mostly a copy of the Cocteau film, with Kinski only minor perk
Roger Vadim should've taken note: not a good idea to take from a really good translation of a faerie tale when you can just interpret it your own way. Because, if memory serves, many shots and scenes and moments in this Beauty and the Beast episode of the Faerie Tale Theatre series is just like the Jean Cocteau 1940s film. There are some minor changes here and there- most significantly because this time it's half the running length of the former version and, perhaps, slightly more faithful to the original source story- but overall it's a fairly weak adaptation. Susan Sarandon is as good as she can be in the part, which is fairly one 1/2 dimensional at best, but mostly is directed to look "surprised" and "frightened" and maybe a little "angry" but never so much so to deter the Beast or her father or her sisters.
The show basically, by default, belongs to the great Klaus Kinski, who almost in spite of the big mask and make-up acts the pants off of anyone else in this production just by his eyes alone. He has a kind of natural power to frighten and intrigue, and here he is just downright freaky as he comes out with the smoke rising up from his paws torn from ripping apart deer. In truth, I wanted to see this more than anything for Kinski and on that level I was satisfied (albeit it doesn't help how soft the ending is and, in a way, how scary Kinski still looks when *trying* to look handsome!), but I wasn't expecting how much of a let-down it would be from the director of the cult film Barbarella. It's OK at best, and mediocre in most of it, which is a shame since it also features Angelica Huston as one of the sisters, relegated to a lot of girlish giggling and cavorting with her sibling.
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