La Belle et La Bête (1946) is a French film adaptation of the story 'the beauty and the beast' directed by Jean Cocteau. The story is that of a beautiful lady that volunteers herself to die in place of her father when he steals a rose from the beasts garden. The beast however keeps her in his castle and they begin to get to know each other better.
|Figure 1: Movie Poster|
Throughout the film the beast is shown to be both very human and undeniably a beast. As said by Geoffrey Macnab, 'As played by Marais, the Beast comes across as a dapper, renaissance version of a werewolf in a Universal horror film. One moment, he'll be on his haunches drinking water from Beauty's hands, but the next he'll be growling out some surprisingly chivalrous dialogue.' (Macnab, 2014). He speaks as a human would, walks on two legs and carries Belle to her bed when she faints but he is also shown to drink water in the same was as an animal and to hunt as an animal would. Belle is shown to shift from the fear she held when he roamed the hallways after a kill, smoke rising from his fingertips (as seen in figure 2), to a more empathic view, walking with him in the gardens (as seen in figure 3) while talking to him more as a human than a beast. The film ends up 'giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal' (Ebert, 1999).
|Figure 2: Smoke rising after the Beast killed|
|Figure 3: Belle and the Beast walking together|
|Figure 4: Concept Art|
Ebert, R. 1999 - The Beauty and The Beast:
http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beauty-and-the-beast-1946 (Accessed: 01/11/2016)
Crowther, B. 1947 - Film Review:
Macnab, G. 2014 - La Belle Et La Bete: Film review:
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/la-belle-et-la-bete-film-review-cocteaus-forties-fantasy-is-still-a-thing-of-real-beauty-9035506.html (Accessed: 01/11/2016)