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Beauty and the Beast (1946)
"La belle et la bête" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 15,536 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 109 user | 89 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Beauty and the Beast (1946)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
La Bête (The Beast) / The Prince / Avenant
Josette Day ...
Mila Parély ...
Félicie
Nane Germon ...
Adélaïde
Michel Auclair ...
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)
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

castle | beast | rose | forest | magic | See more »

Genres:

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:

$138,158 (USA) (30 May 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (1995 opera version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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

(at around 1 min) The chin of the actor portraying the "arm candle branch" to the left of Belle as she nears the talking door is visible. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005) 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

 
For its time, as for today, a unique, emotionally involving adaptation
1 September 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jean Cocteau, famous for this work and for his "Orpheus" trilogy (which includes his breakthrough Blood of a Poet), takes the viewer on a journey that he requests at the start to be thought of as a pure fantasy- Once Upon a Time- and, thus, the viewer can expect anything from the inventive, abstract auteur. There is plenty that Cocteau uses from Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's original story, and makes entirely his own with his brand of enlightening the visual medium- surrealism in a subtler fashion than in his debut.

Most people know the story of Beauty and the Beast, even if one hasn't seen the flashy, fully romanticized Disney flick: an old man, in danger of losing most of his earnings, goes off one night in the darkness and fog to return home. He's detoured onto the property of the Beast (Jean Marais, truly with the skills of a stage actor), a creature who's been in a world of loneliness and conflict with his primal instincts and his human heart. He lets the old man go, as long as he can bring one of his daughters over to take his place.

His family includes three daughters, two of which are spoiled and another, Bela (Josette Day), who is like the servant of the house to them. Bela agrees, and when she arrives at the castle, she finds that it's like nothing she's ever seen before: arms holding candles, statues with eyes, and a mirror that can give the Beast sight of Bela when he wants to. The story unfolds, as some of us can guess, and when Bela returns home to visit her ailing father, her descriptions of the Beast as brutish yet cordial and sad, infuriates Ludivoic (Michael Auclair) who's been pining for Bela's hand in marriage. This leads up to an ending we can assume from the start, and it may be varied on the viewer whether or not it seems rushed or leaving a loophole or other.

Cocteau tells the story, with the obvious psychological comparisons between humans and the Beast(s) in us all, and he does so gracefully, however he has his collaborators in tuning the right mood- Christian Berard, Lucien Carre, and Rene Moulart combine to create some of the most dankly elegant sets/design to any film of its time, mostly in the rooms of the castle, and also in the minor touches of the forests. Their backdrop gives Henri Alekan the motives to add cinematography of a truly evocative timing and grace. He doesn't add or take away shadows in certain scenes to make it more beautiful, he adds them so he can apply the right light to the scene, and the results only make it all the more-so worthwhile.

There was something in me that thought, while viewing Beauty and the Beast, that this version could be suitable for (intelligent) children. Now, writing this commentary, I'm not so sure- for American audiences it is a change of pace from filmmakers using he standard visual effects and computer enhancements, and I've always been of the opinion that kids need a peek at a few dark movies during their adolescence to prepare them for what's coming up. But, it is from a different time, has subtitles, and the actors sometime seem to inhabit the landscape and involvement of an opera over that of a movie. I can definitely pin-point this work, to rap this up, as a highlighted mark in the history of (French) film, with an artist who can take his ideas and transfer them to a past work and make them as palatable, and at the least fascinating to the common film-fan, as possible for the period it was made.


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Jean Cocteau's or Disney's. HuGore
How about a colorized version? kungfuflygirl
Was anyone disappointed? sir73069-1
Was the story about how the beast got transformed a lie Mxyzptlk-3
Is Avenant a jerk? inyczreflex
Is it worth it? around_the_pear
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