Jean Cocteau

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Jean Cocteau’s sublime adaptation of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy-tale 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. The spectacular visions of enchantment, desire, and death in Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête) have become timeless icons of cinematic wonder.

Film Info

  • Jean Cocteau
  • France
  • 1946
  • 93 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #6

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, high-definition digital transfer from restored film elements, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Philip Glass’s opera La Belle et la Bête, as an alternate soundtrack, presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two commentaries: one by film historian Arthur Knight and one by writer and cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling
  • Screening at the Majestic, a 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
  • Interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan
  • Rare behind-the-scenes photos and publicity stills
  • Film restoration demonstration
  • Original trailer, directed and narrated by Jean Cocteau, and the 1995 restoration trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien, a 1947 piece on the film by Cocteau (Blu-ray only), excerpts from Francis Steegmuller’s 1970 Cocteau: A Biography (Blu-ray only), and an introduction to Glass’s opera by the composer (Blu-ray only)

    New DVD cover by William Logan, new Blu-ray cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

Ships Dec 4, 2019

$650.00

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, high-definition digital transfer from restored film elements, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Philip Glass’s opera La Belle et la Bête, as an alternate soundtrack, presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two commentaries: one by film historian Arthur Knight and one by writer and cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling
  • Screening at the Majestic, a 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
  • Interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan
  • Rare behind-the-scenes photos and publicity stills
  • Film restoration demonstration
  • Original trailer, directed and narrated by Jean Cocteau, and the 1995 restoration trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O’Brien, a 1947 piece on the film by Cocteau (Blu-ray only), excerpts from Francis Steegmuller’s 1970 Cocteau: A Biography (Blu-ray only), and an introduction to Glass’s opera by the composer (Blu-ray only)

    New DVD cover by William Logan, new Blu-ray cover by Sarah Habibi
Beauty and the Beast
Cast
Jean Marais
Avenant/Beast/Prince Ardent
Josette Day
Belle
Mila Parély
Félicie
Nane Germon
Adélaïde
Michel Auclair
Ludovic
Raoul Marco
Moneylender
Marcel André
The merchant (Belle’s father)
Credits
Director
Jean Cocteau
Written and directed by
Jean Cocteau
Cinematography
Henri Alekan
Based on the short story by
Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
Music
Georges Auric
Editing
Claude Ibéria
"Illustrated" by
Christian Bérard
Technical consultant
René Clément
Art director
René Moulaërt
Art director
Lucien Carré
Costume design
Marcel Escoffier
From the house of
Paquin
Makeup
Hagop Arakelian
Sound
Jacques Lébreton
Sound
Jacques Carrère
A production of
André Paulvé

From The Current

Beauty and the Beast: Dark Magic
Beauty and the Beast: Dark Magic
Out of the extravagant variety of Jean Cocteau’s work—the paintings and drawings, the poems, the plays and novels and memoirs, the opera librettos and ballet scenarios—it is likely his films that will have the most enduring influence, and am…

By Geoffrey O’Brien

On the Making of Beauty and the Beast
On the Making of Beauty and the Beast
“In my opinion,” wrote Cocteau, “one must have Marais’ passion for his work and his devotion to his dog to persevere as he did in deserting the human race for the animal race.”The idea of the film was hard to sell to a producer, and althoug…

By Francis Steegmuller

Guillermo del Toro’s Guide to the Collection
Guillermo del Toro’s Guide to the Collection

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro shares heartfelt appreciations for eleven of his favorite films in the collection.

Cocteau Casts a Spell in Kentucky

Repertory Picks

Cocteau Casts a Spell in Kentucky

Jean Cocteau’s gorgeous, wildly inventive adaptation of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale Beauty and the Beast screens next Wednesday at Lexington’s Kentucky Theatre.

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais’s Creative Marriage
Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais’s Creative Marriage
Reflecting on Jean Marais’s performance as the hero in Orpheus, Jean Cocteau once said that the actor “illuminates the film for me with his soul.” At the heart of the visionary auteur’s extravagantly designed fantasy worlds, Marais served as …
Happily Ever After?
Happily Ever After?
The glittering surfaces of classic fairy tales often mask undercurrents of emotional torment, spiritual foreboding, and moral transgression. This week, our latest series on the Criterion Channel, Happily Ever After?, showcases the deviant forces lurk…

Explore

Jean Cocteau

Writer, Director

Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau

“When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming,” Jean Cocteau once wrote. That evocation of his cinema as an ethereal, unconscious alternate reality was no mere philosophical statement; the approach can be felt in the mood, texture, and structure of his movies. A true artist of the cinematic form, Cocteau, in just a handful of films—some of which he directed, some of which he wrote, but to all of which he contributed his unique vision and craft—created an unparalleled dream world. He was also a poet, novelist, playwright, and painter, and all of those disciplines are reflected in his films—from the prewar, avant-garde, surrealist The Blood of a Poet to the fairy-tale masterpiece Beauty and the Beast to the Jean-Pierre Melville collaboration Les enfants terribles and the contemporary takes on classical mythology Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus. Each of these works is a visually innovative exploration of art, sex, love, and death—mementos of one of cinema’s most richly creative minds.