A wonderfully kinetic thriller which in its finale, owes much to Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train of just a few years before it. Hitchcock looked up to Lang, and so it is poetic to see the inspiration reversed. Great Performances throughout and some sublime camera angles that give a sense of depth and romanticism to the world of trains as a backdrop to this tensive thriller full of murder and suspense.
Poor old Gloria, she really picks em! (Big Heat) A great build to the murder in this, I loved all the opening train shots, the layering of tension, the lovely homecoming for Glenn, the grown up daughter entering the room minutes after her 50's pointy breasts. Will Glenn choose her, all will he get all messed up with Gloria. Wonderful. All aboard!
Cynical, dripping with sex and how sex cripples its characters, Human Desire is archetypal late Fritz Lang. Interesting rather than truly compelling as a drama. The train sequences are extraordinary, both as visual cues for passion and fate, and as a theatre for American low and high life. And watch out for the Japanese iconography. No Clash By Night or Scarlett Street, though.
The film seems to demonstrate that man is inherently drawn to violence with a male protagonist caught between two females, one with a desire to love and the other with a desire to kill. In choosing the latter I was hoping that the protagonist would embark on some really dark territory but instead I feel the story took some shortcuts to reach a hollywood ending, this is a noir after all. 9/10
Unsung gem of a noir picture from director Fritz Lang. Interesting to see Glenn Ford playing such a conflicted character and Gloria Grahame was never better. The story is a clever transplant of the Emile Zola novel previously turned into a film in France in '38. Picture is well edited with an intriquing subtext. Ending seems very abrupt for a film of the period but works well in context and frames opening scene.
While this is not one of my favourite Fritz Lang films, it is still excellent and I love Lang's use of the train's forward momentum in the opening and closing scenes as a metaphor of life going on regardless. Standout performances from all the leads: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford.