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La Belle et la Bete 1946 ****

Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film is still one of the most creative and romantic features on record; a fairy tale that works for adults, it makes ingenious use of special effects is a way that’s truly magical. Belle (Josette Day)  suffers under the thumb of her ugly sisters, but when he father unwisely picks a rose from a castle garden, he’s forced to offer her daughter’s life in return. So begins the courtship of Belle and the Beast, unforgettably played by Jean Maris in and out of make-up. Cocteau’s best films (Orphee) are suffused with poetry; this story of true love is for grown-ups what the Disney film is for kids.


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