Monday, 29 July 2013



We all remember Beauty and the Beast from childhood having probably been read it and, even more likely, seen the Disney version. There are however some other very interesting adaptations of this great fairytale, which still has a highly poignant message about acceptance and not judging a book by its cover.                      


Here's a bit of largely forgotten and overlooked film weirdness. In 1984 Shelly Duvall's kooky Faerie Tale Theatre offered a very interesting production of Beauty and the Beast. Starring Susan Sarandon, Anjelica Huston and Klaus Kinsky as the (cough) handsome prince this version's more Labyrinth than Disney. Quite frankly what's not to love.


The best version (in my opinion)of this fairy tale came much earlier, in 1946, from the superb Jean Cocteau. Cocteau's imagination and the magic he could create using simple editing techniques make this film sublime and pioneering. This film is exceptional and cannot be topped. 


There have also been some pretty shocking adaptations but we'll overlook any butcherings of a great story and stick with the good stuff and this cracking quote from the Disney version...

'I want to do something for her... but what?' 'Oh, there's the usual things; flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep...' -Beast Cogsworth

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