|Beauty And The Beast|
Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon, Michel Auclair, Raoul Marco, Marcel André
Criterion Collection (Restored Edition) in French; full screen; new high-definition transfer; English subtitles with new and improved translation; commentary by writer/cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling; commentary by film historian Arthur Knight; interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan; original opera written for the film by renowned composer Philip Glass; "Screening at the Majestic" 1995 documentary, featuring interviews with cast and crew; rare behind-the-scenes and publicity stills; a note about the film by Cocteau; a reprint of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's original fable, translated from the French; notes by Francis Steegmuller, from the definitive book "Cocteau: A Biography"; film restoration demonstration; 1995 restoration trailer; original 1945 trailer narrated and directed by Cocteau; theatrical trailer.
|French writer/director Jean Cocteau's astounding, phantasmagoric realization of the romantic fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" truly merits the appellation "timeless classic." It's beyond compare, other than to rank it among the greatest and most influential motion pictures. Cocteau made his movie, originally titled "La Belle et La Bête," in 1946 to enchant the proverbial children of all ages, and it still does today. In case you've been locked away in a tower by an evil witch or somehow missed the Disney cartoon, it's the story of a beautiful, kind-hearted maiden whose love redeems a cursed prince trapped in the form of a furry, fanged brute. Cocteau's version stars athletic pretty-boy Jean Marais in a dual role, as vain bowman Avenant and the tortured Beast, and luminous Josette Day as Belle. The actors are ideal, but it's one man's creative genius that brings true magic to "Beauty and the Beast." With stunning art direction and make-up design, simple visual tricks including slo-mo and reversed footage, and Henri Alekan's silvery black-and-white cinematography, Cocteau's masterpiece puts latter-day big-budget fantasies to shame.|