IMDb > Beauty and the Beast (1946)
La belle et la bête
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Beauty and the Beast (1946) More at IMDbPro »La belle et la bête (original title)

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Beauty and the Beast -- Jean Cocteau's sublime adaptation of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's fairy-tale masterpiece--in which the pure love of a beautiful girl melts the heart of a feral but gentle beast--is a landmark of motion picture fantasy, with unforgettably romantic performances by Jean Marais and Josette Day.


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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jean Cocteau (dialogue)
Jean Cocteau (screenplay)
View company contact information for Beauty and the Beast on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 December 1947 (USA) See more »
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(94 articles)
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User Reviews:
For its time, as for today, a unique, emotionally involving adaptation See more (117 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Marais ... La Bête (The Beast) / The Prince / Avenant
Josette Day ... Belle
Mila Parély ... Félicie
Nane Germon ... Adélaïde
Michel Auclair ... Ludovic
Raoul Marco ... The Usurer
Marcel André ... Belle's Father
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janice Felty ... La Belle (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
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)
Noël Blin ... Footman (uncredited)

Jean Cocteau ... Voice of Magic (voice) (uncredited)
Christian Marquand ... Footman (uncredited)
Gilles Watteaux ... Footman (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Cocteau 
René Clément (uncredited)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean Cocteau  dialogue
Jean Cocteau  screenplay
Jean Cocteau  story
Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont  story

Produced by
André Paulvé .... executive producer
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
Cinematography by
Henri Alekan 
Film Editing by
Claude Ibéria 
Production Design by
Christian Bérard 
Lucien Carré  (as Carré)
Set Decoration by
Lucien Carré  (as Carré)
René Moulaert 
Costume Design by
Antonio Castillo 
Marcel Escoffier 
Christian Bérard (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Hagop Arakelian .... makeup artist (as Arakelian)
Production Management
Émile Darbon .... production manager
Sound Department
Jacques Carrère .... sound
Héctor Castillo .... sound engineer: opera version
P. Gaborian .... sound assistant
Henry Girbal .... sound assistant (as H. Girbal)
Jacques Lebreton .... sound
Mario McNulty .... assistant sound engineer: opera version
Rouzenat .... sound effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
G.R. Aldo .... still photographer (as Aldo)
Robert Foucard .... camera operator (as Foucard)
Raymond Letouzey .... camera operator (as Letouzey)
Henri Tiquet .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Pierre Cardin .... costume maker (uncredited)
Music Department
Roger Desormière .... orchestra's conductor
Other crew
René Clément .... technical advisor
Lucile Costa .... script supervisor
Roger Rogelys .... general manager
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La belle et la bête" - France (original title)
See more »
96 min | USA:93 min | Germany:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Dolby Digital (1995 opera version)

Did You Know?

Philip Glass composed an opera perfectly synchronized to the film. The original soundtrack was eliminated, and he composed the opera to be performed along with the film projected behind the orchestra and voice talent. The compact disc recording of Glass' "La Belle et la Bête" can be played alongside the film with a very similar effect. Note: the opera is recorded on two compact discs; hence it will be necessary to pause the film once while changing discs. In the US, the second DVD release of this film by the Criterion Collection gives the viewer the option of hearing the original soundtrack or the Glass opera version, which, in a sense, gives you two movies for the price of one. Glass has composed similar works for two other Jean Cocteau films: Orpheus (1950) and Les Enfants Terribles (1950).See more »
Revealing mistakes: (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 »
Movie Connections:
La belle et la bêteSee more »


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17 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
For its time, as for today, a unique, emotionally involving adaptation, 1 September 2003
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Was the story about how the beast got transformed a lie Mxyzptlk-3
Jean Cocteau's or Disney's. HuGore
Was anyone disappointed? sir73069-1
Belle's Coming of Age Weber4278
Filled with wonder, this film amazes me. goodvibe61
does anyone know? thatcat1960-1
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