9 Comments

  1. This is not one of Lang’s better films, but it’s still vital for a number of reasons, and it boasts some striking visuals and excellent use of sound (two points you readily make in what appears to be a generally favorable review, despite the reservations–“a sordid noir melodrama of lust, infidelity, murder and deceit.”
    I was most fascinated to learn that the “poetic realism” of the film and its inherent “eroticism” was a precursor to American film noir and that the film is “more deterministic” as a result of it’s falling into a late release cycle (1952).
    The opening of Mr. D’Ambra’s review is superlative as he thrillingly relates the ‘locomotive sequence’ which is largely fueled by sound and music, and then segues into the entrances of Glenn Ford in a montage that serves as a “parallel metaphor.” Great stuff!
    The final paragraph, which stresses the “ugliness and malevolence” of the work, is as impressive as the opening.
    At the end of the day, I am pretty much on the same page with you on this film, and I thank you for this intelligent and thought-provoking revisitation.

  2. Hi! Tony,
    What a very detailed review,(of a film that I watched “unattentively” therefore, I must seek it out again to watch attentively! ) and a very interesting point you make: When it comes to comparing directors Renoir and Lang version(s)of Emil Zola’s novel La Bête Humaine.
    I have only watched Lang’s version only once?!? and that was on “The Box,” but when it comes to Renoir version, I have not had the “good fortune” of watching La Bete Humaine starring Jean Gabin and Simone Simon yet. Therefore, I must seek this film out “La Bete Humaine” too!

    Btw, Tony D’Ambra,
    You “won” that bet due to my “forgetfulness” (“slap self on head”) Oh!.. another thing!…Here wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year!
    Take care!
    dcd ;)

  3. Thanks for your comments Sam. You are right, I am decidedly hesitant about this Lang feature, even after discounting the weakness of Ford’s performance, and I can’t really pin down why… I think I will need to watch it again.

    Thanks as always DCD. I would definitely recommend Renoir’s version. As a fan of Bogart you will certainly find the persona of Jean Gabin fascinating. Thanks also for your kind seasonal greeting, and I too wish you and your family all the best for the festive season!

  4. Typo Correction:This is what I should have wrote: Here wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year!

    Btw, Tony, I think that the “La Bestia Umana” poster looks “darker” and more “noirish” than the La Bete Humaine poster that you posted a while back and featured actor Jean Gabin and actress Simone Simon.

    I feel the La Bete Humaine poster look more “romanticize,” but then again maybe I’am wrong.

    dcd ;)

  5. It is to my everlasting shame as a noir enthusiast and Fritz Lang fan that I have yet to see this. (I also like Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame a great deal.) For the unfortunate reason that I have been woefully unable to find a copy of this anywhere. Nevertheless, I skimmed through portions of your review, Tony, and it was quite exquisite, though I am greatly handicapped here, having never seen this film.

  6. Hi! Tony,
    Thanks!…a lot!…I was about to repost your TCM schedule on my blog because I changed my template the next thing I know a “hail” storm developed!:)
    I thought I was still on my blog! haha!…Do it only “snow” in “noirish’ cities?
    Take care!
    dcd ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *