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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

Featured in Predcasná úmrtí: Bozský skeptik (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Panna a Netvor
10 July 2010 | by vainoniSee all my reviews

So, "Panna a Netvor"--"Beauty and the Beast" for English-speakers, though a more accurate translation is "The Maiden and the Monster." It's a more horror-tinged version of the tale, and is really not for little kids.

Fairy tales seem to specialize in magical transformations: beasts into humans , paupers into princes and princesses, etc. But look again and you'll see that the transformations aren't really transformations--Cinderella, for example, was always a princess on the inside; she just had to be recognized as one. So what many fairy tales do is show things as they really are--or, at least, as they should be. This version of "Beauty and the Beast" shows things as they are *and* how they should be, and works toward bridging the gap, making it more modern than your average fairy tale.

When the story starts, things as they are are pretty horrifying: our "Beast" (Netvor) is not a prince--he is never called one, he lives in a mansion and not a castle, and though he has servants they are monsters similar to himself. He is partially a bird and partially a beast (which is represented by both his body and a sinister voice that tells him to kill things, including our "Beauty," Julie). His little voice tells us that he's been fully transmogrified for at least twenty years.

It's usually pretty hard to make any "Beauty" interesting, since she merely exists to be lovely and good so that the "Beast" figure can be saved, but this movie gives it a go. As in the original fairy tale, she is the daughter of a merchant, not an inventor (as in the Disney version); her two selfish, money-obsessed sisters are slated to be married to other merchants, and their father has sunk everything into buying things for their respective weddings. Unfortunately, the goods need to travel through the Black Forest, and the people driving the carts stumble across one of the Beast's trip wires. So all the merchant's property is destroyed, and he and his three daughters are destitute. The merchant goes off with their mother's portrait to sell. The two selfish daughters want gold and gems, but Julie will accept a wild rose (his suggestion, not hers). He *also* needs to go through the Black Forest (WHY? WHY?!), but our Beast has gotten his fill of violence from the destruction of the merchant's goods, so his human side is slightly dominant over his beast one. When the merchant stumbles into the house, the Beast has his servants feed him and give him wine, and he even lays out jewels on the table for the merchant to take in exchange for the portrait. (These gems are not at all valuable to the Beast--magic works according to strange rules in this movie.) Then the merchant takes one of the Beast's roses, and you *know* what happens then. :) When he returns with shiny things, the two older sisters are thrilled, even after the merchant tells them he needs to die because he took a rose for Julie. Unless, of course, one of the three daughters will go back to the Beast in his place (that's always part of the deal)...and there's Julie, riding off into the forest. Notice, though, that the merchant said nothing about a beast.

Anyway, Julie shows up at the manor, drinks some suspicious-looking wine (poured by the gremlin who lives in the chandelier) and passes out. She then has a dream of being shut up in a coffin (alive) and rescued by (we presume) the Beast in human form. While she sleeps, the Beast stands over her and struggles with the little voice that wants him to kill her and drink her blood. Finally, he runs off into the woods and kills a deer.

When Julie wakes up, she's alone. While she's sitting in front of the fire, the Beast shows up behind her, ordering her not to turn around, and he interrogates her. She tells him why she's there. He asks if he can visit her the next night, and the cat-and-mouse chase begins. Believe it or not, the little voice is still pretty adamant about killing her. So her days go on--every morning and evening, the table seems to set itself, and she has pretty jewels and dresses to wear, and life is good. The Beast visits her at night, but only briefly.

Now I need to back up a bit. Magic, in this movie, is dependent on two things: the worth of the object to be transformed and how much the magic-maker/receiver deserves that object. The Beast's gremlins serve him less because he deserves it and more because his force compels it, but it's the same general principle. The gems that the Beast gave Julie's father were created only because he gave up the portrait of his wife--the sentimental value transformed everyday, broken-down objects into precious gemstones, because the merchant deserved them for his sacrifice. Julie's things are beautiful because she deserves them. When she goes home, her sisters insist on "borrowing" (read: stealing) her things, but as soon as the one sister tries on her dress, it turns to rags, and as soon as the other sister tries on her necklace, it turns to mud. Why? Because they don't deserve them. There is a strong element of justice in a lot of fairy-tales, but the theme does not usually play out quite so strongly in "Beauty in the Beast" (which is usually skewed toward *not* judging, based on appearances or anything else).

The Beast is made human due to the same general principles of this magic. He works toward deserving happiness. Julie is an active agent, but he is (as Michelangelo said) the marble and the sculptor--the substance, and the worker of that substance.

The end is a reprise of Julie's earlier dream, and is very '70's and a little tacky. Ah well.

This is probably my favorite version of the fairy tale. Recommended.


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