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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Beauty and the Beast')

 

directed by Jean Cocteau
France 1946

 

Once upon a time, in a world of magic and wonder, the true love of a beautiful girl may finally dispel the torment of a feral but gentle-hearted beast. Beauty and the Beast (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 equaled.

***

La Belle et la Bete 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. The BFI proudly presents the original film version of this fairy-tale masterpiece, in a digitally restored edition.

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. Cinematography, lighting, costume and set designs combine to make La Belle et la Bte a thrilling piece of cinema.

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: December 23, 1947

Reviews          More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. RE-RELEASE Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion RE-RELEASE - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD 

Box

Covers

Dist.

Criterion

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI Video

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion 
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection, spine #6 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films (without the extras) is a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:32:48 1:29:57 (4% PAL speedup) 1:33:42 1:33:55.046

Video

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.89 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio 
Average Bitrate: 6.60
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,635,082,444 bytes

Feature: 30,744,748,032 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 35.03 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Criterion - old

 

Bitrate:

Criterion re-release

Bitrate:

Criterion Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0) French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio French 3657 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3657 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
24-bit)
LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English and none English and none English and none English and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio: - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Region 0 encoding 
• Commentary by critic Arthur Knight
• A documentary on the movie and the fable
• The original fable translated into English

DVD Release Date: June 2, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio: - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
Full feature commentary by cultural historian Christopher Frayling
* Fully illustrated booklet containing posters, stills, artwork and an essay by Marina Warner

DVD Release Date: August 25th, 2008
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio: - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by writer/cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling
• Commentary by film historian Arthur Knight
• Stills Gallery (150 static screens)
• New high-definition transfer
• Original opera written for the film by renowned composer Philip Glass
• Screening at the Majestic, 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew (26:40)
• Interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan (9:12)
• Rare behind-the-scenes and publicity stills
• Original 1945 trailer narrated and directed by Cocteau (4:03)
• A note about the film by Cocteau
• Film restoration demonstration (4:07)
• 1995 restoration trailer (1:55)
• A reprint of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's original fable translated from the French
• Notes by Francis Steegmuller, from the definitive book Cocteau: A Biography

DVD Release Date: February 11th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,635,082,444 bytes

Feature: 30,744,748,032 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 35.03 Mbps

Edition Details:
• Commentary by writer/cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling
• Commentary by film historian Arthur Knight
• Stills Gallery (150 static screens)
• Original opera written for the film by renowned composer Philip Glass
• Screening at the Majestic, 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew (26:4
1 in 1080i)
• Interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan (9:1
5 in 1080i)
• Rare behind-the-scenes and publicity stills
• Original 1945 trailer narrated and directed by Cocteau (4:03 in HD)
• A note about the film by Cocteau
• Film restoration demonstration (4:07 in 1080i)
• 1995 restoration trailer (1:55 in HD)
• A reprint of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's original fable translated from the French
• Notes by Francis Steegmuller, from the definitive book Cocteau: A Biography

Blu-ray Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 19

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - July 11': This looks pretty sweet in-motion but some fans may have had stronger expectations for the contrast. What is doesn't gain demonstratively in detail is does in texture and grain - with less noise than the latest DVD edition. It shows a shade more information in the frame but can't overcome the softness inherent in the production. This 1080P transfer is, as advertised, from the restored version of Cocteau's film.

Some may find the most notable improvement in the audio. We get the  original monaural soundtrack via uncompressed linear PCM track at 1152 kbps but sounding highly impressive is the Philip Glass’s opera La Belle et la Bête, as an alternate soundtrack. It is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master at 3657 kbps. It is discernibly crisper and sounds quite wonderful but, as with the DVD, is quite a shift from those used to the original. Criterion have included optional English subtitles on their region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

Supplements appear to duplicate the single SD from over 8 years ago. It has the double commentaries by writer/cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling and a second with film historian Arthur Knight. The video extras including the 95' documentary and Stills Gallery are all in HD. However, the reprint of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's original fable translated from the French is now gone - replaced by an essay called Dark Magic by Geoffrey O'Brien and by Philip Glass' essay on his opera, which was an on-screen supplement in the last edition (thanks Tom!) and notes by Francis Steegmuller, from the definitive book Cocteau: A Biography are still there in the liner notes.

Depending on your feelings about the film - I'd say a double dip would be in order simply for the 'Glass Opera' but if you don't own any of the DVDs - this Blu-ray should be an easy purchase.

***

ADDITION - BFI - PAL - September 08': Like the Criterion re-issue this is the restored version of Cocteau's film - with the damage notably removed. It vastly improves upon the original BFI release which had burned-in subtitles as well as the speckles. marks and scratches that have been irradiated or repaired. The BFI disc is dual-layered and progressive and is very similar to the Criterion re-issue in terms of image - possibly a shade softer.

Extras include the superb commentary by cultural historian Christopher Frayling (same one offered on the Criterion re-issue) and a fully illustrated 30-page booklet containing posters, stills, artwork and an essay by Marina Warner. Obviously the Criterion with its marginally superior image and bountiful extra features is the winner here unless you are PAL locked then this BFI is a must-own.

ON THE CRITERION(s): Initially I am surprised Criterion redid this one. I would have thought that the original DVD was about as good as a 50+ year old film could look considering the slight damage. Now after saying that you can sure tell the difference between the 'old' and the 'new'.  The black and white image on the new version is much more true with no faded sepia-ish coloring and the contrast is distinctly improved. Sound has also been bumped up to a choice between 5.1 and mono. MANY more extras. The new version is the way to go. Superb Criterion! Full marks for this!

P.S. The 'Glass Opera' sounds awesome !

 - Gary W. Tooze


 Menus

BFI - Region 2 - PAL

 

(Criterion Region 0 - NTSC-Left vs. Criterion RE-RELEASE - NTSC-Right)

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion RE-RELEASE - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 



1) Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion RE-RELEASE - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion RE-RELEASE - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion RE-RELEASE - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Note: negative damage restored

 

 


1) Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion RE-RELEASE - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray / Criterion RESTORED

 

DVD 

Box

Covers

Dist.

Criterion

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI Video

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion 
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection, spine #6 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films (without the extras) is a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.




 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...