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

Not Rated  |   |  Fantasy, Romance  |  23 December 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 18,103 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 119 user | 77 critic | 7 from

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.


, (uncredited)


(dialogue), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
La Bête (The Beast) / The Prince / Avenant
Mila Parély ...
Nane Germon ...
Michel Auclair ...
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)


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:

beast | castle | rose | forest | magic | See All (58) »


Fantasy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Beast  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$138,158 (USA) (30 May 2003)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (1995 opera version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first screening took place before the staff of the studio at Joinville. Jean Cocteau was so nervous, he invited his friend Marlene Dietrich, whose hand he held tightly as the film unwound. The response, however, was enthusiastic. See more »


(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 »


Ludovic: May the devil himself splatter you with dung.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


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


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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beauty is socialized to choose the right man
1 April 2002 | by (wayland, ma) – See all my reviews

Prominent sociologist Bruno Bettleheim believes that the fairy tale has a very important role in the socialization process of children. Each fairy tale addresses a fear they must overcome; Hansel and Gretel addresses the fear of abandonment, Little Red Riding Hood the fear of the `wolf' in the bed sheets, and Beauty and the Beast the similar fear of the `beast' in men that virgin women face on their wedding night. These tales illustrating the effective resolution of possible threats are very important to natural development.

Cocteau's attempt to socialize his female viewers and alleviate their fear of sex is clear through textual analysis. The mirror that Beauty peers into her first night at the castle shows a reflection of her father where her own self-reflection should have been, indicating that she is still very much defined by the dominant male role in her life. Almost immediately after, the bed sheets slide off the bed in a provocative manner, portending future threat, and she runs away repulsed. She confronts the Beast, and promptly faints. This scene establishes her fear and immaturity; however, Beauty and the Beast become progressively closer through the film, holding hands and talking. During her visit to her family, he caresses and wraps himself in her blanket, another reference to his association with her bed. When she decides she has remained at home too long, she lies on her bed and looks at the beast in the mirror's reflection. This is the point of transition, where she links this new dominant male figure to her bed. Instead of being repulsed by his reflection, she lovingly caresses the mirror and returns to him. In order to do this she slips on his glove, perhaps a reference to condoms. His glove is a perfect fit, displaying their perfect compatibility.

The Cocteau version of Beauty and the Beast also addresses the dual nature of masculinity where good and evil coexisted, and the lines of differentiation are increasingly blurred. He emphasizes his statement that man and beast are indistinguishable by casting Jean Marais in both roles. Beauty comments upon this, when she tells the prince that he reminds her of a friend of her brother's. The fine distinction between the two characters is the prince's inner beauty as well as outer. When the brother's friend becomes greedy, he transforms into a beast so his inner ugliness and outer appearance coincide.

Socialization of Beauty remains central despite two forms of masculinity because the two never meet, so Beauty's choice between the two is central. The film is about the distinctions between men, and the importance of picking the right one. Since both the friend and the prince have the same attractive male face, the lesson is to hold out for the true prince who is good and noble on the inside as well as attractive.

As the Beast-turned-prince reclaims himself at the end of Cocteau's film, the message the audience should take away is that love can cure any ugliness and make any beast a man. The interchangeability is evident and the choice important. Beauty loves the Beast, overcoming her fear of the beastly in marriage and claiming she will get used to him, the reality of a man. Beauty makes a gradual transition from love of her father to a husband, as portrayed in her mirrors depicting her core identity.

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Jean Cocteau's or Disney's. HuGore
Was anyone disappointed? sir73069-1
Was the story about how the beast got transformed a lie Mxyzptlk-3
Filled with wonder, this film amazes me. goodvibe61
Is it worth it? around_the_pear
Is Avenant a jerk? inyczreflex
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