Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Frequently Asked Questions
French director Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête [English: Beauty and the Beast] is based on the fairy tale of French novelist Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont [1711-1780]. Although Cocteau added some subplots of his own when he wrote the screenplay, he pretty much adheres to the basic tale.
Yes. You can read the tale of Beauty and the Beast here.
Some viewers have suggested that director Jean Cocteau cast Jean Marais in both roles because they were off-screen lovers at the time. However, others believe Cocteau had something more profound in mind. One theory is based on the fact that avenant can be translated from French to English as "pleasant to look at; handsome." As such, Avenant is a sort of Prince Charming, the antithesis of the Beast. When the Beast begins to die of heartbreak, it is Avenant who becomes a beast, and the Beast turns into the handsome prince. The moral: True love can turn a beast into a handsome prince; selfish love can turn a handsome prince into a beast.
The Prince explains that a fairy had cursed him because his parents didn't believe in fairies. He tells Belle that they will now go back to his castle, and her father will live with them. Belle's sisters will now serve her. They'll reach the castle by flying. Belle and the Prince embrace and rise up into the sky. They kiss as they float away.