Tag Archives: Jean Marais

La belle et la bête / Beauty and the Beast (1946) Jean Cocteau, René Clément, Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

la-belle-et-la-bete-aka-beauty-and-the-beast-1946
Adélaïde, Belle, Félicie and Ludovic are young adult siblings who once lived in grandeur until their father’s merchant ships were lost at sea. The family is now near ruin, but Adélaïde and Félicie nonetheless still squander away the family money on themselves and keeping beautiful, whereas Belle slaves around the house, doting on her father. Ludovic detests his two spoiled sisters, but is protective of Belle, especially with his friend Avenant, a handsome scoundrel who wants to marry Belle. Crossing the forest one dark and stormy evening, the father gets lost and takes refuge in a fantastical castle. Upon leaving, he steals a blossom off a rose bush, which Belle requested. The castle’s resident, an angry beast, sentences him to one of two options for the theft of the rose: his own death, or that of one of his daughters. As she feels she is the cause of her father’s predicament (despite her sisters asking for far more lavish gifts), Belle sacrifices herself to the beast.

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Les parents terribles / The Storm Within (1948) Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais, Josette Day, Yvonne de Bray, Drama

The Storm Within (1948)
When Michel, who’s 22, tells his parents he is in love, his mother Yvonne is distraught, believing she will lose his love (which is the center of her life), and his father Georges is distressed because it is Georges’ mistress, Madeleine, whom his son loves. Yvonne and Georges financially and emotionally depend on Michel’s maiden aunt, Léo, who was once engaged to Georges but gave him up to her sister. Léo resolves to help them separate Michel and Madeleine, choreographs an elaborate meeting at Madeleine’s flat where Georges concocts a lie that Madeleine feels she must embrace, and the lovers part. Aunt Léo then has a change of heart and tries to put everything right.

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L’éternel retour / The Eternal Return (1943) Jean Delannoy, Madeleine Sologne, Jean Marais, Jean Murat, Drama, Romance

L'eternel retour (1943)
Eternal Return (L’Eternel Retour) translates the Tristan and Isolde legend into contemporary (e.g. 1939) terms. The Tristan counterpart, Patrice (Jean Marais), falls in love with the modern-day Isolde, named Nathalie. Actually he has fallen for two Nathalies: when Nathalie I (Madeleine Sologne) spurns his offer of marriage, he turns his attentions to Nathalie II (Junie Astor). Still carrying a torch for Nathalie I, Patrice attempts a nocturnal rendezvous with his true love on the eve of his wedding. Because of a tragic blunder, Patrice and Nathalie I are reunited only in death. The dream-like quality of Eternal Return is due more to the input of screenwriter Jean Cocteau than director Jean Delannoy. The film, with its mystical trappings and ethereal performances, can now be viewed as a precursor to Cocteau’s own Beauty and the Beast.

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Le château de verre / The Glass Castle (1950) René Clément, Michèle Morgan, Jean Marais, Jean Servais, Drama

Le chateau de verre (1950)
Laurent Bertal is a successful attorney who lives in Berne with his beautiful and adoring wife Evelyne. Theirs appears to be the perfect marriage, but while on holiday in Italy Evelyne falls in love with a young Frenchman, Rémy. While Evelyne is profoundly unsettled by this romantic entanglement, Rémy regards it as a mere distraction and soon heads back to Paris where he lives with his mistress, Marion. One day, Evelyne is overjoyed when she receives an invitation from Rémy to spend a weekend with him in Paris. The morning after their first night together in Rémy’s apartment, Evelyne accidentally breaks a glass ornament in the shape of a castle. The incident proves to be an omen of bad luck.

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Le bossu / The Hunchback of Paris (1959) André Hunebelle

Le bossu (1959)
Duke Philippe de Nevers is an influential and popular man who is married to a beautiful wife called Aurore. His rival Philippe de Gonzague hates him enough to organise an attempt on him. The Duke is accompagnied by Henri de Lagardère when de Gonzague’s henchmen altogether attack him. Lagardère cannot save his friend because the both of them are hopelessly outnumbered. He has to escape in order to save the Duke’s daughter and swears revenge. Together with his old buddy Passepoil he raises the little girl in Spain. At the same time he returns frequently to France where he detects confronts his friend’s murderers and puts them to the sword one by one until only their former leader is left. Finally he discovers that Philippe de Gonzague is the man for whom he is looking.

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Voyage sans espoir / Voyage Without Hope (1943) Christian-Jaque

Voyage sans espoir (1943)
All the action takes place in darkness, in a runaway train where two mysterious men meet, on a boat at the dimming of the day where sinister-looking sailors are waiting for something which could get them of their dump,in a nightclub where a chanteuse down on her luck takes comfort on the roof of her building by listening to the ships leaving for faraway lands.

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