Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

4.4 13
Director: Jean Cocteau

Cast: Jean Cocteau, Josette Day, Jean Marais, Mila Parely

     
 

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Jean Cocteau's most popular film, this 1946 masterpiece is perhaps the most faithful of the many film versions of the 1756 fairy tale written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Though the ending is a bit on the strange side -- the Beast morphs into a prince who looks exactly like Belle's hapless suitor, and her disappointment is unmistakable -- the film features tight, economical storytelling and enough visual fireworks (including many stunningly executed optical effects) to enrapture viewers from beginning to end. The actors are uniformly wonderful: Josette Day makes a stunning Belle, and Cocteau regular Jean Marais excels in a triple role that includes the magnificent Beast. The real stars of the film, though, are Cocteau himself, who gives the film a shimmering, romantic look, and the brilliant costume and set design. The Beast's make-up, in particular, works beautifully; it's just realistic enough to be convincing, while allowing Marais to emote through his eyes and subtle facial tics. The unforgettable sets, which include human arm candelabras and moving statues, are a marvel of impressionistic romanticism, filled with symbolism that hints at the story's darker implications. Forget Disney -- this is the closest anyone's come to capturing the essence of a fairy tale on film. Mark Pittillo
All Movie Guide
Jean Cocteau's most popular film, this 1946 masterpiece is perhaps the most faithful of the many film versions of the 1756 fairy tale written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Though the ending is a bit on the strange side -- the Beast morphs into a prince who looks exactly like Belle's hapless suitor, and her disappointment is unmistakable -- the film features tight, economical storytelling and enough visual fireworks (including many stunningly executed optical effects) to enrapture viewers from beginning to end. The actors are uniformly wonderful; Josette Day makes a stunning Belle, and Cocteau regular Jean Marais excels in a triple role that includes the magnificent Beast. The real stars of the film, though, are Cocteau himself, who gives the film a shimmering, romantic look, and the brilliant costume and set design. The Beast's makeup, in particular, works beautifully; it's just realistic enough to be convincing, while allowing Marais to emote through his eyes and subtle facial tics. The unforgettable sets, which include human-arm candelabras and moving statues, are a marvel of impressionistic romanticism, filled with symbolism that hints at the story's darker implications. Forget Disney -- this is the closest anyone's come to capturing the essence of a fairy tale on film.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/03/1998
UPC:
0037429122020
Original Release:
1946
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Time:
1:33:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Josette Day Beauty
Jean Marais The Beast/ Avenant
Mila Parely Adelaide
Nane Germon Felice
Michel Auclair Ludovic
Marcel André The Merchant
Raoul Marco The Usurer
Georges Auric Actor
Jean Cocteau Magic objects [uncredited]

Technical Credits
Jean Cocteau Director,Screenwriter
Henri Alékan Cinematographer
Hagop Arakelian Makeup
Georges Auric Score Composer
Christian Berard Art Director,Costumes/Costume Designer
René Clément Consultant/advisor
Irving Drutman Consultant/advisor
Marcel Escoffier Costumes/Costume Designer
Claude Iberia Editor
René Moulaert Set Decoration/Design
André Paulve Producer

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