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Beauty and the Devil (1950)
"La beauté du diable" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  25 August 1952 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 872 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 14 critic

The Faust story retold, with an aged alchemist accepting the gift of renewed youth from the devilish Mephistopheles.

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Title: Beauty and the Devil (1950)

Beauty and the Devil (1950) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nicole Besnard ...
Simone Valère ...
Carlo Ninchi ...
Raymond Cordy ...
Tullio Carminati ...
Paolo Stoppa ...
Gaston Modot ...
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Storyline

Professor Henri Faust, retiring after 50 years as an alchemist in a circa-1700 university, despairs at still knowing nothing of the true secrets of nature...whereupon his old acquaintance Mephistopheles, servant of Lucifer, appears and grants him youth and a new life. But with youth, Faust's interest is diverted from science to women. And Mephistopheles, who has taken on the guise of the elderly Faust that was, sets many snares for his young friend's slippery soul... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Taglines:

Rene Clair - whose genius has created masterpieces...now brings his magic touch to the screen in a new achievement!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Devil  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Version of Faust (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Michel Simon is the reason to watch
17 November 2013 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Good, not great Clair, in my opinion. It's his take off of the Faust legend. I'm afraid I'm not familiar enough with the story (and sadly cannot even recall most of the plot of Murnau's Faust to compare it), so I don't know how it changes anything. Michel Simon stars as Professor Faust, an ancient man trying to perfect alchemy. Mephistopholes (played at first by Gerard Philipe) exchanges forms with Simon, allowing Faust to become a young man again. The plot felt a little murky to me, but eventually Faust agrees to stay in the form of Philipe. With the help of Mephistopholes, he figures out how to turn sand into gold and becomes rich and famous. It all comes at a price, though, and Mephistopholes is a tricky demon. The main reason to watch this is Simon. My God, this is one of his best roles ever. He seems so decrepit at the beginning - he was 55 at the time, but you'd swear he was 90 - and then, when Mephistopholes takes his form, he becomes this spry creature. It's truly an amazing performance. Philipe (the star of Fanfan La Tulipe) is quite good, as well. Nicole Besnard isn't much of an actress, but she's very adorable as the young gypsy girl Faust falls for. I thought the twist at the end of the story was quite stupid and too easy (again, it could be straight from the original story, but I don't know).


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