"Beauty and the Beast," the 1946 film directed by Jean Cocteau
The climax of the film occurs when the Beast is transformed due to the actions of Belle's treacherous family. He is revealed to be truly handsome; in fact, he bears a striking resemblance to the shallow Avenant. There is a certain degree of ambiguity in this moment, which makes it quite a memorable scene. Belle views the transformed Beast with a suspicion, as if she prefers the Beast's monster-form to his human incarnation. Cocteau plays up the sense of disappointment in this scene, making the audience wait a moment before Belle accepts the Prince Charming that the Beast has become.

From the film's opening moments, Cocteau strives to imbue the film with a sense of childlike fantasy. It is shot in black and white, and Cocteau plays careful attention to the use of light and shadow. As one might expect, the Beast's dreamy castle is filled with shadows, and when Cocteau first introduces the audience to this enchanted locale, the candelabras with their human arms that seem to be alive and the statues with eyes that follow those who past are shaded in darkness, giving them a mysterious, fairy tale feel.

Indeed, Cocteau makes a clear distinction between the realistic imagery of the countryside in which Belle and her family live, and the fantastic, magical kingdom that the Beast rules. In scenes that t

 
 
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