La belle et la bête (1946)

 


 

A half-ruined merchant lives in the country with his son Ludovic and his three daughters. Two of the daughters, Félicie and Adélaïde, are real shrews: selfish, pretentious, and evil. They exploit the third daughter, Belle, as a servant. One day, on a business trip, on the way home, the merchant gets lost in a forest and enters a strange castle. He picks up a rose for Belle, and the castle\’s owner appears. He is a monster, half-human, half-beast, and possesses magic powers. He sentences the merchant to death, unless he gives up one of his daughters. Belle sacrifices herself for her father and goes to the castle, discovering that the Beast is not so wild and inhuman as he seems.

Written by
Yepok

Genre: Drama,Fantasy,Romance

La belle et la bête (1946)
   
Release Date: 23 December 1947 (USA)
Country: France
Director: Jean Cocteau

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Cast:
  • Jean Marais
  • Josette Day
  • Mila Parély
  • Nane Germon
  • Michel Auclair
  • Raoul Marco
  • Marcel André
  • Janice Felty
  • John Kuether
  • Ana María Martinez
  • Hallie Neill
  • Gregory Purnhagen
  • Zhang Zhou


Incoming search terms

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33 Responses to La belle et la bête (1946)

  1. therealpuppypower
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    I know they’re different but…wich one do you prefer???

    I like Cocteau’s version a lot but I LOVE the Disney version. One of my all-time favorite films.

  2. silverkid
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    The beast dies. The brother falls into the treasure house and is turned into a beast. Are we to assume this is what happened to the beast when he was a man? Is the brother still alive (as a beast) or is he dead? And why did the beast come back to life as a human? He says its because someone "looked" at him the right way. But it seemed as if the brother "took over" the place of the beast, thus giving the beast his normal face and life back. And also, she also looked at him because he was dying, and she felt bad because it was her fault. It wasnt a look of love. She was fond of the beast, but did not want to marry him. Of course, now she’ll marry the gorgeous looking prince who has a kingdom and is wealthy.

    http://most-underrated-movies.blogspot.com/

  3. kungfuflygirl
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    I would love to see the film in color. Does it exist colorized?

  4. CincinnatusC
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    A 3 hour epic with Jack Black playing the dual role of the beast and Belle’s beau. A vast castle lined with CGI arms guiding the way with CGI torches. With CGI, he can even bring back the talking housewares from the Disney version. Just imagine the possibilities! Get to work Mr. Jackson, get to work.

  5. missheatherness
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    This is one of my favorite moives. I like it better than the Disney version.

    http://www.myspace.com/heathererocks

    The infamous "Babatunde" on Dragonmaw

  6. inyczreflex
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    Some mention that the Beast is superficially ugly but internally beautiful and that Avenant is the exact opposite. I didn’t really see Avenant as a jerk, just stubborn about his love for a woman. Can someone explain to me otherwise?

  7. spqrclaudius
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    The traditional answer (for example, according to Ebert) is yes, but I’m not so sure. It seems like the point of the film was that she was sexually attracted to Avenant but disgusted by him personally, while she appreciated the beast’s charm but felt no desire for him. She admits to the beast when he is the Prince that she loved the looks of Avenant, so it reinforces the idea that things were platonic with the beast. Unlike the Disney movie, where Belle’s love improves the beast until he is no longer deserving of pity, in this film, love seems to evolve out of pity, and sexuality is a surprising afterthought. After all, Belle’s sexual desire for Avenant, the only one the film acknowledges, is completely repressed in the performance.

  8. flapdoodle64
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    ‘Children believe what we tell them. They have complete faith in us. They believe a rose plucked from a garden can plunge a family into conflict. They believe the hands of a human beast will smoke when he slays a victim and that this will cause the beast shame. When a young maiden takes up residence in his home they believe a thousand other simple things. I ask of you a little of this childlike simplicity, and, to bring us luck, let me speak four truly magic words, childhood’s ‘open sesame': "Once upon a time…" ‘

    Intro to the film (shown at the end of the opening credits) by Jean Cocteau.

    Thought I’d put it up here because it is awesome and I couldn’t find it anywhere on the ‘net so I sat down, youtubed it, and transcribed it myself from the subtitles.

    Feel free to copy/paste the text to other sources or utilize if you are writing a research paper on this film.

    Also sprach flapdoodle.

  9. angussu
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    I heard in this movie, Belle’s brother schemed with Avenant to kill the Beast. Avenant was turned into a beast by Diana’s arrow for what he tried to do, but what became of Belle’s brother? Does anyone know?

  10. Mxyzptlk-3
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    La Bête says that he was transformed into the beast because his parents didn’t believe in fairies, but Avenant was transformed for trespassing in the temple of Diana.

    Did anyone else get the indication that La Bête was lying about his story, and that he also once broke in (for whatever reason) to the temple?

  11. derekb27
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    If you love this movie, check out the "Beauty and the Beast" episode of "Faerie Tale Theatre"; it’s pretty much a remake of this version. Costumes, dialogue, set designs, and even the smoke that emits from the Beast’s hands are taken directly from this version.

    I’m not saying the "Faerie Tale Theatre"’s version is better (It’s not; Cocteau’s is much better!), but it makes for an interesting comparison (and companion piece).

    "FTT"’s version stars Susan Sarandon and the infamous Klaus Kinski (whom you also need to see in "Aguirre: The Wrath of God"!). And for those of you who insist that you would love to see a version of this movie in color (although I find the black and white irresistable), this is a good one to watch without artificial colorization.

    And, last I checked, it was available to watch in sections on YouTube.

    –derekb27

  12. Gotensive
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    Although I wouldn’t call this film a "masterpiece", I did find it enjoyable despite some problems I had with it. The visuals were excellent, as were the costumes. It really had down the look of a dream/fantasy world perfectly. That said, I did find the acting a bit too over melodramatic, and I wasn’t convinced that Belle loved the beast as she confessed at the end of the film. Which brings me to the ending, which I thought was lame. She claims throughout the entire time she spent with The Beast that she never loved him, but once he becomes a handsome prince, she suddenly did love him? Also, I don’t buy The Beast being a sympathic character. He treated the old man like trash in the beginning, despite him telling The Beast he was getting a rose for his daughter.

    Any way, besides those quibbles, I thought the film was solid. Far from great, but certainly worth a watch, 7/10.

    Formally known as Coilector

  13. doug-bright
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    What was the dog’s name? –The one that was almost shot with the arrow?

  14. thereddishcolor
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    So are they similar? Besides that this one is a live action non musical?

  15. thatcat1960-1
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    What breed of horse was Magnificent?

  16. psouth100
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    it was awsome

  17. Vetch23
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    the old Black-and-white version of Beauty and the Beast with the French sound track

                   

    "Sprechen Sie vom Untergang des Abendlandes?"

    "Geht es unter? Ist doch schließlich sein Beruf."

  18. sir73069-1
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    I truly enjoyed "Belle et la bete" and believe it to be one of the most beautiful films that I’ve ever seen. However, I was disappointed to see Belle choose the "handsome prince". I understand that the original story chose this ending and that subsequent versions have followed suit, but I was incredibly disappointed. Did anyone else feel this way too?

  19. kungfuflygirl
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    I won’t kill the scene entirely…

    there’s a point in the film where Bete’s ears move as Belle is talking to him. He’s looking off at something that catches his interest. Just halarious to me!!

  20. around_the_pear
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    I would really like to see this movie but I’m having trouble getting hold of a copy. I found that I can order it from Criteriondvd but with postage and handling it’ll cost something like $43 Au. Is this movie worth that amount?

  21. kungfuflygirl
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    Are their any color images of the costumes used in the film? I loved the dresses that Belle and her sisters wore. I just have to see these in color.

  22. mrplankton
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    i saw this quite a long time ago and was rather confused why the beast’s body would sometimes seem to have smoke emitting from his clothes. anyone know what was the significance of that?

    cheers.

  23. Anonymous
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  24. Diona-1
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    Where can I get any english subtitles for this film?

  25. firefly13
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    I haven’t read all of the posts so forgive me if you already know this but answers to alot of the technical questions can be found in Cocteau’s book "Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film". It also details all of the hardships the cast and crew went through while trying to film in post-World WarII France,how they were able to make such exquisite costumes out of nothing, and even goes in to how they got the Beast’s ears to move… There are also stills from the movie in the book, which are in black and white.

    I don’t know if it is still in print, mine is a 1972 Dover reprint of the 1947 original.

    P.S. Recently went to see Stevie Nicks and the film is projected behind her during her song "Beauty and the Beast"…a real treat!!!

  26. Biodorah_X
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    I want to buy this for my girl for Christmas, but I’m not sure where to look for it. Online, namely Amazon, is one thing, but I want to see if I can find it around here first, before I have to resort to that. Any suggestions?

  27. colonelschwartz
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    this may be obvious to more experienced filmmakers, but i was just wondering how cocteau achieved the semi slow motion effect in the scene where belle enters the castle and she is "running" up the stairs. it almost feels like it was not shot in slow motion and she was just moving slowly, or maybe it was just slowed down a little bit. anyway, can someone tell me how cocteau did that? also in the scene where the jewels "jump" into the person’s hands, it looks like they reversed it, but i was wondering how they achieved the effect of the jewels moving by themselves with no cgi or advanced special effects.

    thanks!

    ben

  28. OttoVonB
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    This film is beautifull on its own but I find it even more devastating with its soundtrack (entire audio, no just score) replaced with Philip Glass’s opera (in 5.1 digital surround!), a great added feature accessible on the Criterion DVD (new edition with the color cover).

    Unusual at first, the magnificent audio track slowly digs under your skin and into your heart and turns a great experience into an almost dreamlike one.

    GREAT!

  29. Feesimple
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    Having just seen this film, I think that Ridley Scott was much influenced by the Beast’s chateau for his 85 fairy tale Legend.

    Also, the interaction between the Beast and Beauty has much in common with that of Mia Sara and Tim Curry (maybe that is best said the other way round), and as for the slow motion as Belle runs through the chateau: well, all I can say is that, if you have seen both films, you will know what I am talking about: the visual parallel is plain to see.

  30. BijouBob8mm
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    Criterian has released a second version of director Jean Cocteau’s 1946 classic, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (La BELLE et La BETTE), starring Joesette Day and Jean Marais. This wonderful transfer of the film comes complete with the extras of the earlier release, plus many more goodies, including a collectible booklet. This unusual film, unfortunately, also comes with the usual price of a Criterian title: $39.95, nearly 2-3 times that charged by any other company for the same amount of material. Keeping in mind that this is a single DVD release, as well as what it costs to produce a DVD (even taking into consideration licensing fees), it is an overpriced package…even for this magnificent masterpiece. However, let us focus on the positive. The original opening title sequence has been restored, which shows Cocteau writing the credits on a child’s chalkboard (only to have, in turn, Marais and Day come up and erase their names as soon as they are written). And we have a choice of two sets of English subtitles; the ones with which so many of us have grown familiar over the years, as well as a new set that are a far more accurate translation of the original dialogue. The French fantasy film still retains a fresh, dream-like quality, with each frame filled with enchanting and unearthly beauty; making it as timeless as the tale upon which it’s based. We are now treated to two different commentaries on the film, the Phillip Glass opera, onscreen talks with surviving cast & crew, and other treats that will appeal to those who love this incredible work.

  31. Anonymous
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  32. Anonymous
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  33. les_etoiles
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    we watched this film in my sixth-year french class with subtitles; while the rest of my class seemed to be yawning, i really enjoyed this film. beauty and the beast has always been one of my favorite tales and this was a wonderful cinematic presentation of it.

    when one views this film, it is necessary for one to take many things into consideration. this film is much more adherent to the original story of "la belle et la bete" (beaty and the beast) than the disney – or any other version – has been. disney took the story and, well, disney-fied it: there’s nothing wrong with this, i love the disney movie. it just helps immensely to think of the cocteau and disney versions at entirely seperate stories as they are essentially incomparible.

    this movie came out right after the ending of WWII, as such cocteau had to rely upon a very tight budget in order to produce this film. vischey france was essentially still in power and would only be demolished a short time later. thus, cocteau had to make sparse usage of obvious locales, fearing to be found out.

    the special effects and costumes to this film are magnificant – in my mind, this movie is not intended to be "realistic" or "believeable": it is a fairy tale and is presented as such.

    the castle in which the beast lives harbors many enchanted things – arms reach from the walls to hold candles; this is hardly the benevolent "lumiere" of disney’s version. the eerie ambiance of the film is almost hallucinatory – sparse lighting during some parts and overly-extravagent visual imagery makes this film a necessary film to watch.

    not only does jean cocteau present a fairy-tale, but he seeks to yank the viewer into the dream-like world of love and fear. while the essence of the emotions may be lost upon the audience – who can honestly connect with a courting prince and jealous sisters who want to take throne? …asides metaphorically – that is entirely the point.

    even the beginning of the film begins with a disclaimer of sorts, with cocteau asking the viewing audience to release their pre-disposition towards skepticism and to abandon themselves to a fairy-tale.

    most assuredly one of the finest classical films, and one of the best french films, ever.

    etoiles*

    i will not die for what you have to say, sir, but i will die for your right to say it – voltaire

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