Beauty and the Beast (La belle et la bête)

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Jean Cocteau’s sublime adaptation of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s fairytale masterpiece – in which the pure love of a beautiful girl melts the heart of a feral but gentle beast – is a landmark of motion picture fantasy, with unforgettably romantic performances by Jean Marais and Josette Day. Set in a ravishingly dreamlike evocation of 17th-century France, the spectacular visions of enchantment, desire, and death in Beauty and the Beast have become timeless icons of cinematic wonder. Cocteau’s transcendent treatment of the folktale strives, through use of poetic imagery and a minimum of (still astonishing) special effects, to achieve what the filmmaker called a “realism of the unreal.” (Dir. by Jean Cocteau, 1946, France, in French with subtitles, 93 mins., Not Rated) 35mm

Support for this film provided by Alliance Française of Tucson