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Beauty and the Devil (1950)

La beauté du diable (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 25 August 1952 (USA)
1:31 | Trailer
The Faust story retold, with an aged alchemist accepting the gift of renewed youth from the devilish Mephistopheles.


René Clair


René Clair (screenplay and dialogue), Armand Salacrou (screenplay and dialogue)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Michel Simon ... Mephistopheles / Old Prof. Henri Faust
Gérard Philipe ... Young Henri Faust / Young-Looking Mephistopheles
Nicole Besnard ... Marguerite the Gypsy Girl
Simone Valère ... La Princesse
Carlo Ninchi ... Le Prince
Raymond Cordy ... Antoine the Servant
Tullio Carminati ... Le Diplomate
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Official
Gaston Modot ... Gypsy


Professor Henri Faust, retiring after 50 years as an alchemist in a circa-1700 university, despairs at still knowing nothing of the true secrets of nature...whereupon his old acquaintance Mephistopheles, servant of Lucifer, appears and grants him youth and a new life. But with youth, Faust's interest is diverted from science to women. And Mephistopheles, who has taken on the guise of the elderly Faust that was, sets many snares for his young friend's slippery soul... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rene Clair - whose genius has created masterpieces...now brings his magic touch to the screen in a new achievement!


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy


Approved | See all certifications »

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Version of Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil (2009) See more »

User Reviews

Ah !je ris de me voir si beau en ce miroir!
22 March 2004 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Ah!my beauty past compare these jewels!

René Clair movies are ,in my humble opinion,among the least interesting of the old cinema:Duvivier,Carné ,Renoir,Pagnol,Clouzot and Grémillon are much more exciting.Even the so-called masterpieces such as "le million"(1931) or "quatorze juillet" fail to excite me.In America ,Clair made a valuable adaptation of Christie's "and then were none ,but I'm not sure he was the right director for that.Returning to France ,he released "le silence est d'or' which I personally find unpleasant ,and then "la beauté du diable".

"La beauté du diable" would be interesting,were it only for Michel Simon's sensational portrayal of Mephisto and handsome Gerard Philippe,although very good, is sometimes dwarfed by the old lion of the French cinema.The lines are sometimes witty and hints at the atomic bomb reflect the greatest fear of the era.Simone Valere,Jean Desailly's wife ,as the princess,finds here one of her rare good screen parts -she mainly worked on stage-

That said,Jacques Tourneur made a much better job with the devil in "la main du diable" ,which is the real granddaddy of "Rosemary's baby" or "Angel heart".

Gerard Philippe was to be featured in two Clair's subsequent works ,two overrated works ,"belles de nuit" and "les grandes manoeuvres" ,and alas,sans Michel Simon.

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Release Date:

25 August 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Devil See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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