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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:

Do Women Prefer The Beast In Men? 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

Production Co:

DisCina See more »
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

Costumes had to be made from fabric scraps, and the props department had trouble finding sheets without patches for the laundry scene. With fabric in short supply, the crew often arrived at the studio to find Beauty's bed-curtains had been stolen during the night. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) The chin of the actor portraying the "arm candle branch" to the left of Belle as she nears the talking door is visible. See more »

Quotes

Avenant: Belle, you weren't made to be a servant. Even the floor longs to be your mirror! You mustn't go on slaving day and night for your sisters.
Belle: If our father's ships hadn't been lost in the storm, then perhaps I could enjoy myself like them. But we're ruined, Avenant, and I must work.
Avenant: Why don't your sisters work?
Belle: My sisters are too beautiful. Their hands are too white.
Avenant: Belle, you are the most beautiful of all! Look at your hands.
Belle: Avenant, let go of my hand. Please go. I must finish my work.
Avenant: I love ...
[...]
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

The 1946 American release of the film had an entirely different set of opening credits, and is the one available on VHS. In that release, these credits were presented straightforwardly, with nothing unusual about them, and with the title in English. In the film's original release, available on DVD, the credits were written on a blackboard, in what is known as cursive handwriting, the same type of writing in which the opening prologue appears. After every credit, Jean Cocteau's hand would erase it and write the next credit with what appeared to be chalk. Then, after the credits ended, a film clapboard was seen, it was slammed together, as they always are just before a film director yells "Action!", and then the film's written prologue was seen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Such Thing (2001) 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
See more »

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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