Adélaïde, Belle, Félicie and Ludovic are young adult siblings who once lived in grandeur until their father's merchant ships were lost at sea. The family is now near ruin, but Adélaïde and Félicie nonetheless still squander away the family money on themselves and keeping beautiful, whereas Belle slaves around the house, doting on her father. Ludovic detests his two spoiled sisters, but is protective of Belle, especially with his friend Avenant, a handsome scoundrel who wants to marry Belle. Crossing the forest one dark and stormy evening, the father gets lost and takes refuge in a fantastical castle. Upon leaving, he steals a blossom off a rose bush, which Belle requested. The castle's resident, an angry beast, sentences him to one of two options for the theft of the rose: his own death, or that of one of his daughters. As she feels she is the cause of her father's predicament (despite her sisters asking for far more lavish gifts), Belle sacrifices herself to the beast. Upon arriving ...Written by
For the role of the Beast, Jean Marais's outer body was covered with animal hair. "On my face there's a plenty of cracks, wounds and itches and my hands are bleeding" Jean Cocteau wrote when he was hospitalized during filming, "but the face and the hands of Jean Marais are covered with a so painful crust that removing it is similar to suffer my treatments". See more »
Boom visible at the top of the picture during the entire scene when Ludovic and Avenant first approach Diane's pavilion. See more »
He's entrusted me with the key to his treasure. He has complete confidence in me. *I'd* be the monster if I were not to return.
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The title and some of the opening credits are written with chalk on a blackboard, and then erased. See more »
Philip Glass composed an opera perfectly synchronized to "La Belle et la bête" that serves as alternative soundtrack on the 2003 Criterion Collection DVD and subsequent 2011 Blu-ray Disc, although it was meant for live performances -- with the film projected behind the ensemble -- and it was not part of the film's original release, nor any of the subsequent television showings. The libretto is all of the film's dialog sung verbatim, synchronized with the on-screen lip movements. See more »
Cocteau was a poet. Make no mistake. First and foremost. Not only in history's mind, but in his own as well. We are truly blessed that he was a filmmaker as well, and a brilliant one at that, marvelously weaving together a tapestry that mystically incorporated both words and sounds with the beautiful visions that lay captured in his mind.
Cocteau's vision of "Beauty and the Beast" is a visual marvel. To explain these marvels for you would be to ruin the experience. And it is an experience. But it is one of the poet: borne of symbolism and mythology. This is a fairy tale that a child could appreciate for its romance and beauty, and a parent for its intelligence and use of symbolism and metaphor. I recommend this film unreservedly. If you like classics and consider yourself a serious filmgoer, Cocteau's film is essential to your education.
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