"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Movie Review: La Belle et la Bête [Beauty and the Beast] (1946)


It is time for my first movie review in 2020! Something that I want to do for this year is explore more genres than I usually do. Film noir, science-fiction, horror (I doubt I'll do this one, though), suspense, but the one that I'm looking forward to the most is... foreign films! I've only reviewed American and British movies or series' on this blog, so I'm excited to talk more about these. It's not like I don't watch them, I do, but I just don't talk about them a lot. Expect to see a lot of Studio Ghibli reviews.

But, for today I am starting out with a French film! I watched this for the first time when I was little, but I revisited it in November and want to share my thoughts with all of you now, too! Enjoy!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

La Belle et la Bête [Beauty and the Beast] (1946):
Based on: La Belle et la Bête [Beauty and the Beast] - by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
All of a man's wealth is lost at sea but when there is news that he has regained it he hurries to the harbor only to find that the little money it was is all used to pay debts. He gets lost coming home and finds himself at a castle in the forest. Taking a rose for one of his daughters he is startled by a creature demanding his life or that of his daughter. When the merchant gets home he is heartbroken and plans to say one last goodbye to his family, but Belle goes in his palace. Her siblings Félicie, Adélaïde, and Ludovic and a friend who wishes to marry Belle, Avenant, are coming up with a plan to make them rich. Meanwhile her father is terribly ill! Will Belle be trapped there forever?
Genre: Drama, Fairytale, Romance, Foreign.
Length: approx. 93 minutes.
Costumes: 10, I mean wow, these are really exquisite. A few times I thought that they were a little over the top, but still really impressive. Warning, rant coming.
Can talk for a minute about the beast? HE IS NOT CGI. That is a real costume, people, that they had to come up with and he had to wear and it was probably a lot of work. The result: AMAZING. Also kind of terrifiying, but so, so, so good. I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate this!
Costumes by: Christian Bérard.
My favorite: The beast!!!!
Script: 9, no bad words. At least I don't think so, I mean, I don't speak French, I just read the subtitles.
Directed by: Jean Cocteau.
Written by: Jean Cocteau.
Jean Marais as La Bête (The Beast) .
Josette Day as Belle.
Michel Auclair as Ludovic.
Jean Marais as Avenant.
Mila Parély as Félicie.
Nane Germon as Adélaïde.
Marcel André as Belle's Father.
Raoul Marco as The Usurer.
Cinematography: 10, this is so cool! Once again, so impressive without CGI! I love black and white movies, and this has the extra neat edition of the floating hands.
Cinematography by: Henri Alekan.
Music: 7, I remember as I was watching it thinking that it went well with it, but I can't remember what it was now.
Music by: Georges Auric.
Quotes: I'm going to say not applicable (N/A) on this one because there might be really great quotes in French that translates differently in English. I really appreciate subtitles!
Content: 8, there are some scary things, blood, and death, but I think that's it. There might be one or two suggestive things.
Originality: 8, there are the elements that we all know, but I liked seeing the new story bits with the glove and key. Also in most versions Belle's siblings are not featured, so it was interesting to see them being such prominent characters. The ending is still kind of confusing to me, but other than that it's good!
Good For: fairytale fans.
Age Range: The story is a beautiful one of getting to know some one's character instead of judging them on what they look like, but that being said the Beast can be scary. I know that I was terrified when I first saw this and had nightmares actually. When I watched it now I was perfectly fine. So I would definitely recommend this, but wait until someone is over 10 maybe. (And this will be different for everyone, but that's a middle number I would say.)
I want to leave what the beast looks like as a surprise, but if you want to check if it would be too scary for someone, you can look at an image HERE.
Overall Score: 8.5!
Bonus thoughts:
As I have pretty much said everywhere, I love the setting, design, and costumes for this movie! So magnificent and real! Oh, and Belle's siblings are the worst, wow.
When I was watching this last time my little sister came in and kept making hilarious comments which I have to put down here.

[First time she sees Avenant]
Sister: Oh, he's handsome!
Me: He is the equivalent to Gaston in the 1991 version.
Sister: I don't believe you!

[La Betê is sad and lonely looking around Belle's room]
Sister: Wow, that blanket is so fuzzy! If he hugs it I'm going to cry.
[La Betê hugs it]
Sister: Aw, that is too cute and sad! *cries*
Doesn't that look so soft!?

Me: Look at this amazing cinematography!
Sister: I don't like black and white movies.
Me: I know you don't (I do), but imagine, this doesn't have CGI! Look at those floating hands! Isn't that cool?
Sister: No, it's just weird and creepy.

That's it from me (and my sister). Have any of you seen this movie? What foreign films or just films in general do you want me to review? Thanks for reading!



  1. I'd love it if you branched out into trying some silent films! That would be highly cool. There's a fun version of Cinderella from 1914 (available here on YouTube) that I think you'd get a kick out of. Your review of this made me think of it :-)

    1. Silent films! How did I forget about those? I reviewed The General a few years ago and has a lot of fun, so yes, I'll definitely be trying more of those! Oh my word, yes, I'll watch that! I love versions of Cinderella! I feel like I read a review of this on your blog a while ago. Thank you so much for the recommendation!!!

  2. I remember seeing this film and being totally enchanted by it. It's been a while and I need to revisit it. Loved your review. Thanks for the reminder of how beautiful this film is! I second the motion, reviewing silent films would be awesome!

    1. I really enjoyed rewatching it because I had forgotten how amazing the sets and costumes were! It is truly stunning! Aw, thank you! I'm glad that I was able to bring back memories! That's a second vote for silent movies, I'll definitely have to do some now!


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