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Beauty and the Beast (1946)

La belle et la bête (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 23 December 1947 (USA)
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(dialogue), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
La Bête (The Beast) / The Prince / Avenant
...
Mila Parély ...
Félicie
Nane Germon ...
Adélaïde
...
Ludovic
Raoul Marco ...
The Usurer
Marcel André ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janice Felty ...
John Kuether ...
The Father / The usurer (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Jacques Marbeuf
Ana María Martinez ...
Félicie (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Hallie Neill ...
Adélaïde (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Gregory Purnhagen ...
La Bête / Avenant / Ardent / The port official (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Zhang Zhou ...
Ludovic (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Picture of 1001 Wonders See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Beast  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,708 (USA) (21 June 2002)

Gross:

$20,324 (USA) (19 February 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (1995 opera version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Avenant: 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.
Belle: 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.
Avenant: Why don't your sisters work?
Belle: My sisters are too beautiful. Their hands are too white.
Avenant: Belle, you are the most beautiful of all! Look at your hands.
Belle: Avenant, let go of my hand. Please go. I must finish my work.
Avenant: I love ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and some of the opening credits are written with chalk on a blackboard, and then erased. See more »


Soundtracks

La belle et la bête
an opera by Philip Glass
(Not part of the original soundtrack, and not heard in the film's first two releases)
© 1995 Nonesuch Records for the US and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Half and Half...
27 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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