La Belle et la BÍte (Beauty and the Beast)
Children believe what we tell them.
They have complete faith in us.
They believe that a rose plucked
from a garden can bring drama to
a family. They believe that the
hands of a human beast will smoke
when he kills a victim, and that
this beast will be shamed when
confronted by a young girl. They
believe in a thousand other simple
things. I ask of you a little of
this childlike simplicity, and to
bring us luck let me speak four
truly magic words, childhood's
"Once upon a time..."
Beauty lives in the country with her father, a 17th-century merchant who has
lost all his money; her brother, Ludovic, whose only interests are drinking
and gambling; and her two sisters, Felicie and Adelaide, who are motivated
entirely by spite, selfishness and vanity. Her brother's constant companion,
Avenant, is a frequent visitor to the house.
Ludovic and Avenant are shooting arrows at a target fixed onto the wall of
Felicie and Adelaide are inside.
Oh, that wretched girl!
You know she can't do anything right.
(taking aim and shooting)
A bad one.
He steps aside. Avenant aims.
What about my foot?
You're cheating, it's not on the mark.
Avenant shoots. The arrow flies straight through the upper window of the
house and impales itself in the floor next to a silk cushion. A little dog
leaps up from the cushion, barking furiously. Beauty is attending to her
sisters who, in sharp, contrast to her simple attire, are dressed in rich
silks and feathers.
What's going on?
They've just shot an arrow into the room!
(going to the window and shouting)
You hooligans! You could have hit one of us in
Ludovic and Avenant rush up to the house.
Is Beauty all right?
(shouting out of the window)
Beauty! Always Beauty! Who cares about Beauty?
You nearly killed Cabriole!
Ludovic and Avenant go into the house and wait at the foot of the stairs.
Here they come.
Felicie and Adelaide hurry down.
Beauty, you can wash the floor. We'll be late
for the duchess.
(to the two men)
My sisters are such bitches.
Drinking, chasing women and cheating at cards,
that's all they ever think about. They couldn't
give a damn about anything else.
When one is poor, one stays at home to do the
laundry and polish the pots and pans. Just look
at these two sluts -- they think they're
princesses. They don't even realize that
they're the laughing stock of society.
He'd be only too pleased.
They flounce out of the house.
Oh, such beauties! So ravishing!
Come on, we'll be late for the concert.
(following them out of the house)
Enchantresses! Goddesses! Shining lights!
Hey there! Boys! Boys!
Felicie and Adelaide walk across the yard toward a servant who is dozing in a
The boy leaps out of the chair. Felicie sits down.
This is unbelievable!
Adelaide walks over to another servant who is lolling against a pile of straw.
I suppose you think we pay you to sleep!
She walks over to a second sedan chair.
I've never seen anything like it!
She opens the door to the chair. Three or four hens cackle and flap, their
wings as she shoos them out of the chair.
Oh, the chairs.
(She sits down.)
Look at them, they're filthy! Boys! Boys!
Two more servant boys come running out of the stable.
ONE OF THE BOYS
Come on, let's go.
Stop dawdling, wake up now... You've been
The four boys pick up the two sedan chairs and stumble their way across the
yard. They pass in front of Ludovic, who is leaning against the wall,
watching in amusement.
Just look at this drunkard. He doesn't even
know his proper role in society.
A barefoot guttersnipe!
The boy carrying her sedan chair kicks open the gate, jolting the chair as he
maneuvers it through.
Yes, they're drunk, drunk!
Come along, come along now! Oh, boys, careful!
Ludovic comes up behind them and watches them leave.
May the devil splash you with mud and cover you
Back at the house, Beauty is polishing the floor in her sisters' room.
Avenant comes up to her and plucks the arrow from the floor.
(kneeling down beside her)
Beauty, you were not made to be a servant.
(He points to the
shining floor boards.)
Even the floor would like to mirror you.
(He pulls her to her feet.)
You can't go on working from morning to night
for your sisters.
If our father's ship hadn't got lost in the
storm, then perhaps I'd be able to enjoy myself
as they do. But we're ruined, Avenant, so I
I wonder why your sisters never do any work.
My sisters are too beautiful, their hands are
Beauty, you are the most beautiful of them all.
(He takes her hands.)
Look at your hands.
(trying to free herself)
Let go of my hands, Avenant. Leave, so that I
can finish my work.
I love you. Marry me.
No, Avenant, don't talk to me of marriage; it's
I must stay single and live with my father.
She turns away and walks toward the door. Avenant runs after her and takes
hold of her.
Beauty, I shall snatch you away from this
Leave me alone!
I displease you.
No, you don't, Avenant.
(bursting into the room)
Take your hands off her, or I'll smash your
It's all right, Ludovic. Avenant was asking me
to marry him.
And what was your reply?
Your sister has rejected me.
Well done, Beauty. I know I'm a scoundrel and
even proud of it, but I won't have you marry
(He walks over to Avenant.)
And you can take that as final. Go on, you
louse, get out of here!
Avenant strikes him. Ludovic staggers and falls over.
(running over to him)
Avenant! You're crazy! Ludovic! Ludovic!
Downstairs, the merchant enters the house, ushering three men in before him.
Come in, gentlemen, come in. I want you to feel
part of the family when I announce the great
(He shows them to a table.)
They all sit down.
(from the top of the stairs)
It's my father!
(She turns to the others.)
He must know nothing of this!
(bringing refreshments to the table)
My daughters are out enjoying the flattery of
society life. I shan't wait for them. I just
can't hold my tongue any longer.
Beauty, Ludovic and Avenant come down the stairs into the room.
Come here next to me, Beauty. Come closer,
Ludovic. You too, Avenant, you're most welcome.
These gentlemen are willing to forgive you for
all your pranks. And the Public Prosecutor has
very generously decided to drop the charges he
was going to bring against me. We're going to
be rich! One of my ships has come into port!
Avenant must have known!
He knew! And he took advantage of it to ask
Beauty to marry him!
That wasn't the first time he's asked me to
marry him since we lost all our money.
So you want to leave me.
No, father, I'll never leave you.
Felicie and Adelaide burst into the room.
We were told that the duchess was not
receiving, though the court rang with laughter
Let me congratulate you, father, we are
gathering the fruits of your foolish deeds.
Yes, you can feel proud of yourself.
And here you are entertaining people with
drinks, while your daughters are insulted and
doors are slammed in their faces!
The duchess would appear to be a most admirable
I nearly died of shame!
Come on, Adelaide, let them drink to our
They flounce out of the room.
Oh father, father.
They're real little devils, arenít they? Let
them sulk; I'll soon console them. Tomorrow
morning I'll go to the port to see to my
business. Then one can marry a duke and the
other a prince!
(He raises his glass in a toast.)
The following morning.
The merchant is on his way out of the house.
Bring us back brocade dresses.
And jewels, fans and ostrich feathers.
I want the whole town to burst with envy! A
monkey! I'd like a monkey!
The merchant laughs and mounts his horse.
(turning to Beauty:)
What about you? Beauty, what shall I bring you?
Father, bring me a rose, for they don't grow
Adelaide and Felicie burst out laughing.
Ludovic and Avenant are seated at the table drinking. They are waiting for
If I don't pay off my debt tonight I shall be
arrested and thrown in Jail.
The moneylender is very understanding. I
explained the whole situation to him. Look
confident, here he comes.
(entering the house)
You're asking for a very large sum, you know,
You do know that one of the lost ships has come
into port, don't you?
I'll pay you back as soon as my father returns.
You know the law, don't you? If you're
insolvent, I can claim the sum of money from
your father and if he's insolvent I can seize
Sign, you're not risking anything, are you?
The usurer gives him a document. Ludovic signs.
In town. A lawyer's office.
But my dear Sir, what can I do?
As there's nothing left from this last ship,
what's to become of me?
Your creditors at the port moved faster than
the ones in town. Sue them.
Sue them! I haven't even got enough to pay for
a room tonight.
Well, go home then.
But I'll have to go through the forest in the
middle of the night. I'll get lost.
You came through it at night on your way here,
Yes, but there was a full moon then, and it's
getting foggy now. I know I'll get lost.
(losing his patience)
Well then, get lost.
The lawyer shows him out.
I don't understand you; I'm sure you'd feel the
same if you were in my shoes. It's very
The merchant fetches his horse, mounts and starts off.
The merchant rides deeper into the forest. It grows dark and a storm breaks.
After a while he realizes that he has lost his way. He dismounts and leads
his horse along the narrow forest paths, peering anxiously through the
thickening mist. During a flash of lightning through the leaves he suddenly
sees a magnificent castle. With a puzzled look on his face he walks slowly
through the trees across a courtyard toward the castle gates. As he makes his
way, the branches silently close in behind him. When he reaches the gates,
they open before him. Surprised, he lets go of the horse's reins. The horse
walks in ahead of him. The merchant follows, but the gates close in front of
him. He runs back across the courtyard and looks up at the castle.
Is there anyone there?
In front of him is a wide stone staircase leading to a door in the castle
(running up the stairs)
Is there anyone there?
He goes through the door and is confronted by a row of human arms holding
candelabras, showing him the way down a corridor to a large hall. He stops
and stares in disbelief. Two of the human arms release the candelabras, which
remain magically suspended, pointing toward the hall. Awed, the merchant
backs into the room toward a huge fireplace. A clock on the mantlepiece
strikes eleven. He turns around and looks from the fire to a dining table,
which is sumptuously set with food and drink.
Is there anyone there?
He puts his hat on the table, sits down and removes his gloves. A marble
bust, which supports one end of the vast mantlepiece, slowly turns its head
toward him. At the other side of the fireplace, its counterpart, breathing
smoke through its nostrils, also moves its head around to look at him.
The merchant reaches for a silver goblet. A hand appears from the candelabra
in the middle of the table. The merchant starts back. The hand takes hold of
a wine decanter, fills the goblet, and returns to the candelabra. The
merchant lifts up the edge of the tablecloth and peers underneath it. He
stares at the candelabra on the table, stands up and turns to look once more
at the row of candelabras leading out of the room.
He sits down again, picks up the goblet, sniffs at it suspiciously, and
drinks. He falls into a deep sleep. The marble busts turn their heads again.
The merchant slowly wakes up. His hand is resting on the wooden arm of his
chair, which is carved in the image of a lion's head. The lion's head comes
to life under his hand and roars.
The merchant leaps to his feet and grabs his gloves. The marble bust breathes
smoke. The candelabra on the dining table extinguishes itself.
The merchant takes a last look around the room, walks hurriedly down the
corridor past the row of candelabras and leaves the castle. The door shuts
silently behind him. He walks slowly down the stairs and along a balustrade
decorated with stone statues of fierce-looking dogs. He stop and looks around
(walking along the balustrade)
(coming to the end of the balustrade)
He goes down some steps and finds himself in a beautiful rose garden. He
looks around nervously and walks over toward the flowers. Suddenly he
stumbles over the body of a dead deer.
(starting back with a look of horror)
He looks down and sees a perfect rose, which changes color as he watches.
Just as the merchant plucks the rose, the Beast appears through a curtain of
The Beast walks over to the merchant. He has the appearance of a werewolf,
with long fangs and grotesque features. His huge gnarled hands end in claws
and, like the rest of him, are covered in thick matted fur. He is wearing a
long jeweled cloak over a doublet with slashed sleeves and a broad lace
collar, a pair of velvet breeches and high leather boots.
As he speaks, the wind blows and the leaves and branches rustle.
So, my dear Sir, you steal my roses. My roses
which are the most precious things in the whole
world to me. You are most unfortunate since you
could have taken anything but my roses. The
penalty for such a simple theft is death.
(flinging himself to his knees)
My Lord, I did not know. I did not think I
would offend anyone by plucking a rose for my
daughter. She asked for one.
One does not call me "my Lord"; one calls me
"Beast." I don't like compliments. No, don't
try to understand. You have fifteen minutes in
which to prepare yourself for your death.
Again! The Beast orders you to be silent. You
stole my rose and you shall die. Unless ...
unless one of your daughters .... How many do
Unless one of your daughters agrees to pay the
penalty and take your place.
Don't argue! Go! Take advantage of the one
chance I have given you. And if your daughters
refuse to die instead of you, swear that you'll
return in three day's time. Swear!
I swear. But I don't know my way through the
You'll find a white horse in my stables. His
name is 'Magnificent One.' Just whisper in his
ear, "Go where I am going, Magnificent One, go,
go." He'll take you home and lead you back to
the castle if your daughters are too cowardly
to mount him. Now leave.
The Beast backs away into the curtain of leaves and disappears. The merchant
runs off toward the stables. A beautiful white stallion awaits him there. He
mounts him and sets off.
As the white; horse carries the merchant through the forest, the Beast
watches him through the leaves. The branches close in silently behind the
merchant as he makes his way home.
The merchant is at home, surrounded by his family.
I can't tell you anything about my journey
home. The Magnificent One is in the stable.
That's the end of my story. Beauty, take this
rose, I'm paying a high price for it.
That's what happens when an idiotic girl asks
for roses. This is the result of that silly
And she pretends to be modest, and set us an
example. She's not even crying.
You won't die, father. It's my fault; it's only
right that I go in your place.
Are you mad? We'll go with Ludovic and we'll
kill this horrible beast.
The Beast is so powerful that we have no hope
of overcoming him. Don't worry Beauty, I'm
growing old. I promised, so I shall go.
You mustn't go, father, you may yet win your
How will we live?
You can sell the furniture.
Why don't you go, Felicie? You're too tough for
anyone to eat!
It's a great pity that the Beast isn't
demanding boys. He would devour you and die of
Children, keep calm...
Father, I'd rather be devoured by the monster
than die of the heartbreak of losing you.
You will not go to the monster.
What's it got to do with you?
It's none of your business!
Are you in love with that stupid girl? What a
Avenant, hit her.
Keep calm, please...
Go on, repeat what you just said!
A stupid girl and a stupid boy!
Avenant hits her.
He hit me!
You dared to strike my sister!
There's more where that one came from...
(in a faltering voice)
Children ... children...
Let's carry him to his room.
Avenant and Ludovic help him out.
He hit me, Adelaide.
And we're penniless.
We mustn't give up.
The Beast will gobble them all up, and we'll
Meanwhile, Beauty comes out of the side of the house, wearing a long dark
cloak. Making sure that no one sees her, she goes to the stable and mounts
the white horse.
Go where I'm going, Magnificent One, go, go!
The horse trots out of the stable. The farm gates open before him. He carries
Beauty through the forest to the castle. She dismounts and leads him through
the foliage, which closes in behind her.
As though in a dream she enters the castle and floats past the rows of
candelabras, through the large hall with the fireplace, and up a flight of
stairs. She goes through a door which leads to a long gallery with billowing
white curtains. Seemingly carried along by some magical force, she comes to a
door flanked on each side by human arms carrying candelabras. The arms move
toward the door, casting their light onto her.
(whispering as the door opens)
Beauty, I am the door to your room.
Beauty enters the room hesitantly. The door closes silently behind her. She
looks round the room which is spacious, elegantly furnished, and full of
flowers and plants. A marble bust on one of the walls moves its head around
Beauty rushes over to the open window as though seeking her freedom.
Realizing the futility of her action, she sits down at a dressing table and,
in despair, puts her head in her hands.
VOICE FROM THE
DRESSING TABLE MIRROR
Beauty, I am your mirror; reflect in me; I will
reflect for you.
Beauty puts her hands out toward the mirror and gazes into it. The glass is
black. Then she sees her father lying on his sickbed. The mirror turns black
again. She stands up and looks round the room. On the large bed, a luxurious
fur cover is pulled back by invisible hands. Beauty runs out of the room,
along the corridor, out of the castle, down the stone staircase into the
Across the courtyard the doors open and the Beast makes his appearance.
Beauty lets out a cry of fear and horror.
Where are you going?
She falls to the ground in a faint. The Beast walks over to her, gathers her
gently in his arms and carries her carefully up the stone staircase with a
look of anguish mingled with tenderness.
He takes her back into the castle, past the row of candelabras, up the stairs
into her room. As he crosses the threshold of the room, Beauty's clothes are
transformed. She is dressed like a princess in a richly embroidered silk
dress with sparkling jewels. The Beast puts her down gently onto the bed and
stares at her intently. She awakens, opens her eyes, and turns her head
toward the Beast. As she sees him she lets out a cry. He backs away across
Beauty, you mustn't look me in the eyes. Do not
fear, you will never see me, except every
evening at seven, when you dine. I shall come
to the great hall.
(He backs out of the room.)
You mustn't look me in the eyes.
The door closes silently behind him.
In the great hall the clock strikes seven. On each side of the blazing fire
the marble busts turn their heads. Beauty is sitting at the table, wearing a
dark jeweled dress, with matching jewels round her neck and wound into her
hair. The hand from the candelabra on the table picks up the silver wine
decanter to serve her. She leans back in her chair with a sigh of despair and
closes her eyes. The door opens behind her and the Beast crosses the room. He
stands behind her, leaning on the back of the chair.
Don't be afraid.
(summoning up all her courage)
I ... I won't be afraid.
Beauty, do you mind if I watch you while you
You are the master.
No, I'm not.
(He pauses for a moment.)
There is no master here but you.
(He moves around to
the side of the chair.)
I revolt you; you must find me very ugly.
I cannot lie, Beast.
Is everything here to your liking?
I feel uneasy dressed in such finery, nor am I
used to being waited upon. But I know you're
doing your utmost to help me forget your
(walking over to the fireplace)
My heart is kind, but I am a monster.
Many men are more monstrous than you, but they
hide it well.
Besides my ugliness, I am lacking in wit.
You have wit enough to realize it.
Everything in this castle is yours. Your every
whim will be fulfilled.
(walking back to the dining table)
I shall appear every evening at seven. Before
leaving I shall ask you a question; it will
always be the same one.
What is your question?
Beauty, will you be my wife?
Farewell then, Beauty. Until tomorrow.
He leaves the room.
Beauty walks fearfully across the hall. She is wearing a long white silk
gown. She hears a sound like the roar of wild beasts followed by the screams
of an animal in pain. She walks along the gallery, keeping close to the wall
as though looking for protection. The white curtains billow in the breeze.
She stops by a marble bust, aware of some presence. The Beast appears and
walks past with a look of hideous despair. He doesn't see her hidden behind
the statue. He stares at his huge grotesque hands, the sharp claws, and
buries his head in his arms. Beauty watches him in horror. He turns, goes to
the door of her room, leans against it for a moment with the same look of
anguish. He enters the room, searching desperately for her. He sits down at
the dressing table, picks up the mirror and stares into it.
Where is Beauty?
Where is Beauty?
Smoke billows out of the mirror. He gazes into it and sees her edging her way
slowly along the gallery to the door, listening carefully for any sound from
within. The Beast puts down the mirror, stands up and looks at the door.
Beauty enters the room.
What are you doing in my room?
I wanted to ... I was ... I came to your room
to bring you a gift.
He holds out his hand. A pearl necklace magically appears in the palm of his
She runs out of the room. Disconsolately, the Beast puts the necklace down on
the dressing table.
(in a softer voice)
The Beast walks slowly out of the room.
Beauty walks across the room to the dressing table and picks up the pearl
necklace. She looks at it pensively.
Beauty is walking through the castle grounds. She comes to a door. She pushes
it open and looks through onto a pool of water surrounded by plants and
trees. The Beast is on his knees by the edge of the pool, lapping up the
water like an animal. Beauty closes the door and backs away with a concerned
look on her face. She continues her walk through the grounds. She is wearing
the pearl necklace that the Beast left in her room. The Beast appears among
the stone statues of dogs.
I thought you were dining, Beauty.
I'm not hungry, Beast. I'd prefer to walk with
(in a gentle voice)
Beauty, you're doing me a great honor ...
They walk side by side along the stone balustrade.
... a very great honor.
Your voice seems gentler.
Beauty, I hope you don't find the days too
I do find the days long. And this evening I
admit I was almost looking forward to seven
You are so kind that I can hardly bring myself
to ask you the question which torments me so.
Ask, I shall always give the same reply. Let's
be friends, Beast, don't ask any more of me.
They walk on through the grounds.
Tell me, Beast, how do you pass the day?
A deer leaps through the bushes. The Beast stares at it greedily as it runs
away into the woods.
Did you hear me, Beast? I'm talking to you.
(in a troubled voice)
For ... forgive me.
(putting her hand on the Beast's arm)
Beast! What is it?
The Beast puts his head in his hands and turns away in shame.
Forgive me, please forgive me, it's nothing.
Beauty hesitantly puts out her hand. He takes it, and leads her down the
stone staircase. They come to a fountain. The Beast puts his head in his hand
What's the matter, Beast?
I'm thirsty, Beauty.
Beauty goes to the fountain and fills her hands with water.
(holding out her hands)
Drink from my hands.
The Beast laps the water from her hands and stares at her intently.
Doesn't it revolt you to give me drink?
(looking him straight in the eyes)
No, Beast, it gives me pleasure. I would never
wish to cause you any pain.
And yet your dream is to be far away from me.
Beauty is in the great hall, walking up and down in front of the fire. She is
wearing a dark velvet dress. The marble busts at each end of the mantlepiece
turn their heads to watch her. The clock strikes half past seven. Beauty
looks up at the clock and sees the Beast's reflection in the mirror above it.
She turns round as he walks across the room.
How late you are!
Thank you, Beauty, for noticing.
Yes, I was awaiting you with great impatience,
She throws herself to her knees and grabs his cloak.
I must talk to you!
(still on her knees, pleading)
I cannot live another day without seeing my
father again. Please let me go, I beg you!
Stand up, Beauty, stand up.
He pulls her to her feet and leads her to a chair. He sits down beside her.
I should be on my knees taking orders from you.
(almost in tears)
Let me go. I promise to return.
And when you return, will you be my wife?
You're torturing me.
I know I'm repulsive. But I would die of
heartbreak if I let you go and you took
advantage of your freedom never to return.
I'd come back in a week's time. I respect you
too much to cause your death.
The Beast lowers his head. Beauty strokes it.
(looking up at her)
You coax me as though I were an animal.
But you are an animal.
Your request is a very serious matter. I must
think about it.
(He stands up.)
Beauty, will you come into the garden with me?
He takes her hand and leads her out of the castle.
Beauty, has someone already asked for your hand
Ah! ... And ... who asked for your hand? A
Is he handsome?
Why did you not marry him?
I didn't want to leave my father.
And what is this handsome young man's name,
The Beast looks at her, turns away as though in pain and suddenly runs away
through the trees.
Beast! What's the matter? ... Beast! Beast!
What is it? ... Beast!
Beauty is lying in bed. Suddenly she hears a noise outside the door. She runs
to the door which opens before her. The Beast is standing in the shadows.
What are you doing at my door at such a late
The Beast moves into the light.
My God! You're covered in blood!
She starts back in horror.
Forgive me ...
For being a beast, forgive me.
It doesn't become you to talk in that way.
Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Go and clean
yourself and go to sleep.
She stands there looking at him in all her innocence and purity. The Beast is
overcome with shame and self-disgust.
Close the door! Close the door!
(She doesn't move.)
Quick ... quick, close the door. Your look is
burning me, I can't bear it.
He backs away. The door closes gently behind him. Beauty walks slowly toward
the bed with a troubled look on her face.
At the merchant's house.
The bailiffs are removing the furniture on instructions from the usurer.
Avenant and Ludovic are sitting at the table, watching.
They're taking every single thing.
I don't suppose they'll even leave the table.
Let's play cards.
He picks up a pack of cards. The usurer walks over to them with a
Go up to your father. He doesn't understand
what's going on, which is only natural. I can't
very well explain the situation to him.
Ludovic looks doubtfully at Avenant.
Upstairs the merchant is lying ill in bed. Ludovic stands beside him, looking
sorry for himself.
(in a weak voice)
Ludovic ... Ludovic ... is it true?
I'm afraid it is.
Ludovic, how could you have done such a thing?
The usurer hurries into the room.
Sir, he's a very sick man, you must leave the
Yes, yes, we won't take the beds.
They go downstairs into the hall. Adelaide and Felicie run down the stairs
and hurry out of the house.
I bet they've seen to it that no one touches
No, no, they too owe me money.
(coming through the door
with more furniture)
Come on, it's all got to go!
The usurer leaves the house. Avenant and Ludovic sit down at the table in the
otherwise bare room. Ludovic brings out a purse and pours money on to the
table with a smile. Avenant picks up the pack of cards and deals. Ludovic
looks at his hand.
(piling up his stake)
(throwing down a card)
Oh, I nearly had you.
That's not good enough!
(picking up the cards
and shuffling them)
The usurer bursts into the house.
You cheats! Give me my money!
He tries to pick up the money from the table. Ludovic strikes him and knocks
What shall we do?
Throw him out. The streets are empty at this
time of night.
What time is it? Wait a minute.
He leans down and takes the watch and chain off the usurer's frock coat. He
looks at it.
He puts the watch inside his jacket.
At the castle.
Beauty is lying on the bed. The Beast walks over to the foot of the bed.
Beauty, are you ill?
Yes, Beast. I am.
What ails you?
I know my father's dying.
I can't bear to see you waste away.
Send me home to my father.
If I agree, will you promise to return in a
week's time, to the very day?
(smiling at him)
(going to the edge of the
bed and putting out his hand)
Come with me, Beauty.
He helps her down from the bed and leads her through the French windows out
onto the balcony.
Look over there, Beauty.
He points to an ornately decorated small pavilion.
You see that pavilion? It's called the pavilion
of Diana. It's the only part of my domain where
no one may enter. Not even you or I. Everything
I possess, I possess by magic powers. But my
true riches lie locked in that pavilion. A
golden key opens the door. Here it is ...
(He shows her the key.)
Beauty, I couldn't give you greater proof of my
faith in you. If you don't return I shall die.
After my death, you risk nothing more and all
my riches will be yours. Take this key, Beauty.
(He hands it to her.)
I have faith in you. The key will be your
pledge to return.
(looking at him with
an expression of joy)
You agree to send me home to my father?
You'll be there this very morning. My night
here is not the same as yours. It is night in
my world, but it is morning in yours.
(He leads her hack into the room.)
Beauty, a rose that has already played its
part, my mirror, my golden key, my horse and my
glove are the five secrets of my power ... I
surrender them to you.
(He removes his glove
and gives it to her.)
Just put the glove on your right hand, it will
carry you wherever you wish.
He walks slowly to the door, turns round and looks at her intently.
Remember your promise.
(The door opens; he
leaves the room.)
The door closes silently behind him. Beauty paces up and down the room,
staring at the glove. She puts it onto her right hand. In a flash she is
transported to her father's bedroom.
The merchant is sleeping. Beauty throws the glove onto the bed and sits down.
Gently, she puts her hand out toward him. He wakes up.
I must be dreaming!
No, father, you're not dreaming. It is I,
Beauty, talking to you.
I thought you were dead, and it was killing me.
But you managed to escape?
No, father, the Beast set me free to visit you.
So the monster has a heart.
He suffers greatly, father. One half of him is
in constant struggle with the other. I think he
is more cruel to himself than he is to others.
But Beauty, I've seen him, he's so hideous.
Yes, at first he's very frightening, father.
Yet now, he sometimes makes me want to burst out
laughing. Rut then I see his eyes, and they're
so sad that I turn away so as not to weep.
Beauty, my little Beauty, don't tell me that
you're willing to live with this monster!
I must father. Certain powers obey him, but
others control him. If I escaped I'd be
committing a crime against him and against you.
Does he threaten you?
He only comes to me when his cruelty need not
be feared. Sometimes his bearing is regal, but
sometimes he almost limps, as though he were
the victim of some terrible affliction.
How can you feel sorry for him?
I can bear his presence because I would be
happy if I could make him forget his ugliness.
Beauty ... Beauty, you're paying a high price
for being so good.
But father, the monster is good.
A tear falls from her eyes onto her hand. It is magically transformed into a
Good God! A diamond!
He picks it up, looks at her, and puts his hand to her cheek where another
It is proof that he is protected, for I wept
thinking of him.
Maybe the devil sent these diamonds!
Rest assured, father, keep them. They are a
gift from him. Now you'll be able to support
yourself. But if you tell my sisters of this
miracle, they'll take them from you and you'll
Outside in the yard, Felicie and Adelaide are hanging up the washing. They
are dressed in peasant clothes. Ludovic is feeding the chickens.
I'd rather lie on the sheets than have to hang
them up. My hands are in the most dreadful
Look at mine! A kitchen maid! That's what I've
been reduced to!
Well, my lovely princesses, when one is
penniless, one has to work!
Yes, you can talk, you good-for-nothing. If we
hadn't lost all the furniture, we'd still have
Avenant is chopping wood across the yard.
It's all my fault. And you may have noticed
that I'm paying for it now.
Yes, when you're not drinking or gambling.
Oh, you're so charming.
How was your father this morning?
As if they cared! I'm the only one that looks
after him. He's still very weak. He can't get
Suddenly they hear the merchant shouting in a strong voice.
Felicie! Adelaide! Ludovic!
Felicie climbs up onto a stool and peers out over the line of washing.
Well, I never! A lady from the court, walking
with my father!
And here we are dressed in rags!
Beauty! It can't be!
The merchant and Beauty walk across the yard. Beauty looks like a princess.
She is wearing a long white silk dress with full sleeves and a low-cut
neckline. Her hair flows down her back in elaborate curls, and on her head
she wears a jeweled coronet from which floats a translucent pearl-studded
train. Her only piece of jewelry is a magnificent pearl necklace with a
diamond clasp. The two sisters stare at her in disbelief. Avenant helps
Felicie down off the stool.
Leave me alone, will you!
You become sweeter by the moment.
Beauty came to my room and cured me.
Where have you come from?
(staring greedily at
What a magnificent necklace!
(removing it and
offering it to her)
Take it, Felicie, it will look even better on
Felicie grabs it eagerly. It turns into a bunch of dirty twisted rags.
Put it down!
She drops it. As it touches the ground it turns back into pearls. The
Merchant picks up the necklace and puts it on Beauty.
What the Beast gave you is for you alone. You
can't give it away.
Come on Adelaide, let's go and get dressed. We
must look simply ghastly.
Good-bye, you sweet young things!
The two sisters stalk out of the yard.
(looking at the
washing on the line)
Who did my washing?
The sheets are badly hung, they're trailing on
So, this Beast wasn't savage?
No, Ludovic, he's a good beast.
You're not going back to him, are you?
I must, Avenant, I promised. The Beast set me
free for one week, and if I don't return he'll
die of heartbreak.
Do you love him?
No, Avenant, I'm fond of him. It's not the same
Inside the house, the two sisters are dressing.
The Church Committee would be most interested
in that little exhibition of witchcraft we've
In the yard.
(kissing Beauty on the cheek)
I'll see you later.
Let's go to the stable. We can talk seriously
there. My dear sisters won't be able to hear
They walk across the yard and go into the stable.
Tell us everything.
(sitting down on a wooden bench)
He gave me the key to all his treasures. He
trusts me implicitly. I'd be the monster if I
didn't return to him.
What about your servants? Are there many?
Invisible hands serve me, dress me, arrange my
hair, open and close the doors. I never see
And this Beast speaks like a human being?
Yes, Avenant, he speaks just like you and I do.
Does he crawl on all fours? What does he drink?
What does he eat?
Sometimes I help him drink -- and I know he'll
never eat me.
Inside the house. The two sisters are dressed up in all their finery.
Well, I never!
That little fool is happier than we are -- and
she's rich. After all, so many husbands are no
better than her Beast.
She's bursting with pride!
Don't worry, I've got a good head on my
shoulders. We must be very friendly and let the
boys worm out her secrets.
Downstairs. Avenant and Ludovic are sitting at the table. Ludovic empties his
Show me how much you've got.
(throwing a coin onto the table)
There you are. It's pretty bad.
We must do something. I've come to a decision.
There's nothing we can do.
Ludovic, the idea of Beauty returning to that
Beast tomorrow is intolerable. We must slay
And take his treasure! But do you appreciate
the power of magic?
I don't believe in magic. I'm sure the monster
hypnotizes Beauty and makes her believe anything
he wants her to.
When it comes to rescuing Beauty no magic power
in the world could scare me. Anyway we have no
choice. So don't be ridiculous. Butter up your
sisters -- when they see what's in it for them,
they'll stop Beauty from leaving. Tempt them
with the promise of riches.
And by what miracle will you find the Beast?
I'll question Beauty and find out her secret.
In the kitchen.
We'll rub our eyes with onions and pretend to
(holding up an onion)
She'll smell it. Ludovic's ideas are ludicrous.
She's too stupid to notice. Ludovic's idea
isn't all that silly. Leave it to me.
She hands the onion to Adelaide who rubs it in Felicie's face.
Charming! ... Go on ... go on ...
They run into Beauty's room, holding handkerchiefs to their faces. Beauty is
wearing her simple peasant clothes.
Beauty, you can't leave us, you mustn't go!
(flinging herself to her
knees at Beauty's feet)
Beauty, stay with us!
I know we have been unfair to you, but at the
thought of losing you we realize just how much
we love you!
(pretending to sob)
If the Beast loves you, he won't mind if you
stay a little longer.
Stay another week!
It's not possible.
Do you want us to die of heartbreak? Your
father? Your sisters? Stay ... Stay, Beauty
... Stay with us!
Don't be cruel. Stay!
Adelaide pretends to sob hysterically.
(stroking her forehead)
Adelaide, Adelaide! My dear sister.
Adelaide said to me, "We have got our dear
Beauty back. I shall die if she leaves!"
Don't tempt me.
Don't abandon us tomorrow. Tell the Beast that
it was your sisters' fault.
She turns away in false despair and walks over to the dressing table. She
sees the golden key lying there and snatches it while no one is looking.
I didn't realize that you were so fond of me.
You're an angel.
She runs up to Beauty and embraces her.
We're so happy! So happy!
Beauty throws herself onto the bed in despair. The sisters leave the room.
Oh, I'm so happy!
Felicie closes the door behind her and listens.
She'll stay behind, and we'll share all the
Let's wash our faces. You stink!
They go downstairs. Ludovic is waiting for them.
Is she staying?
Did you get the key?
She opens her hand.
Give it to me.
(putting her hand behind her back)
What do you take me for?
Who knows what you'd do with it; it's solid
gold, you know.
You stupid fool.
Don't start fighting. I'll give it to Avenant
-- if he decides to go.
Oh, women! You really are incredible! Typical.
Go how? Go where?
(shrugging her shoulders)
Avenant will just have to find a way.
The family is dining.
Beauty, you seem so sad.
No, I'm not, father.
She misses her luxuries. Our wretched way of
life upsets her.
The Beast must have certain attractions that
we don't possess.
Beauty gets up to serve the wine.
Doubtless Madam feels that it's beneath her to
wait on us.
Beauty runs out of the room.
She goes outside with her head in her hands, sobbing.
(coming up to her)
What have they done to you now? It's your
sisters, isn't it? They didn't wait long! Damn
it! Beauty, listen to me, don't cry. I must wake
you from this nightmare. I must take you away.
I know what you're thinking -- that I'm a good-
for-nothing. But with you beside me, I'd work.
We'd leave the town and its taverns behind us.
(She is silent.)
What is it? I see, it's the Beast. Tell me how
to get to him, I'll go and kill him.
You don't answer. I was sure of it; the Beast
has bewitched you or at least you can't bring
yourself to wish him harm.
(Beauty listens to him
with tears in her eyes.)
Well, Beauty, let me tell you -- that monster
can't be suffering as I do or he would fly to
you and make you follow him. Rest assured,
Beauty, he has forgotten you.
She shakes her head and leaves him.
Later. At the castle.
The Beast is pacing up and down in Beauty's room. He looks at his bare right
hand in despair. He goes over to the dressing table and fingers the mirror.
He walks slowly round the room and stares at the empty bed. He picks up the
fur bedspread and strokes it, as he holds it to his cheek and clutches it to
his breast with a look of anguish.
At the merchant's house. The stable.
Felicie opens the door to let in Avenant and Ludovic.
Come in, no one will find us here.
You're late, of course.
I have reached a decision. There's no looking
That's all very well, but how can we get to the
Didn't you find out how Beauty got here?
Beauty only tells us what the Beast has allowed
her to tell. We know every detail about the
domain, but she won't say anymore.
To hell with her; if she won't tell, I'll
torture her till she does!
If you do that, don't count on any more help
(They hear a sound.)
What's that? I'll go and see.
He goes to the door. The Magnificent One trots into the yard.
A riderless white horse! It's the Magnificent
One, I'm sure. He jumped over the gate and came
into the yard.
Heaven sent him!
More likely Hell.
Shut up, you fool. Avenant, open the door
quietly and bring him in.
Don't move, I'll go.
He goes out into the yard and leads the horse into the stable.
The Beast has sent him for Beauty. What luck.
Avenant, the horse can take you and Ludovic to
It's easy for you to talk!
Are you a man, or aren't you?
We mustn't waste a second.
(He mounts the horse.)
Come on, Ludovic, jump up behind me.
(getting up behind him)
May God protect us.
(picking up their bows and arrows)
She hands them to Avenant. He looks down. Something is hanging from the
It's a bag. If it were gold, I'd only have to
touch it and it would turn to straw.
(looking inside the bag)
She takes it out. It's the mirror from Beauty's room in the castle.
His message to her is clear: Look and you will
see the ugly face of a girl who breaks her
You see, the Beast's not all that stupid after
(giving Avenant the key)
Here's the key -- off you go, and good luck!
I've forgotten the magic words.
It's something like "Go, go."
If I depended on you we'd get nowhere! Go where
I am going, Magnificent One, go, go.
Go where I am going, Magnificent One, go, go.
The horse neighs and gallops out of the yard.
(running after them)
What's the matter?
Suppose we've sent them to their death ...
Don't be stupid.
(They go into the house.)
I don't feel happy about it.
(holding up the mirror)
Look at you, green with fear.
Adelaide lets out a cry of horror. The mirror reflects the cruel and ugly
face of an old hag.
She holds the mirror up to Felicie. Felicie looks into it and sees an ape.
What can you see?
Nothing. Let's take it to Beauty, it's her
They go to Beauty's room. She is wearing the fabulous clothes and jewels that
she had on when she arrived.
Ah! So Madam dolls herself up like a princess
when she's alone in her room.
Yes, just who do you think you are?
Here, Beauty, here's a mirror that was
mysteriously left at the door for you.
(She throws it on the bed.)
To show you how a Beauty must look to please a
They leave the room.
Beauty goes over to the bed and picks up the mirror. She holds it to her
cheek and props it up on the dressing table. She lies down on the bed and
stares into it. At first she sees her own reflection. Then the Beast appears
to her, with a look of intense suffering. The mirror goes black. Beauty lies
back on the bed in despair. Suddenly she sits up. She looks at the mirror
again, hurriedly picks up the Beast's glove which is lying next to it and
puts it on her right hand.
She is transported to her bed in the castle. She removes the glove and sits
Oh! the key!
She puts the glove on again. She is taken back to the house. She removes the
glove and looks round the room for the key.
Where is the key? My God!
She throws herself onto the bed and hurriedly puts on the glove again.
Back in her room in the castle, she rushes to the door which opens silently
Beast! My Beast!
She runs out of the castle, down the stone staircase. She stops and searches
in vain for the Beast.
She runs through the garden shouting for him. Suddenly she sees him lying on
the ground by the edge of the pool.
She runs to his side and kneels over him.
My Beast, answer me, Beast! Oh, my Beast,
(She tries to lift up his head.)
Answer me, Beast. Look at me. Your glove will
(She puts it on his right hand.)
(She looks at him.)
I'm the monster, Beast. You shall live, you
It's too late.
Meanwhile, Avenant and Ludovic have reached the pavilion.
Yes, we're here. First we must kill the Beast.
We'll kill him later. Have you got the key?
Avenant brings out the key and is about to put it into the lock.
Wait! This key may release some evil trap. We
must be very careful.
You're right. We won't go in through the door.
They walk round the side of the pavilion. The walls are covered in plants.
Avenant tests the branches.
Climb up after me.
Come on, take heart. You're scared of course.
I'm not scared, I'm thinking.
It looks the same to me. Are you coming?
(following him up onto the roof)
Where are we?
We're on a skylight.
He pulls back the foliage and peers down into the pavilion.
They gaze down at innumerable jewels, gold and other treasures piled up
around a statue in the middle of the pavilion.
(He points to the statue.)
The goddess Diana.
Meanwhile, Beauty is still desperately trying to revive the Beast.
You're no coward, I know the strength of your
claws. Clutch at life with them, fight! Sit up,
roar, frighten death away!
Beauty, if I were a man ... doubtless I would
... do as you say ... but poor beasts who would
prove their love ... only know ... how to lie
on the ground ... and die.
He gives her a look full of tenderness and dies.
On the roof of the pavilion Avenant is spurred into action by the sight of
the Beast's treasure.
I'm going to break the pane.
(Ludovic tries to hold him back.)
Leave me alone!
(He breaks the glass with
the heel of his boot.)
After all, it's only glass. You hold me by the
arms, and lower me down as far as possible,
then I'll jump.
It's too high.
How will we get the treasure out?
We'll think of something. First we've got to
get in there. Stand square on your feet.
(Ludovic takes hold of his arm.)
Get a good grip.
Ludovic lowers Avenant down through the skylight. The statue of Diana comes
to life, puts an arrow in her bow and aims at Avenant.
Wait, wait Ludovic, don't let go yet. Wait
until I tell you to.
Diana shoots the arrow. It hits Avenant between his shoulder blades. He lets
out a cry. Ludovic stares at him in horror. Before his very eyes Avenant's
features turn into those of the Beast. Ludovic lets go of him, he falls to
the ground -- there is no sign of the treasure, only dead leaves and
At the edge of the pool Beauty starts back with a cry.
Where is the Beast?
A handsome young man stands in front of her.
The Beast is no more. It was I, Beauty. My
parents wouldn't believe in fairy tales. The
fairies punished them through me. I could only
be saved by a look of love.
Are such miracles possible?
We are the proof. Love can make a Beast of a
man. It can also make an ugly man handsome.
(She looks away)
What is it Beauty? Do you regret my ugliness?
No, my Lord. You resemble someone I once knew.
My brother's friend.
You loved him?
Did he know?
But you loved the Beast?
Yes, I did.
You are a strange girl, Beauty, a strange girl
(kneeling at his feet)
I am at your service.
(lifting her to her feet)
Does my resemblance to your brother's friend
(She turns back to him and smiles.)
(taking her in his arms)
The first time I carried you in my arms I was
the Beast ...
In the pavilion the remains of the Beast lie smoking on the ground.
Are you happy?
I shall have to get accustomed to you. Where
will you take me?
To my kingdom, where you will be Queen. There
you'll find your father, and your sisters will
carry your train.
Is it far?
We'll fly through the air.
(He picks her up in his arms.)
You won't be afraid, will you?
I don't mind being afraid ... with you.
He carries her out into the courtyard. In the pavilion dead leaves flutter
onto the remains of the Beast. The Prince kisses Beauty's hand.
Beauty! I will take you! Come, away!
Hand in hand they are magically carried aloft through the clouds into the sky.
Screenplay by Jean Cocteau