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 that have never been equalled.
Josette Day is luminous yet feisty as Beauty, and Jean Marais gives one of his best performances as the Beast, at once brutal and gentle, rapacious and vulnerable, shamed and repelled by his own bloodlust. Henri Alekan’s subtle black and white cinematography combine with Christian Bérard’s masterly costumes and set designs to create a magical piece of cinema, a children’s fairy tale refashioned into a stylised and highly sophisticated dream.
The BFI is proud to present this world cinema classic in High Definition for the first time in the UK. This new 4K restoration is sourced from the SNC/Groupe M6 and the Cinémathèque Français.
High Definition transfer from the 4K restoration of the film which was premiered at Cannes
Audio commentary with cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling
Dreams of Cocteau: The adventure of Beauty and the Beast (2013, 49 mins): documentary featuring interviews with author Dominique Marny, Prof. David Gullentops, Serge Toubiana, and Ellen Schafer
Deleted scene and alternate audio clips (7 mins)
Christian Bérard's and Jean Cocteau, two magicians (2013, 27 mins): documentary film focusing on the production history of La Belle et la Bête
Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film, and full film credits