Black SplatHuman Desire (1954)

"I’m in love with Jeff and he walked out on me. You know why? Because I wanted him to kill you and he couldn’t."

Human Desire - Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford

Description: Gloria Grahame as Vicki Buckley finally tells the truth about herself and her dirty little affairs as she travels in a train with Carl Buckley, her hot-tempered husband (Broderick Crawford) in the motion picture Human Desire (1954).

Vicki Buckley is married to a brut of a man who works on the railroad as a supervisor. When he loses his job for insubordination, he asks Vicki to use her feminine charms on John Owens (Grandon Rhodes) an important railroad customer to get his job back. But when Carl suspects that Vicki went too far with the man, he stalks and kills him in a jealous rage.

Jeff Warren (Glenn Ford), a railroad engineer recently returned from the Korean War suspects Vicki and Carl are involved in the murder. After Vicki confesses her knowledge of the crime, sher asks Jeff to kill her husband. His love for Vicki almost makes him go along with her plans, but in the end, Jeff has no stomach for out-and-out murder.

Vicki Buckley: You've killed before!
Jeff Warren: Before?... Oh, the war, huh. I'd almost forgot, you thought I could do it because of that, huh? Well, there's a difference. In the war you fire into the darkness... something moving on a ridge, a position, a uniform, an enemy. But a man coming home helpless, drunk... that takes a different kind of killing.
Vicki Buckley: Yes, and a different kind of man.

When Jeff was asked in a court of law if he knew anything about the Buckley's in relationship to the murder, he lied because of his feelings for Vicki.

Later, as Vicki leaves town on a train, a drunken Carl who has been fired once again, pushes his way in to her compartment and demands to know where she is going. Vicki tells him she has had enough and wants to leave him for good. Carl pleads with her to stay and offers to destroy a letter she wrote to Owens that implicated her in the murder. But Vicki (already in possession of the letter) laughs, and confesses to Carl:

“You never knew me; you never bothered to figure me out. Well, I’m gonna tell you something. Owens did have something to do with me, but it was because I wanted him to. I wanted that big house he lived in. I wanted him to get rid of that wife of his. But he wasn‘t quite the fool you are. He knew what I was after. And you know what, I admired him for it. If I’d been a man, I’d of behaved exactly as he did. Now get out of here and let me unpack.”

Unfortunately, Vicki’s painful revelation enrages Carl who strangles her to death in her private compartment. Elsewhere on the train, Jeff talks with the same man (Edgar Buchanan) who shared a train ride with him at the beginning of the film as Jeff returned from the war.

Human Desire -  Movie Poster

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