Production Companies
Paris Film

Studio Franco London Films

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Other Titles

• The Human Beast
• Judas Was a Woman
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Genre: Drama, Psychodrama, Suspense, Murder, Infidelity, Melodrama, Love Triangle, Blackmail, Experimental

Plot: Made at the height of poetic realism in the French cinema, LA B TE HUMAINE is an adaptation of Emile Zola's classic work, starring Jean Gabin as railroad engineer Jacques Lantier. He lusts after Severine (Simone Simon), the lovely wife of stationmaster Robaud (Fernand Ledoux), but has kept his desire in check. While riding on Lantier's train, Robaud threatens to expose Severine's wealthy and powerful godfather, Grandmorin (Jacques Berlioz), for having violated his goddaughter when she was 16. Grandmorin threatens to ruin Robaud so the stationmaster kills the older man. Although Lantier is a witness, he fails to speak up when the wrong man, Cabuche (Jean Renoir), is indicted because of his feeling for Severine. Eager to ensure the engineer's silence, Robaud insists that Severine become his lover. Lantier does not require extensive persuasion. At length, Grandmorin is exposed and the ingenuous Cabuche is freed. But over time Severine has come to love Lantier. At this point she asks him to kill her husband so they can be together. But Lantier, overwhelmed by revulsion toward all that has come before, refuses to comply with her wishes. Gabin is utterly convincing as the tormented lover in this magnificently atmospheric tale of crime and passion.

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 Directed by
Jean Renoir
The Grand Illusion, Boudu sauvť des eaux, Bas-fonds, Les
 Written by
Jean Renoir
The Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, Boudu sauvť des eaux
Jean Gabin
The Grand Illusion, Pťpť le Moko, Port of Shadows
Simone Simon
Cat People, The Devil and Daniel Webster, Ronde, La
Fernand Ledoux
The Trial, Peau d'‚ne, Misťrables, Les
Blanchette Brunoy
Dames du Bois de Boulogne, Les, Amour en douce, L', Marie du port, La
Jacques Berlioz
Fire and Ice, Ruy Blas, Monde tremblera, Le
Tony Corteggiani
The Rules of the Game, Casque d'or
 Music By
Joseph Kosma
The Grand Illusion, Children of Paradise, Une partie de campagne

 Recommended Movies
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Double Indemnity (1944)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
Ossessione (1943)
Chienne, La (1931)
Daybreak (1939)

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