Film + Le Cocktail Français
La Belle et la Bête
Tuesday, February 28
La Belle et la Bête is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. Starring Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais, it is an adaptation of the 1757 fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published as part of a fairy tale anthology.
Upon the film's December 1947 New York City release, critic Bosley Crowther called the film a "priceless fabric of subtle images ... of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas;" according to Crowther, "the dialogue, in French, is spare and simple, with the story largely told in pantomime, and the music of Georges Auric accompanies the dreamy, fitful moods. The settings are likewise expressive, many of the exteriors having been filmed for rare architectural vignettes at Raray, one of the most beautiful palaces and parks in all France. And the costumes, too, by Christian Bérard and Escoffier, are exquisite affairs, glittering and imaginative."
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