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Beauty and the Beast (1978)

Panna a netvor (original title)
In this gothic rendition of the classic fairy tale, a merchant's youngest daughter is held prisoner by a mysterious winged beast.

Director:

Juraj Herz

Writers:

Juraj Herz (screenplay), Ota Hofman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Zdena Studenková ... Julie
Vlastimil Harapes ... Netvor
Václav Voska ... Otec
Jana Brejchová ... Gábinka
Zuzana Kocúriková ... Málinka
Marta Hrachovinová Marta Hrachovinová ... Devecka
Vít Olmer ... Jezdec
Jan Preucil ... Jezdec
Frantisek Svacina Frantisek Svacina
Milan Hein ... Zenich
Karel Augusta ... Nápadník
Josef Laufer ... Zenych
Josef Langmiler ... Nápadník
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olga Fleischerová Olga Fleischerová
Miroslav Horácek Miroslav Horácek
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Storyline

A more horrific and gloomy version of The Beauty and the Beast. Julie is a bankrupt merchant's daughter who as the only one of the three daughters chooses to save her father's life by going to the Haunted Wood's Castle where she meets Netvor. He wants to kill her, but her beauty prevents him from that. Although she is forbidden to see him she starts to love him and the love rescues him from his curse. Written by Jiri Kacetl <kacetl@usa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Czechoslovakia

Language:

Czech

Release Date:

October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Beast See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the father is travelling with the painting, a crow flies out from behind a log. A crew member's hands can be seen throwing the bird upwards. See more »

Connections

Referenced in DVTV: Jan Drbohlav (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb dark rendering of classic fairy tale
14 January 2002 | by mar9See all my reviews

SBS-TV used to screen this film on an annual basis, but it has been missing in action for some years, which is cause for regret. The title may seem obscure, but a look at the alternative English translations ("Maiden and the Beast" and "Virgin and the Monster") should make this clearer. This is quite simply a wonderful interpretation of the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, produced and filmed in the then Czechoslovakia. Cinematic gems can be found in what may be thought to be unlikely places, and this film is an example.

Students of cinema may be aware that Cocteau did a version of this story in B&W, and there is of course the more recent and rather tame Disney version. This film is a very different proposition. For a start, it is unsuitable for young children because of some fairly graphic violence, including scenes of animal cruelty. The film-makers seem to strive for realism, particularly the scenes in the village where Beauty (here called Julie) lives, all mud and images of earthy rural life before the Industrial Revolution. But even the magical bits are portrayed realistically. The Beast's castle is maintained by an array of goblin-like servants, who skulk in the shadows of the fireplaces and chandeliers. If I have one complaint about this film, it is that the scenes are sometimes so dark that it is difficult to see what's happening. This does heighten tension, but it can be overdone.

The actors are great, especially the two charismatic leads. The Beast (Vlastimil Harapes) is fashioned more as a great bird of prey than Cocteau's leonine creation, and there is great suspense as he struggles with his inner violent nature (a sinister whispering voice) that is urging him to remain in his beastly form and kill the innocent Julie. Julie (Zdena Studenková) in turn is wonderfully portrayed. We can see why she is so obviously her father's favourite.

Fairy tales are expositions of the human condition, and the Beauty and the Beast story is no different. "Every woman has the power the make the one she loves beautiful". It's a simple theme, but this film explores it beautifully. See it if you can.


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