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The Human Beast

The Human Beast

A Feature film by Jean Renoir

Produced by Paris Film Production

Release in France : 21/12/1938


    The story centers on a train engineer Jacques Lantier (Jean Gabin) who lusts after Séverine Roubaud (Simone Simon), the wife of his co-worker Roubaud (Fernand Ledoux).

    Roubaud discovers that his young wife, Séverine, has been seduced by her godfather, the wealthy Grandmorin. Jealous, Roubaud forces Séverine to assist in the murder of Grandmorin during a train journey. The murder is witnessed by a railway worker, Jacques Lantier, but he keeps quiet because he is in love with Séverine. Disgusted by what her husband has done, Séverine has an affair with Lantier and pleads with him to kill her cruel husband. Little does she know that Lantier also has a dark secret.

    Source : Wikipedia

    Actors (20)

    Production and distribution (2)

    Executive Producer :

    Paris Film Production

    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country


    Jean Gabin wanted to star in a film about locomotives and wrote a screenplay called Train d'Enfer, that was originally to be directed by Jean Grémillon. Dissatisfied with the script, Grémillon suggested an adaptation of La Bête humaine. After his success starring in Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937), Gabin preferred to work with Jean Renoir again, and hired him instead of Grémillon. Renoir eventually wrote the script over a period of eight to fifteen days. After its completion, Renoir read the screenplay to Gabin's producer Robert Hakim, who asked for "trifling modifications".

    Renoir confessed that at the time when he wrote the screenplay, he had not read Zola's novel in over 25 years: "While I was shooting, I kept modifying the scenario, bringing it closer to Zola ... the dialogue which I gave Simone Simon is almost entirely copied from Zola's text. Since I was working at top speed, I'd re-read a few pages of Zola every night, to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything."

    Filming commenced on August 12, 1938, with exteriors on the Gare Saint-Lazare and at Le Havre. Due to running time restrictions, Renoir had to omit several celebrated occurrences from the novel.

    Source : Wikipedia

    Full credits (12)

    Assistant directors :

    Suzanne De Troeye, Claude Renoir

    Producers :

    Raymond Hakim, Robert Hakim

    Director of Photography :

    Curt Courant

    Assistant Operators :

    Claude Renoir, Alain Renoir

    Continuity supervisor :

    Suzanne De Troeye

    Production Designer :

    Eugène Lourie

    Author of original work :

    Émile Zola

    Screenwriter :

    Jean Renoir

    Sound Recordist :

    Robert Teisseire

    Editors :

    Suzanne De Troeye, Marguerite Houllé-Renoir

    Music Composer :

    Joseph Kosma

    Still Photographer :

    Sam Levin

    Technical details

    Feature film

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    Production country :

    France (100.0%)

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    100% French (France)

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    Runtime :

    1 h 40 min

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    Color type :

    Black & White

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