France 1946
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Running time 90 min
Certificate PG

“The film unfolds to a perfectly poised slow tempo in surreal settings that gain intensity from the fabulous decor and costumes, the glittering lighting and the many moments of magic effects. The candle-lit shadow-play deepens the gothic atmosphere of the beast’s castle, harking back to early expressionist classics of the genre.”
– Marina Warner

La Belle et la Bête is a landmark feat of cinematic fantasy in which master filmmaker Jean Cocteau conjures spectacular visions of enchantment, desire and death.

Henri Alekan’s subtle black and white cinematography combines with Christian Berard’s masterly costumes and set designs to create a magical piece of cinema, a children’s fairytale refashioned into a stylised and highly sophisticated dream.

Lesson resources