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Beauty (1981)

Modern version thinly based on "Beauty and the Beast", which in turn is based on French folklore.


Shaun Costello (as Warren Evans)


Shaun Costello (as Warren Evans)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Loni Sanders Loni Sanders ... Beauty Mara
Jamie Gillis ... Martin Gross
Laurien Dominique Laurien Dominique ... Faith Mara (as Luarien Dominique)
Nicole Black Nicole Black ... Hope Mara (as Jeanette James)
Milton Ingley Milton Ingley ... Barry (as Michael Morrison)
Mai Lin ... Madam Wu
Blair Harris Blair Harris ... Madam Wu's Butler
Vanessa del Rio ... Judy Lopez (as Vanessa Del Rio)
Veronica Hart ... Betty
Mary Chats-Worth Mary Chats-Worth ... Marjorie
Matilda O'Hennesy Matilda O'Hennesy ... Ann
Ron Hudd Ron Hudd ... Eddie - The Coach
George Payne ... Leon - The Trainer
Bill McKean Bill McKean ... Bill - The Locker Room Boy
Sara Wilson Sara Wilson ... Sarah


Benjamin Mara has three daughters. One of them is Beauty who always dreamed of finding prince charming. She therefore rebukes her sister Faith for preferring to pleasure her latest lover Barry under the table. When underground gambler Benjamin loses his business to evil businessman Martin Gross, Martin backs out when Beauty accepts to live with him for one year. When Beauty arrives, Martin invites her watching him giving a casting couch to a buxom would-be centerfold. Beauty's sisters enjoy their masseuse/butler, while Martin enjoys his maid. In Martin's basketball team's locker room, player Betty seduces coach Eddie and another guy, while Martin and trainer Leon enjoy star player Judy Lopez. Faith then invites Beauty to a dinner with her friend Madam Wu, during which Faith finds herself with Madam Wu's butler, Madam Wu with Barry and Beauty with another guest. Unsatisfied, Beauty realizes her fantasy prince was Martin all along. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beauty Knows How to Tame the Beast!


Adult | Drama | Romance








Release Date:

1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauty Girl See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Narrator: Beauty, you see, had a dream. Whenever she relaxed, she saw herself dancing with a handsome young prince. In fact, they did more than just dance.
See more »


Version of La belle et la bête (2014) See more »


Love Music
from the Vertigo (1958) original movie soundtrack
Written by Bernard Herrmann
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User Reviews

Excellent, sincere Costello porn romance
19 January 2016 | by lor_See all my reviews

"Beauty" is one of my favorite Shaun Costello feature films, notable for a commitment to the material that avoids the facetiousness that seems endemic to most porn, and certainly to his comedies. Casting, performances and film technique are all top-notch.

Loni Sanders shines in the title role, balancing a naiveté with a winning sexual display. The material is adapted to the current scene so well that it does not seem derivative like most updates of fables and has a timeless quality thanks to its rather moving execution. I saw it theatrically in NYC in February 1983 and it holds up extremely well three decades after. I watched it again on DVD via an Erica Boyer revival -she doing a great job of preserving winners ("Artemisia" is another example she's picked).

Jamie Gillis gets one of his best roles, perfectly matched to the actor's peculiar persona and abilities, as smut magnate Martin Gross -even the name is spot-on. Beauty's dad loses a fortune in one of Gross's illicit card games, but Gross offers to let him off the hook and keep his mansion in return for having daughter Beauty stay with him for a year. Sex is not a prerequisite of this unusual arrangement.

Loni as Beauty selflessly agrees to the deal, and hops a jet from Frisco to the Big Apple to join Gross's household. We've already seen one of her dreams of dancing with and having sex with a handsome prince who is quite recognizable under his mask as played by Gillis. I don't know if this is a defect of Costello's conception, but back in 1981 I guess any porn fan would recognize him.

The tale unfolds with excellent and amazingly brief sex scenes, some lasting only seconds compared to the 30-minute norm of today. When they first meet, Loni sees an aspiring model humped by Gillis on his desk, and this footage of Kathy Harcourt is perhaps the highlight of the entire film.

Later on we get to see her sisters played by Laurien Dominique and Nicole Black in action, and a key orgy scene brings in other big names including Paul Thomas and Mai Lin. An amusing subplot of Gross's female pro basketball team (forerunner of the Liberty) who play at MSG features Veronica Hart and Vanessa Del Rio as hoop stars. The logo for this team, the NY Slits, is amusingly ripped off of the Schlitz beer design.

The MSG interlude underscored a very odd touch here: Beauty's family name is Mara, the family name of the New York Giants dynasty owners, of whom actress (currently nominated for an Oscar) Rooney Mara represents the young generation. Total coincidence but interesting to note while watching "Beauty Mara"'s adventures.

Also ripped off and overplayed are rock tracks from the likes of Pink Floyd as well as an eclectic bunch of pirated music inevitably including some "Vertigo" cues by Bernard Herrmann. That is one constant of a Costello film whether it be a 1-day wonder or a relatively lavish (by comparison) production like this one or its companion film "Pandora's Mirror".

Admitted happy ending is a welcome surprise from any pornographer, and Costello not only delivers it smartly but even avoids having an extraneous final sex scene, finishing his classic movie with narrative material instead.

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