La BÍte (The Beast) (1975)
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No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
In this story, a young nobleman with an unusually strong interest in horse-breeding is being prepared to marry the wealthy niece of an American Cardinal. (Noble families which are growing impoverished try to marry off their younger generations to the heirs of wealthy commoners.) When the girl arrives at the nobleman's family mansion the day before the wedding, she is shown around the house and its treasures and is told the story of an ancestor's legendary battle against a beast. That night, she dreams of an erotic encounter with a man/beast which culminates in the death of the beast. On awakening, she finds that she has been in bed with her fiancť, who is now dead. When mysterious bandages on his person are removed, he is seen to have a tail and one hand which has turned animal-like. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for La BÍte (The Beast)
Thankfully, the film's hateful social commentary can be overlooked during its beguiling gonzo sex scenes.
Seen from its own amoral perspective, aided by Borowczyk's remarkable sense of framing and rhythm, La BÍte is that rare achievement, a truly erotic film.
Mr. Borowczyk's handling of his actors and his themes is sledgehammer-heavy, painfully in keeping with his evident contempt for humanity.
It's ridiculous; it's tacky; it's pretentious - but it's touched with something comically sublime.
Beyond the more censor-baiting material, The Beast is still a barbed, funny satire on sex, hypocrisy and repression.
The story is so convoluted, what with Rolls-Royces and a Catholic Cardinal and a priest who likes to kiss his two choir boys and... hey, it's worth seeing if you're into religious eroticism.
Beauty killed the beast, Borowczyk says, and erotic poetry freed the screen
The film is oddly effective and, unlike so many other "erotic classics," virtually undated.
Seriously strange French skin-stuff.
La BÍte at its best resembles Renoir crossed with Bunuel. At its worst it's like any pay-on-demand porn video available to clients in their hotel rooms.
Yes, it's utterly unhinged in every way, but Borowczyk avoids much of the stylish overkill of most films of this genre and period, and the result is surprisingly timeless
Audience Reviews for La BÍte (The Beast)
I never except to see this arthouse film is very erotic while it finally released straight to DVD, not in the cinema in 1975 because it was banned for 30 years - it's true! This attempts to mix a fairy tale, a sort of comedy of manners and faked explicit bestiality.
This genuinely erotic film is wonderfully photographed and tasteless. The women here are stunningly beautiful and they are naked most of the time. Overall La BÍte is a visual feast. Whether it be from the fetishistic attention to detail, or the visual motifs pregnant with information, director Walerian Borowczyk's masterpiece should be watched with care and attention.
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did, but as a whole it came across as amateurish and juvenile, a weak framework being used as an excuse to show sexually "shocking" imagery. Great, now I've seen horses mate. Oh wow, they're showing that guy's johnson. Sex and sexual imagery can have meaning and can be truly daring, but there needs to be an artistically perceivable point. I found no such thing in The Beast, which largely left me just bored despite all the supposedly lustful ongoings.More
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