A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »
Elizabeth Lee Miller,
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Adélaïde, Belle, Félicie and Ludovic are young adult siblings who once lived in grandeur until their father's merchant ships were lost at sea. The family is now near ruin, but Adélaïde and Félicie nonetheless still squander away the family money on themselves and keeping beautiful, whereas Belle slaves around the house, doting on her father. Ludovic detests his two spoiled sisters, but is protective of Belle, especially with his friend Avenant, a handsome scoundrel who wants to marry Belle. Crossing the forest one dark and stormy evening, the father gets lost and takes refuge in a fantastical castle. Upon leaving, he steals a blossom off a rose bush, which Belle requested. The castle's resident, an angry beast, sentences him to one of two options for the theft of the rose: his own death, or that of one of his daughters. As she feels she is the cause of her father's predicament (despite her sisters asking for far more lavish gifts), Belle sacrifices herself to the beast. Upon arriving ... Written by
The stream that the Beast tries to drink from when he is weak and dying is actually a sewage runoff behind the studio. See more »
As Beauty and the Beast walk in the garden, a comparatively modernly dressed boy in short pants is visible for a few seconds to the top right behind them. See more »
Belle, you weren't made to be a servant. Even the floor longs to be your mirror! You mustn't go on slaving day and night for your sisters.
If our father's ships hadn't been lost in the storm, then perhaps I could enjoy myself like them. But we're ruined, Avenant, and I must work.
Why don't your sisters work?
My sisters are too beautiful. Their hands are too white.
Belle, you are the most beautiful of all! Look at your hands.
Avenant, let go of my hand. Please go. I must finish my work.
I love ...
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The title and some of the opening credits are written with chalk on a blackboard, and then erased. See more »
After watching this in my college French class, I have mixed feelings. Part of me wants to love it, because of the trippy, fantastical visuals, the fabulous costumes, and the surreal music. The other part of me rebels against the blatant over-acting, the cringe-worthy dialog, and the ridiculously cheesy and unbelievable ending...
To be fair to Cocteau, it's a beautiful film. The visuals and music are far ahead of their time. I'd never seen anything like the scene where la Belle runs through the castle in slow-mo, with the magic arms holding the candelabras guiding her way, and then seemingly floats down the hallway with the curtains billowing to some of the most other-worldly music I've ever heard in a movie score.
The special effects are not horrible for a film of its time. I love the sets, especially the house of la Belle and her family. And the costumes! I thought they were absolutely splendid, and very period-accurate (assuming it was supposed to be set in the 17th century)
Now for the bad... I really don't think a film being old and foreign is any excuse for clunky dialog. It's even worse if you understand French, because the English-speaking viewer might assume that the dialog seems odd thanks to bad translation in the subtitles. But the French dialog is just plain bad. Plus, the acting drives me absolutely crazy. I hate la Bête's voice. Every time he calls her "la Belle", I want to scream. The guy who plays the no-good brother was mildly amusing, and her b*itchy sisters were interesting. I almost wished the film had focused more on them than on the utterly dull Belle et Bête.
Besides all this, the ending was so ridiculous! I read somewhere that Cocteau did this purposely, so that the viewer would be left with a bad taste in their mouth and question the validity of so-called "happily-ever-after" endings. If this was his indeed his intent, he succeeded.
Overall, I think this is a question of style vs. substance. I felt the same way about Sofia Coppolla's Marie Antoinette--which had amazing costumes, music, cinematography and sets, but left me feeling empty and dissatisfied.
However, at least that film isn't called a classic. I understand all the reasons that this film gets recognized, as it is groundbreaking in many ways, but I don't think it deserves to be called a masterpiece.
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