Human Desire
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Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford) needs the intervention of his beautiful wife Vicki (Gloria Grahame) to keep his job, so Vicki meets with Carl's boss Owens (Grandon Rhodes), and Carl's job is secure. Insanely jealous, Carl finds Vicki with Owens on board a train and kills Owens. Jeff Warren (Glenn Ford), an off-duty train engineer protects Vicki and they begin an affair. Still obsessively jealous, Carl becomes an alcoholic and blackmails Vicki into staying with him. Vicki persuades Jeff to kill Carl, but at the last minute Jeff relents, taking on the letter which Carl has used to… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Though the action pivots on blackmail and murder, the heart of the movie is a regular guy's struggle with the inner violence of sexual frenzy and the outer violence of war."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Lang's version of Zola's La BÍte Humaine is, like all his best '50s work, as cold, hard and steely grey as the railway tracks which here mark out the action."
‑ Steve Jenkins, Time Out
"This sordid little tale is not nearly as sensuous or sexual as the French version, nor is it very suspenseful."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It's a torrid affair that results in murder, but Lang has skimped on exploring the depths of their emotional turmoil."
‑ , Film4
"Fritz Lang, director, goes overboard in his effort to create mood. Long focusing on locomotive speeding and twisting on the rails is neither entertaining nor essential to the plot."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A gripping melodrama."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Unpleasant crime melodrama, but with outstanding photography of trains and working class America."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"There isn't a single character in it for whom it builds up the slightest sympathy -- and there isn't a great deal else in it for which you're likely to have the least regard."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Lang's preoccupation with the sights, sounds and symbolism of the railway yards too often leaves the emotions and motives of the characters (formidably played by Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford and Gloria Grahame) stranded in the sidings."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"Hard-edged and chilling."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Human Desire on Rotten Tomatoes