Monday, April 6, 2015

The Screening Room….La Belle et la Bête

beautyandthebeastYou haven’t really seen Beauty and the Beast until you’ve watched Jean Cocteau’s, La Belle et la Bête.


The dialogue is sparse, but between the costumes, the set design, and the music, Cocteau ends up creating one of the most magical spells ever cast on screen.


Things to look out for:

-Jean Marais (Cocteau’s lifelong friend & muse) in a double role as The Beast as well as Belle’s suitor Avenant.

-Josette Day (Belle), just as beautiful scrubbing the floor as she is dripping in diamonds.

-A fantastic Preamble by Cocteau that starts out the film





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  1. Karen Farber

    April 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Interesting, I’ll have to check it out!

  2. WOWS

    April 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Adorable version!

  3. sandy

    April 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    J’adore ce film, les costumes, le jeu des acteurs :)

  4. Liz

    April 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I definitely have to check this out

  5. Joannesez

    April 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Who could resist being seduced by the brilliant Jean Cocteau and and his beautiful muse Jean Marais?!

  6. PJ

    April 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Totally, TOTALLY agree! I first saw this many years ago (during a blizzard) and it was a most magical night! I loved it so much I actually purchased the dvd many years later. The Beast is such an stunning character that (as old-time gossip has it) Dietrich was heard to mutter under her breath as she watched the movie and The Beast morphed back into the “the prince”, “Dear Lord, give me back MY BEAST”. I am in complete agreement, lol.

  7. CharlieM

    April 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    One of the greats. This version of Beauty and the Beast can never be surpassed.

  8. J Mcgrath

    April 6, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I grew up on this version. It’s easy to take things for granted in our “have it now” age, but I’m always rather impressed the number of times it played out on regular television. Cocteau will be seen! ;)

  9. miss agnes

    April 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I still remember the first time we saw this film on television ( in France). It was magical. The living candelabras, the suspended time, the sisters who rub onions in their eyes to pretend the’re crying, and the voice of the heroine saying “La Bête”. My sister was tiny and had nightmares the night after it, it was really impressive for a young mind. I highly recommend this movie, totally mesmerizing.

  10. CBC

    April 6, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    my cat Oscar named after Oskar Eutis.Public Theatre had a fur collar I called his La Bete His brother Stephan wan name after Stephan Muller They roamed Soho in the 70/80 and the cats too

  11. Lis

    April 7, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Such a timeless tale/movie! Europe is crawling with castles/fortresses and a great many historically accurate medieval festivals take place inside them. I could see you rock n’ some armour or some ornate tunic, Scott! =)

  12. Tracy

    April 8, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I’m so pleased that you chose to highlight this magical film, my personal favorite ever since the very first time I saw it on a large theater screen many years ago.
    I would always say that I would marry the man who understood this film!
    This is a perfect movie for anyone interested in couture fashion, not just for the clothing, both that of Beauty and of the Beast, but also for the fantastic set designs of Christian Berard.
    I used to work for Chanel, and was always captivated by the couture costume jewelry created by the house of Gripoix – fantastic enough to send a shiver down my spine; the exquisite jewelry in the film was also created by Gripoix!
    I, too, preferred to stay with the Beast.

  13. Patrick

    April 13, 2015 at 12:54 am

    You will be pleased to know it was on Air France’s playlist last summer.
    Perhaps it still is.

  14. Patrick

    April 13, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Have you see Les Visiteurs du Soir (Marcel Carne’). I believe you would enjoy it also. It stars the incomparable Arletty.

  15. Alison

    April 13, 2015 at 3:26 am

    For me, part of the beauty of this gorgeous film, is knowing that it was shot through a lens, veiled in a silk stocking, once worn by the cinematographer’s mother or grandmother… My memory isn’t entirely serving me well…

  16. Zance

    April 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Love this movie, especially the corridor with the moving arm wall lights.

    • The Sartorialist

      April 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Could not agree more – that scene is incredible. Cocteau did such fine work with this film. A number of the scenes seem to still be floating around in my head.

      - Jenny | The Sartorialist

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