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La BÍte Humaine (1890) - …mile Zola

Related: psychological thriller - serial killers in fiction - …mile Zola - 1800s literature - social realism - realism in literature - French literature naturalism - human - desire - beast - literature - 1890

Zola's meticulous observation of the physical world is shown in his depictions of the railways, which paint in words the qualities of light and shadow, fire and smoke, that also acted as a magnet to the impressionistic painters of his time. --Laura Marcus via 1001 Books [Aug 2006]

La BÍte Humaine (1938) - Jean Renoir

Human Desire (1954) - Fritz Lang

Human Desire (1954) - Fritz Lang


La BÍte Humaine is a 1890 novel by …mile Zola. The story has been made into film several times. It is based around the railway between Paris and Le Havre in the 19th century and is a tense, psychological thriller.

The main characters are Roubaud, the deputy station master at Le Havre, his wife Severine and Jacques Lantier an engine driver on the line and the family link with the rest of Les Rougon-Macquart series. He is the son of Gervaise from L'Assommoir, brother of Etienne Lantier of Germinal, brother of Claude Lantier of L'Ćuvre, and half-brother of the eponymous ďNanaĒ .

Lantier, the ďhuman beastĒ of the title, suffers from an hereditary madness which has several times in his life led him to want to murder women. At the beginning of the story he is an engine driver, in control of his engine ďLa LisonĒ. His relationship with "La Lison" is almost sexual and provides some sort of control over his mania. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_B%C3%AAte_Humaine [Aug 2006]

Human Desire (film)

Human Desire is a black-and-white drama film, shot in film noir style, directed by Fritz Lang. The movie, based on the novel La BÍte Humaine by …mile Zola, was released in 1954. The story was made twice before in film: La BÍte Humaine ("The Human Beast" released in 1938) directed by Jean Renoir and Die Bestie im Menschen (1920).

Hard-drinking Carl Buckley is a railroad worker fired from his job. His seductive wife pays a visit to a railroad offical to try to get his job back. When Buckley suspects that his sexy, younger wife Vicki (Grahame) has done more than just talk with a railroad official, he first brutally beats her then he tracks down the railroad man and eventually stabs him to death in a jealous rage. Train conductor, and Korean War vet, Jeff Warren (Ford) knows that Vicki was a witness at the murder scene, but because of mutual attraction, refuses to testify against her. The two begin an affair with each other. Vicki then desides Warren should kill her violent husband and comes up with a plan. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Desire [Sept 2005]

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