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Information

A.k.a.
The Human Beast
Year
1938
Runtime
100 min.
Director
Jean Renoir
Genres
Crime, Drama
Rating *
7.5
Votes *
4,725
Checks
1,697
Favs
120
Dislikes
6
Favs/checks
7.1% (1:14)
Favs/dislikes
20:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    Jean Renoir creates a contained noir thriller out of Emile Zola's novel, La bête humaine, in his 1938 film adaptation, set in the (then) present day as opposed to the end of the 19th Century. It is the story of a jealous railway employee who kills a man, and the train engineer who looks the other way and winds up falling in love with the murderer's wife. If my English-speaking readers don't know Zola, think of him as Steinbeck's French precursor, and so it is impossible for the characters to escape their class/family-mandated destinies, no matter how hard they try. Inevitability drives this well-acted melodrama. The train is, in fact, more than a simple backdrop, but a symbol of Zola's brand of literary naturalism. It goes back and forth between two places, but can never deviate from its tracks. The film's characters are thus doomed to repeat the history they want to escape from, and touchingly, they know it. 5 years 7 months ago
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In 9 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #9 in François Truffaut's The Films in My Life
    François Truffaut's The Films in My Life's icon

    François Truffaut's The …

    9
  2. This movie ranks #83 in iCheckMovies's 1930s Top 100
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    iCheckMovies's 1930s Top…

    83
  3. This movie ranks #86 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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    Time Out's 1000 Films to…

    86
  4. This movie ranks #89 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
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    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

    89
  5. This movie ranks #131 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
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    BFI's 360 Classic Featur…

    131
  6. This movie ranks #183 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema's icon

    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    183
  7. This movie ranks #365 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    365
  8. This movie ranks #411 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
    TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films's icon

    TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films

    411
  9. This movie ranks #973 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
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    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest F…

    973
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