Beauty and the Beast (1946) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

  • 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. Upon arriving at the castle, Belle finds that the beast, whose grotesqueness she cannot deny, does not want to kill her, but wants to marry her and lavish her with riches. He does not force her, but he will ask her every night to marry him, these times the only ones when he will appear to her. She vows never to say yes. As Belle resigns herself to her mortal fate and looks deeper into the beast - whose grotesque exterior masks a kind but tortured soul - will her thoughts change? Meanwhile, Belle's family, who learn of her situation, have their own thoughts of what to do, some working toward what they believe is Belle's best welfare, and others working toward their own benefit.

  • Belle is carrying out all the strenuous work at home, while her two haughty sisters are occupied with their appearances, and her lazy brother fools around with his pal Avenant. When Avenant asks Belle to marry him, she says that she doesn't want to leave her father. After a visit to a coastal town, the father rides back through a wood, but strays from the path and encounters a magic castle. When he plucks a rose for Belle, a ferocious animal in elegant clothes turns up. The Beast tells him that he has to die or send one of his daughters to die in his place within three days. The Beast's horse Magnificent carries him back home. After listening to her father's story, Belle sneaks out, and rides to the castle on Magnificent. The Beast is polite and gentle towards her, and step by step her fright for him is transformed into deep sympathy. When her father is sick, she is allowed to go home for one week. She returns a few days too late, and finds the Beast dying.

  • Returning home late one night after learning he is destitute, a merchant takes shelter in a castle. As he leaves the next morning, he fulfills his daughter Belle's wish that he bring her a rose by taking a single bloom from the castle garden. At that very moment the master appears, a creature that is half man and half beast. The Beast tells him he has a choice of dying or having one of his three daughters come to live in the castle. Of the three women, Belle has always been selfless and goes to the castle even though her father objects. Once there, the Beast assures her she will come to no harm and that they will meet once a day at 7 in the evening the dining room. Every day a dinner time, he asks her to marry him but she refuses. Love grows grow between them however leading to a magical resolution.

  • A half-ruined merchant lives in the country with his son Ludovic and his three daughters. Two of the daughters, Félicie and Adélaïde, are real shrews: selfish, pretentious, and evil. They exploit the third daughter, Belle, as a servant. One day, on a business trip, on the way home, the merchant gets lost in a forest and enters a strange castle. He picks up a rose for Belle, and the castle's owner appears. He is a monster, half-human, half-beast, and possesses magic powers. He sentences the merchant to death, unless he gives up one of his daughters. Belle sacrifices herself for her father and goes to the castle, discovering that the Beast is not so wild and inhuman as he seems.



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