LA BELLE ET LA BETE

France, 1946 (MIFF 1952)

Director: Emile Darbon, Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau's version of the traditional fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, this film contains some of the loveliest photography ever seen. The simple folk legend written in 1757 by Madame le Prince de Beaumont has been transdormed into a wonderful spectacle, with many witty and surrealist touches.

The story deals with the rich merchant who had three daughters, two haughty and vain, and the youngest, Belle, as beautiful as she was good. Before going on a long journey, he asked them what gifts they woudl like. One wanted a monkey, the other a parakeet, but Belle asked only for a rose.

Lost in an enchanted wood, the merchant picked the rose, and, to his amazement, the Beast appeared and demanded his daughter's hand as the price of the his freedom. So Belle came to live in the magic castle and every night at dinner the Beast asked her to marry him. When she consented, he turned out to be the Young Prince she has loved all along.


See also...

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG)

"Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time." - Jean Cocteau ... Screening at the very first MIFF in 1952, Beauty and the Beast comes from one of the finest exponents of... More »

Blood of a Poet

Le Sang d'Un Poete was commissioned by Vicomte dc Noailles, an enterprising patron of the twenties who also provided the money for L'Age d'Or. Never, perhaps has any other man produced two such inflam... More »

ORPHEUS

There is a story that in 1912 Diaghilev said to Jean Cocteau in a half serious mood, “Etonne-moi” (Astonish me) - and for the last forty years Cocteau has never ceased to surprise his contemporaries a... More »

FARREBIQUE

Farrebique is the name of a farm in the Aveyron district in central France. The farm is worked by grandfather who owns it, his wife, their two sons, Roch and Henri, and Roch's wife Berthe with her gro... More »

The Boiled Egg

The adventures of an unlikely but very recognisable successor to Humpty Dumpty. ... More »

Parade

Parade, a choreographic work created in 1917 Cocteau, Massine, Picasso and Satie, mark decisive moment in Modern Art. ... More »

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