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.
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
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
Jean Cocteau used several different kinds of film stock because of the difficulty of getting stock immediately after the war. He claimed that the different visual textures added to the poetic effect of the film. 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 mustn't look into my eyes. You needn't fear. You will never see me, except each evening at 7:00, when you will dine, and I will come to the great hall. And never look into my eyes.
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The title and some of the opening credits are written with chalk on a blackboard, and then erased. See more »
This famed Jean Cocteau film of the 1940s plays like a poem, moving across the screen. In a triple role (Avenant, a friend of Beauty's brother; The Beast; and the Prince) Jean Marais is curiously flat as a human it is as the sensual, passionate, sensitive, and complex Beast that he really shines. Josette Day is little more than adequate as Beauty, but good enough for the role that has been written for her.
The tale is one of awakening, of desires, and of strange surroundings. Living statues and disembodied arms holding candles aloft populate the twilight world of the Beast's castle, where the fate of a young girl turns on the plucking of a rose. Ghostly voices, choral and otherwise, shadows and softness accompany Beauty as she walks into the kingdom which first repels and then entrances her.
I have to agree with the view that the great Greta Garbo took of this movie, though: give me back my Beast'. The transformation from powerful feline seducer to run-of-the-mill Prince is a disappointment. It is during the scenes where Beauty and the Beast play out their fantasy that this film has its most potency.
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