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Trivia / Beauty and the Beast (1946)

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  • Acting for Two: Jean Marais plays both the Beast and Avenant, as well as the prince after the Beast transforms back into a human at the end. It's lampshaded that the Prince and Avenant both look so alike.
  • Blooper: The effect of the candles lighting themselves as the Merchant walks past them was done by blowing them out and doing the shot in reverse. You can catch a brief glimpse of the flames in the fireplace moving downward.
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  • Dyeing for Your Art: Jean Marais had to have his body covered in animal hair - which took five hours to apply - to play the Beast. He also couldn't remove the fangs once they were put in - and couldn't eat anything but mush while filming.
  • Follow the Leader: The Disney adaptation of the fairy tale took several cues from this version - notably the heroine being called Belle, setting the story in France, giving the heroine a handsome suitor who turns into the antagonist, making the rest of the castle enchanted, and making the Beast's transformation something of an Unnecessary Makeover. Likewise the Faerie Tale Theatre adaptation features costumes and sets inspired by this version.
  • List of Films You Should See By the Age of 14: #14
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Jean Cocteau claims that the poetic look of the film came from him having to use different film stocks with different textures because of the difficulty of getting film stock immediately after the war.
  • Troubled Production:
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    • The farm scenes were filmed near an airfield. Although they had permission, the commanding officer couldn't remember the schedule, and shots were frequently ruined by the training flights overhead.
    • The cameras used were old and worn, and would frequently jam during filming. The electrical supply at the studio was also inconsistent and there were often blackouts - as power was diverted to other parts of the district.
    • Costumes had to be made from fabric scraps, and the props department had trouble finding sheets without patches for the laundry scene. The crew even found that Belle's bed curtains had been stolen during the night.
    • The studio and locations were often so cold that cast and crew had to huddle around the lights to keep warm between takes.
    • Jean Cocteau himself fell ill and had to be hospitalised - leaving Rene Clement to take reins as director for a while.
  • What Could Have Been:
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    • The initial design for the Beast was to have him resemble a stag - hence why there's a lot of deer imagery in the castle. But they decided it was best if he looked more like a predator. The stag look was going to be a reference to Cernunnos - the Celtic god of the woods (who had a stag's head).
    • Walt Disney considered adapting the fairy tale into an animated feature but, once this came out, he felt he wouldn't be able to live up to it. The eventual Disney version was heavily inspired by this one.

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