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Bête humaine, La (1938)

Original Title : Bête humaine, La
Director : Jean Renoir
Writer : Jean Renoir
Émile Zola
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Raymond Hakim , Robert Hakim
Music : Joseph Kosma
Photography : Curt Courant
IMDB ID : 0029957
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poster for "Bête humaine, La" by Jean Renoir (1938)
Bête humaine, La (1938) - Jean Renoir
 

Starring

Jean Gabin Jacques Lantier
Simone Simon I
Fernand Ledoux Roubaud, Sévérine's Husband (as Ledoux
Blanchette Brunoy Flore
Gérard Landry Dauvergne's Son
Jenny Hélia Philomène
Colette Régis Victoire Pecqueux
Claire Gérard I
 

Plot

Séverine and her husband Roubaud kill their former employer in a train. Engineer Jacques watches them, but doesn't tell the police, because he's in love with Severine. But in an epileptic attack he kills her...
 

Comments

WARNING: serious problem with version on Sundance Channel This is a great movie, beautifully photographed, and acted with great subtlety.the performers are marvelous and touch the heart.rarely has there been a romantic couple like the gently macho Jean Gabin and beautifully kittenish Simone Simon.my favorite moments in this movie are the ones in which Gabin conveys - oh so well - the inner conflict and torment of his character - his compulsion and drive towards violence.i've seen this film several times before and just saw it on the Sundance Channel on Sunday 8/25.There is a major, very serious editing flaw in the version shown on Sundance that i wanted people to be aware of as i think it makes a significant impact on the total effect of the film. WARNING SPOILER AHEAD******************************** When Jean Gabin's character Lantier murders his love, Severine, it is within the frame of a song.The characters and their friends have gone to a railroad party.Lantier and Severine both leave early and end up at her house.As they are talking, the film cuts back and forth between an entertainer at the party singing a song called Ninette, which actually describes the Severine character.during the course of the song, Lantier is compelled by his inner demons to murder the unsuspecting Severine.when the murder is done, the shots cut back andforth between the singer at the party with this song describing the coquettish Ninette and shots of the lifeless body off Severine.It's very chilling and has tremendous impact.We then see a shot of Lantier in a mirror looking at himself with revulsion - he looks so strangely in this shot.this scene ends with the singer finishing the song rather prissily to the applause of the partygoers.the next scene begins with Lantier walking in a daze down the railroad track.the problem with the Sundance copy of the film is that it only includes one brief shot of this whole really critical, climatic scene - a very brief glimpse of Lantier in the mirror - and the whole scene loses tremendous power.we don't see any of the alternating shots between the party singer and Severine's lifeless form. this is very disturbing both because it wrecked the climatic scene in the movie itself and because i wondered what else may have been cut from this movie that i didn't remember so well - or what might be cut from other movies that again - i just may not recall or have seen.those that have not seen this movie would not notice the edits, sadly.Sundance may not have done these edits themselves, in fact that is highly unlikely, but they should know they are showing a regrettably and poorly edited film, and should try to obtain complete copy (which do exist as i've seen it).I'm probably going to write directly to Sundance as well as this is one of my favorite films, I would suggest you go forth and do likewise. :)
 
poster for "Bête humaine, La"
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Bête humaine, La (1938) - Jean Renoir
poster for "Bête humaine, La"
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Bête humaine, La (1938) - Jean Renoir
poster for "Bête humaine, La"
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Bête humaine, La (1938) - Jean Renoir
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