La bête humaine

La bête humaine

The human beast

DVD - 2006 | French
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Train engineer Jacques lusts after the wife of his co-worker Robaud. Robaud kills his boss and Jacques witnesses the murder. In order to keep Jacques quiet, Robaud allows Jacques to have an affair with his wife, creating a tragic love triangle.
Publisher: [New York] : Criterion Collection, c2006
Edition: Special ed
ISBN: 9780780026247
Branch Call Number: FRE 791.4372 B5621r1
FRE 843 Z86b4
Language Note: In French with optional subtitles in English; closed-captioned in English
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Dec 21, 2017

Directed by Jean Renoir in 1938 based loosely on the novel of the same name by Émile Zola, this French romantic crime drama depicts a macabre, grim and oddly-fascinating story, in which a solitary engineer goes into a murderous fit with a woman he desires.
If you're a locomotive fan, this is a must-see.

voisjoe1 Aug 11, 2014

La Bete Humaine (The Human Beast), directed by Jean Renoir, starring Jean Gabin and Simone Simon, is based upon the Emile Zola novel. The film portrays a well-meaning man (played by Gabin), plagued with instability perhaps by his genes or childhood, causes him to become a not-so-good human (“a beast”). Likewise, a young woman, played by Simone Simon, perhaps because of child abuse, may have been also turned into a manipulating woman (a beast also?). This film explores how human frailty can cause uncontrollable tragedy. The latest Criterion release includes excellent supplements, including a much later Renoir TV exhibit with an older Simon of how he went about directing her into properly playing her role. Compare this "beast" film to Bullhead (Flemish Belgian film) and even the early Frankenstein film for excellent stories of how man’s fragile nature can allow any of us to become “beasts.” See The Spirit of the Beehive to see that maybe it takes children to see the good in some of our fellow human-beings where adults may only see the “beast.” It is unbelievable, but the film was largely filmed on live trains after Gabin was given a few weeks to become proficient as a train engineer (in 1938!!!!).

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