Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB
Original title: La Belle Et La Bete
France, 1946. DisCina. Screenplay by Jean Cocteau, based on the story by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. inematography by Henri Alekan. Produced by Andre Paulve. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by Christian Berard, Lucien Carre. Costume Design by Antonio Castillo, Marcel Escoffier, Christian Berard. Film Editing by Claude Iberia. The Criterion Collection.
Fans of the popular Disney version will definitely want to take a look at this exquisite French adaptation of the famous fairy tale. It tells of a young woman who is sent to live as a hostage in a beast’s castle when her father crosses the monster’s path and enrages him into a heartbreaking bargain.
Now Belle is a resident of an enchanted castle that is rife with magic at every turn, but none of the beauty that this painfully romantic beast produces for her can make up for the loneliness she feels for her father.
The film is an absolute dictionary of in-camera visual effects, and artistic genius director Jean Cocteau can barely turn a corner without showing a fascinating and original way of accomplishing the most magical camera tricks. One of the most beautiful and beloved films of all time, this film was Cocteau’s gift to the war-ravaged audiences of France in 1946.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition