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Beauty and the Beast (1946)

La belle et la bête (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 23 December 1947 (USA)
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A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors:

Jean Cocteau, René Clément (uncredited)

Writers:

Jean Cocteau (dialogue), Jean Cocteau (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Marais ... La Bête (The Beast) / The Prince / Avenant
Josette Day ... Belle
Mila Parély Mila Parély ... Félicie
Nane Germon Nane Germon ... Adélaïde
Michel Auclair ... Ludovic
Raoul Marco ... The Usurer
Marcel André Marcel André ... Belle's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janice Felty Janice Felty ... La Belle (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
John Kuether John Kuether ... The Father / The usurer (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Jacques Marbeuf Jacques Marbeuf
Ana María Martinez Ana María Martinez ... Félicie (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Hallie Neill Hallie Neill ... Adélaïde (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Gregory Purnhagen Gregory Purnhagen ... La Bête / Avenant / Ardent / The port official (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
Zhengzhong Zhou Zhengzhong Zhou ... Ludovic (1995 opera version) (singing voice)
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Picture of 1001 Wonders See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

23 December 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Beast See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,708, 23 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$298,718
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (1995 opera version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Cocteau used several different kinds of film stock because of the difficulty of getting stock immediately after the war. He claimed that the different visual textures added to the poetic effect of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Belle tells the Beast that she'd rather walk with him (at around 47 min), the head of a crew member is visible on the right bottom corner. See more »

Quotes

Opening Title: Children believe what we tell them. They have complete faith in us. They believe that a rose plucked from a garden can plunge a family into conflict. They believe that the hands of a human beast will smoke when he slays a victim, and that this will cause the beast shame when a young maiden takes up residence in his home. They believe a thousand other simple things. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and, to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words, childhood's open ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and some of the opening credits are written with chalk on a blackboard, and then erased. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Soundtracks

La belle et la bête
an opera by Philip Glass
(Not part of the original soundtrack, and not heard in the film's first two releases)
© 1995 Nonesuch Records for the US and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

beautiful interpretation
24 July 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

This famed Jean Cocteau film of the 1940s plays like a poem, moving across the screen. In a triple role (Avenant, a friend of Beauty's brother; The Beast; and the Prince) Jean Marais is curiously flat as a human – it is as the sensual, passionate, sensitive, and complex Beast that he really shines. Josette Day is little more than adequate as Beauty, but good enough for the role that has been written for her.

The tale is one of awakening, of desires, and of strange surroundings. Living statues and disembodied arms holding candles aloft populate the twilight world of the Beast's castle, where the fate of a young girl turns on the plucking of a rose. Ghostly voices, choral and otherwise, shadows and softness accompany Beauty as she walks into the kingdom which first repels and then entrances her.

I have to agree with the view that the great Greta Garbo took of this movie, though: ‘give me back my Beast'. The transformation from powerful feline seducer to run-of-the-mill Prince is a disappointment. It is during the scenes where Beauty and the Beast play out their fantasy that this film has its most potency.


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