Beauty is the backbone of her family. Without her nothing is ever done and no one is ever on time. But when her father angers a beast living in an enchanted castle, Beauty takes his punishment. She leaves her family and lives in the castle where, for the first time in her life, she starts to think about what she really wants. With her host only appearing at supper time, Beauty finds her own ways to amuse herself, but at night she dreams of a lost prince who constantly asks for her help. Through her choices Beauty learns what is important and what wishing can accomplish. Written by
Oh Beauty, what would we ever do without you?
The question is what would I do without you? Without you, I'd have all this lovely time just to devote to myself. Someday... someday.
If you had time for your self, Beauty, you wouldn't know what to do with it.
No, you're much too unselfish to enjoy it.
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Charles Perrault's classic French fairy tale "Beauty And The Beast" has been filmed several times. Though it is not as popular as other fairy tales, it is just as enchanting. The well-known French version with Jean Marias and Josette Day, was filmed in 1946. Then, in 1962 came a forgotten quickie version with Joyce Taylor and Mark Damon. The groundbreaking Disney animated feature was released in 1991. But Cannon Films beat them to the punch, producing their live-action musical rendition in 1987. Starring Rebecca De Mornay as Beauty, and John Savage as The Beast/Prince, this is another good example in their "Movie Tales" series. Unlike some of their other titles which do NOT cry out for cinematic translation ("The Emperor's New Clothes" jumps to mind), this fairy tale is perfect for visual dramatization. Cannon's version stays relatively close to the original story, which is more than Disney's did (very little besides the title was retained) and it has great atmospheric photography, especially the scenes in the Beast's garden, which are all the more impressive considering the film's low budget. Both De Mornay and Savage bring depth to their roles, and, considering neither is a singer, they handle the best songs in the movie ("If You See With Your Heart" and "Wish For The Moon") very well, indeed. The film is rather slow paced, but, then, so is the original story. There are a few other changes as well, most notably, Beauty's sisters (Carmela Marner and Ruth Harlap) who are depicted as selfish and lazy, rather than jealous and wicked. Ditto her two brothers. The father,(Yosi Graber) is also characterized as somewhat shallow. But the climax is packed with traditional emotion, and this is a movie which seems to get better every time I see it. Recommended for fairy tale lovers everywhere on the planet.
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