La Bête Humaine (Judas Was a Woman)(The Human Beast)
La Bête Humaine (Judas Was a Woman)(The Human Beast) (1938)

Based on a novel by Emile Zola, La Bete Humaine weaves a mesmerizing tale of a tragic triangle. Train engineer Jean Gabin lusts after Simone Simon, the wife of his co-worker Fernand Ledoux. When Ledoux is in danger of losing his job, Simon… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1938
DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Pauline Kael
New Yorker

The film has marvellous atmosphere and a fine cast, but the material, which involves brutal, uncontrollable passion seen in a social framework, turns oppressive, and at times Gabin is a lump.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Jean Renoir's generous sensibility seems at odds with the sterile determinism of the Zola novel on which this 1938 film was based.

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Mark Bourne

La bête humaine may show Renoir at his darkest, but as always Renoir in his observantly caustic mode can't bring himself to not splash highlighting colors onto his preeminently human canvas.

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Frank S. Nugent
New York Times

It is simply a story; a macabre, grim and oddly-fascinating story.

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Matthew Sorrento
Senses of Cinema

Renoir returns to the réelle du train with little comfort for his 'human beast.'

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

[Renoir's] expertise behind the camera--and his driving curiosity for human constructs and human nature...elevate La bete humaine to an unforgettable filmic experience.

Time Out

Superb performances from Gabin, Simon and Ledoux as the classic tragic love triangle.

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TV Guide

Features one of Jean Gabin's greatest performances -- one with even more force than the locomotive he powers.

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Laura Bushell

The central performances in this tragic love triangle are brilliant and utterly convincing.

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Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Randy Tippy
Lovely Simone Simon (see <i>Cat People</i>) is a deadly seductress scheming her way from relationship to relationship. An accomplice to murder, she… More
Antonius Block
Based on the Emile Zola novel of the same name, you of course expect this film to channel the darker sides of man, and show his animal nature. The beginning… More
Cindy I
I dunno about this one. It had its moments of suspense, romance, etc. The scenes on the train and in the trainyard looked great. I've liked Jean Gabin in… More
Simeon Deutsch
Jean Renoir's dark retelling of the classic novel by Emile Zola has beautiful naturalist cinematography, stunning locomotive sequences, and bravura talent… More
Veronique Kwak
a french renoir classic adapted from the realism mater emile zola's "the human beast"....zola's been noted for his naturalistic and… More
Tom S.
Criterion really did an incredible job with this transfer. The images are so crisp.