Tale as Old as Time

        In 1946 Jean Cocteau created a timeless piece of art that would be celebrated throughout the years. La Belle et La Bête is the classic story of The Beauty and the Beast. This French film was made in black and white, but the historical aspect that is used within this film is the magical effects that are used. Not only was this film created so many years ago, but along with that it had a fiery effect in it.

        The story begins with a classic beauty, Belle (Josette Day), a young girl that had two evil sisters, Félicie (Mila Parély) and Adélaïde (Nane Germon), that were constantly mean to her, making her cook and clean. One day her father (Marcel André) had to go handle some business. He got blown off track and eventually ended up at the palace of the beast (Jean Marais). His daughter, Belle, had asked him to bring her back a rose. He found a rose garden and picked one out that was as beautiful as his lovely daughter. As he did this, he encountered the Beast. He was stealing from him, and for that he was told to either stay and be killed or send someone to be killed in his place. Frightened, the father decides to leave so he can think of what he should do. While at home, he explains to his family what had happened; and Belle volunteers herself to go in his place.

        After Belle arrives at the palace, the beast falls in love with her and decides to spare her life. He keeps her with him, and everyday he asks her a question, "Will you marry me." And each day her answer is the same. Eventually the beast lets her visit her sick father, but she has to promise to come back to him in a week. Upon her return, she finds the beast on his last breath. She kisses him, and he becomes a handsome prince. Belle decided that she had truly loved the beast, who became her handsome prince. This is a classic tale of loving someone not for what he looks like but for who he or she is inside as a person.

        This film, I feel, captured that in its own time, and it has built the path for more directors to tell the same tale.

Christie Clatterbuck

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