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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