Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte) (1946)

Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte)



Critic Consensus: With its magical optical effects and enchanting performances, Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast remains the most surreal -- and soulful -- of the fairy tale's film adaptations.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Jean Cocteau
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 2, 1998
Lopert Pictures


as The Beast/ Avenant

as Adelaide

as The Merchant

as The Usurer

as Magic objects [uncre...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte)

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (10)

A sublime, sumptuous film directed by Jean Cocteau with the help of Rene Clement.

Full Review… | December 7, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Unduly slow pace and repetitious use of trick sets hurts chances of this film.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Top Critic

Cocteau's fairytale set standards in fantasy which few other film-makers have reached.

Full Review… | February 11, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Studied or not for philosophy, this is a sensuously fascinating film, a fanciful poem in movement given full articulation on the screen.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

If the first act of La Belle et la Bęte showcases familial insecurity in all its ferociousness, the second part, which actually involves a monster, is amazingly peaceful, full of surrealist cinema tricks and haunting mise-en-scene.

Full Review… | December 5, 2014
Little White Lies

So enchanting it takes your breath away, Jean Cocteau's 1946 live-action version of the famous fairy tale remains one of the most magical films ever made.

Full Review… | December 5, 2014
New Times

Audience Reviews for Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la bęte)

Fresh on the heels of WWll, Jean Cocteau's elegant fantasy is disguised as a treat for children perhaps but is more squarely aimed at adults and asks for a bit of a return to innocence after the terror of the war. Decidedly French (one oaf of a suitor slaps a woman and there is no response to the act), the film is slow for modern tastes, without CGI obviously, and yet it's languor is seductive, designed to draw us closer to the heart of a film that seeks to embrace us in its magic. And there's plenty of that on hand here.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer


An enchanting film that surprises us with its magical atmostphere and dazzling visual effects, even if the plot can be a bit repetitive and contrived when focusing on the development of the characters' relationship, leading to an end that is not as satisfying as it should be.

Carlos Magalhăes

Super Reviewer


La Belle et la Bęte is poetry captured on film. The haunting effects of Bęte's castle furnishings are alone worth the price of admission (or DVD rental). Visually, the entire picture is stunning. A beautiful work of art.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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