Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Beauty and the Beast
Il était une fois
Adélaïde, Belle, Félicie and Ludovic are near ruin bankruptcy, but Adélaïde and Félicie nonetheless still spend lavishly on themselves and keeping beautiful, whereas Belle slaves around the house. Crossing the forest one evening, Ludovic 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…
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…
I think most are familiar with the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, there are so many films made about it but Jean Cocteau's 1946 take on it is the only one I've seen. Anyway if you didn't know a man steals a rose from the "beasts" castle and the Beast says he must die unless one of his daughters pays the price, so one of his daughters a pretty young lady goes to his castle. She begins to fall for the beast and see's the loneliness within his eyes, she has a man at home that's wanting to marry her. The man wanting to marry her as well as her brother and two sisters want to kill the…
" Love can turn a man into a beast. But love can also make an ugly man handsome"
What a magical fairytale that was...it has sarcastic one liners...a sensual heroine and a poetic monster....ingenious set designs...playfullness...
I guess what they say is true love has no boundaries :-)
Produced smack-dab in the middle of his thirty year Orpheus trilogy, Jean Cocteau was probably the least expected to adapt the much treasured fairytale Beauty And The Beast. But it's nice to see the idea of arty directors taking on more mainstream fare, like David Lynch tackling Dune or Aronofsky Noah, can be traced back throughout the history of film, and as in nearly all the examples the subject matter tends to bend to the stylistic tendencies of their creator. Beauty And The Beast is very much a fairytale, but it's also very much a Jean Cocteau film.
Chock full of sumptuous imagery, lavish production design, visual trickery, and gorgeously surreal effects like human arms as light fixtures, the moments…
As a huge fan of the Disney animated version of this dark fairy tale, I had pretty high expectations for this much earlier live action adaptation. It looks great and highlights the darker elements of this classic story. Even the old timey effects totally worked on me, and instead of thinking they looked fake, I was completely won over. The cinematography is consistently excellent and I found it impossible to look away. It's a beautiful film to behold and experience on a lot of levels, especially when it comes to the atmosphere.
I did have some problems with it, however. One of the things I didn't fully enjoy was some of the over-the-top acting, but I've come to expect that…
This was available as in-flight entertainment. Don't know if it's a sign that we're in a futuristic utopia or whether I've just committed a cinematic crime seeing this for the first time on an airplane.
End is a big ol "what this makes no sense" but that's part of the little bit Cocteau asks us to give. Some of the greatest production design ever though and special effects that still dazzle. Beautiful beautiful movie.
Before there was Disney there was poetry.. In Cocteau's magical and enduring fairy tale the prevailing tone is sad and sinister, notably in the depiction of the beast himself and his baroque castle. At the time of release the innovative camera tricks astonished audiences of the day and they still enchant years later. The film is superbly shot in gorgeous monochrome and is every bit as enchanting as Cocteau intended..
To be sure, this film is made with a lot of smoke and mirrors, and it is pretty great.
If I were a Daddy, this is one of the first movies I'd show my small children. Not every moment is compelling, but it captures the imagination.
One of the most breathtakingly beautiful films ever made. Every moment we get to spend in the company of Belle and her magnificent Beast is a miracle.
"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..."
Jean Cocteau's film Beauty and the Beast is the first film adaptation of Jean-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's classic fairytale, and no other adaptation has ever come close to touching this magical film. Beauty and the Beast stars Jean Marais as the Beast and Josette Day as Belle. Both performances are exceptional. So much emotion was put into every line that I was drawn in and felt like I was part of the story. Along with the performances being on point, Cocteau's otherworldly touches on this film make it so special.…
Just over a year ago, I logged Jean Cocteau's magnificent adaptation of Beauty and the Beast as my first entry on Letterboxd. Since then, my adoration for this film has swollen into infatuation, and I constantly look back on Cocteau's work to invigorate my desire to explore cinema. This film, appropriately dealing with magic and fantasy, underscores Cocteau's uncanny ability to acquaint the audience with the magic of film. The tricks are simple, but evocative: Shots are run in reverse to depict the impossible, actress Josette Day appears to float as she is pulled through a hallway on a dolly, and human actors pose as enchanted decor. Their simplicity is endearing, not only because of the connection they create to the filmmaking itself, but because they reveal our own willingness to suspend disbelief for the sake of getting lost in a story. I'll continue to lose myself in the enchanting beauty of this film time and again.
A wonderfully stylish and intelligent take on the fairytale. The film is filled with subtle Bunuelian imagery mixed with an extravagance similar to the work of Salvador Dali (two of Cocteau’s fellow surrealists). This is not another happy-ever-after fairy tale but a genuine work of art. It is profoundly erotic as Belle becomes more and more fond of la Bete. It’s definitely reminiscent of the films that Dali and Bunuel made together, particularly ‘L’Age D’or’ (1930). With all this style and beauty, it still manages to be a simple tale and one that can and should be seen by all ages. I only wish i would have seen it as a young boy and revisited it years later to see how different my reactions were and see how many things i missed or didn’t get.
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