All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Beauty and the Beast
Il était une fois
The merchant and his children, Adélaïde, Belle, Félicie, and Ludovic, are near ruin bankruptcy, but Adélaïde and Félicie nonetheless still spend lavishly on themselves keeping beautiful, whereas Belle slaves around the house. Crossing the forest one evening, their father becomes lost and takes refuge in a castle. Upon leaving, he steals a blossom off a rose bush. An angered beast demands one of his daughters for the theft.
There is only one word to describe Jean Cocteau’s spellbinding adaptation of Beauty and the Beast - Magical.
The film begins with a direct plea to the audience, a plea to simply believe as a child would: to believe in the fantastical and magical. Whilst it expresses Cocteau’s intent it is perhaps a redundant introduction when it is so easy to believe in this cursed and enchanted world. It is one of those rare films that has enthralled countless generations, and old and young alike, without talking down to either audience. Above all it is the ultimate fairy-tale film that utilises the illusionary qualities of the medium to their fullest.
Whilst the film could be interpreted as having real world…
Film #22 of Project 40
”Don't address me as sir, I'm called the Beast!”
Before starting his magical tale of doomed princes and charming girls Jean Cocteau takes a moment and asks us to put away our rational and mathematical minds aside for 90 minutes and join him in something which doesn't make sense, something ridiculously childish, something that can’t be analyzed and dissected by logic. From that opening title card it’s obvious that La Belle et la Bête is going to be a movie exploring the always spellbinding territory of magic and fantasy, and when it comes to fantasy you know that you shouldn't ask a question as you won’t get an answer, it’s all about joy, thrill, surprise…
Jean Cocteau's Beauty and The Beast is a magical and transcendent ode to the limits of fantasy, brought to life with exceptional performances, awe-inspiring production design, startling atmosphere, and luscious direction. In particular, the close ups are given a mesmerizing and transfixing sense of purity, adding to the theatrical and intimate feel of the entire film.
This is the first time I've seen this masterpiece, and I can't wait to fall under its spell again.
Why I watched this movie? The 135th Danny Peary Cult Movie that I have watched of the 200 listed in his 3 Volume book series. This one is listed in Volume 1.
What is this one about? The French version of the famous story of a Beauty, a Beast and love.
My thoughts on this one? I could not help but compare this movie to the 1990's Disney hand drawn animated movie. It looks like the Disney artists took many of the images found in this movie and put it in their movie. This French version seems to include many other classic stories. Belle has two evil sisters (Cinderella), has a magical glove that can transport her from one location…
Part of my:
Crossing Off the Unseen
So, my dear sir, you steal my roses. You steal my roses, the things I love most in all the world.
- La Bête
I've never been much of a fan of fairytales, although I know the basic plot-line of quite a few of them, as a child I wasn't shown the Disney versions and thus I'm somewhat ignorant to the majority of them - Beauty and the Beast included. Cocteau's blend of romanticist and surrealist imagery in this imagining of the story undoubtedly creates a beautiful and sometimes fevered portrait of love. The costumes and sets send us away to a land where magic really is possible, where we can watch in…
Jean Cocteau's adaption of La Belle et la Bête is a film of tender beauty so striking in its visual presentation that it for a good 90 minutes transports the audience into a world of magic and wonder. I've always been a huge fan of the story itself and have seen the Disney version many times, loving it each and every time, but Cocteau's version is truly something else. Although grounded mostly in realism and having few reminders (if you can look past the beast) of the fantastical nature of the story and setting, such as the infamous candles sequence, they are so impressive and wonderfully realised that you never forget you're watching a fairytale. When the candles light themselves…
La Belle et la Bête, Cocteau's Magical, lavish almost ethereal adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is beautiful, poetic and absolutely striking. An astonishing technical feat for it's time, Marvelous.
Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Fantastic film with beautiful visuals, enchanting effects, haunting and frightening vibes, fantastic music, the whole nine yards. The makeup effects for the Beast were 10 time better than half of modern day film. A beautiful film piece that withstands the test of time and even stands alone from its modern Disney film.
The scenes at the castle with the subtly moving objects (the candles, fireplace, ...) were beautiful, especially when Belle makes her first entrance into the castle and seems to float inside. Yet I was continuously pulled out of the story because of the performances, even though I am sure it's intentional.
I had a terrible reaction to this movie. I really don't care that it was made in the 40's. There were a couple of "whoa, interesting use of set design" moments and a couple of "wow, I'm impressed that they managed that with limited means" moments but that's basically all that I could extract from this movie. Just like any film in a language that I don't understand I can appreciate that translation disrupts the original script but a movie filled with lines like "love can make an ugly man handsome" doesn't allow me to endure watching it without the desire to vomit. I hated this movie. Mastering the ability to manufacture wizardry through effects shouldn't be the goal of a work of art. It felt like a glorified children's movie and every single frame felt extraordinarily dated. This one deserves to fall into the dustbin of history.
So yeah, that's basically it. I'd seen "Beauty and the Beast" once before and while I appreciate the merits of the fairy tale, I have to say I wasn't too impressed with this rendition. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this 1946, Jean Cocteau version of the story was quite boring and severely dated. Of course, I guess it SHOULD be dated, as it is a story that needs to be told from a centuries old point of view. However, this one just hasn't aged well and it's age is prevalent when watching. In fact, it truly feels more like a film made in 1926, rather than 1946. Cocteau fancied himself a poet and therefore "Beauty…
Simply put, one of the finest fantasy films of all time. Visually splendorous, moving and magical, this majestic work is an all-timer.
In a word, transfixing. Rare do I see a film so aged and frankly "old" feel so refreshing and unique. Cocteau masterfully directs this high art fantasy with seductive and gothic verve that sucks the audience right in from first frame to last. It was a fascinating experiment at that time to have a movie so mystical and strayed so far away from the traditional romance dramas. Innovation seems so beautiful. Contains one of the best uses of slow motion I've ever seen and a final shot that'll ring through my dreams for a long time. Like the film itself. Quite simply, a wonder.
*Watched with Harry Fuertes*
I'm smitten. I'm ready to just watch it over and over. Thematically, the film is immensely pertinent. Ideals and philosophies on importances in life. Surface level vs below. Whilst these themes are overused and cliche at this point, the sincerity with which Cocteau brings them to screen in his adaptation is above and beyond many films. I never wanted this film to end. I was near tears for the whole third act. I'm ranting at this point but honestly... I'm in love.
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