Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte)
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Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte)
Jean Cocteau's adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (originally released in France as La Belle et la Bte) stars Josette Day as Beauty and Jean Marais as the Beast. When a merchant (Marcel Andr (C)) is told that he must die for picking a rose from the Beast's garden, his courageous daughter (Day) offers to go back to the Beast in her father's place. The Beast falls in love with her and proposes marriage on a nightly basis; she refuses, having pledged her troth to a handsome prince (also played by Marais). Eventually, however, she is drawn to the repellent but strangely fascinating… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A sublime, sumptuous film directed by Jean Cocteau with the help of Rene Clement."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Studied or not for philosophy, this is a sensuously fascinating film, a fanciful poem in movement given full articulation on the screen."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"La belle et la bęte is full of wonder and mystery. It's cinema's ultimate love story, dressed up as a monster."
‑ Xan Brooks, Observer [UK]
"By using the tangible magic of hands through walls, moving statues, steamy paws and the rest, Cocteau makes rapt believers of us all - adults and children alike."
‑ Kevin Harley, Total Film
"Brilliant fairytale fantasy, well ahead of its time."
‑ Louise Brealy, Empire Magazine
"Unduly slow pace and repetitious use of trick sets hurts chances of this film."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A daring artist, working in a difficult time of shortages and old equipment, convened 'a little village of workmen' and packaged a dream for the ages."
‑ Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News
"Children, as well as adults, may find the atmosphere dangerously addictive."
‑ Charlotte O'Sullivan, This is London
"With interiors that owe much to the paintings of Doré and Vermeer, this visual feast is enhanced by the magical realism of Henri Alekan's photography, Christian Bérard's exquisite costumes and Georges Auric's audacious score."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"This film is such a visual delight that I gave up worrying about ideological considerations and just embraced its beautiful and influential dreamlike imagery."
‑ Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
"Cocteau's fairytale set standards in fantasy which few other film-makers have reached."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"It's a magical passage to a more impassioned and bewitching era."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"When bodies appear through walls or fly up into the air, it is almost as if Cocteau's camera has miraculously recorded a dream."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"The timeless fairy tale about a young woman who agrees to dwell with a mysterious monster, as interpreted in 1946 by one of cinema's most brilliant visual stylists and mythmakers."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"It's true that a bit of the film's impact has been diluted by its significant influence both within its genre and without; but the original is still a special thing, a beautiful hallucination."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
More reviews for Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte) on Rotten Tomatoes

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