The Many Faces of Beauty and the Beast

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The Many Faces of <i>Beauty and the Beast</i>

Beauty and the Beast was written in 1740 by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Then, in 1756, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont rewrote the story. Of course, we all know that the reinterpretations of the enchanting tale didn’t stop there, as demonstrated by these 13 films and TV shows. Let’s take a look at the many faces of Beauty and her Beast.

1. Josette Day and Jean Marais, La belle et la bête (1946) Directed by Jean Cocteau, this entrancing classic film is a must-see for all movie buffs. It’s based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s 1757 fairy tale.

2. Joyce Taylor and Mark Damon, Beauty and the Beast (1962) This film is well-known for the beast being brought to life by the illustrious makeup artist, Jack Pierce. It is the first Anglophone version of the classic story.

3. Trish Van Devere and George C. Scott, Beauty and the Beast (1976) Legendary actor George C. Scott, plays the beast with his beloved wife, Trish Van Devere, celebrating real-life romance.

4. Susan Sarandon and Klaus Kinski, Beauty and the Beast (1984) Presented by Shelley Duvall, Faerie Tale Theatre was a TV series that ran from 1982-1987 and reenacted various fairy tales with star-studded cast members. With Susan Sarandon as beauty and Klaus Kinski as the beast, this episode is not one to miss.

5. Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, Beauty and the Beast (1987) Beauty and the Beast was a 1987 CBS show played out in a futuristic New York setting, where ‘ Belle’ is a district attorney, assisted by ‘ the beast,’ her romantic interest. George R.R. Martin was a writer on the show.

6. Rebecca De Mornay and John Savage, Beauty and the Beast (1987) Part of the Cannon movie tales, this TV movie follows the classic story, set in a contemporary setting.

7. Paige O’Hara and Robby Benson, Beauty and the Beast (1991) Perhaps the most famous of the Beauty and the Beast adaptations, this animated film won over the hearts of many viewers, becoming a modern classic.

8. Vanessa L. Williams and Gregory Hines, Beauty and the Beast (1995) HBO family aired Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, from 1995-2000. This animated episode has the voices done by renowned actors Vanessa L. Williams and Gregory Hines.

9. Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer, Beastly (2011) Another interpretation set in NYC, this film takes a rugged, edgy approach to the fairy tale. A young jerk named ‘ Kyle’ is punished by a witch by being turned into a ‘ beast’ (which means she makes him bald and covers him in tattoos).

10. Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan, Beauty and the Beast (2012-2016) Somewhat based off of the CBS series, this CW procedural doesn’t have much to do with the original fairy tale (save the title).

11. Emilie de Ravin, “Skin Deep” Once Upon a Time (2012) Once Upon a Time takes on all the best Disney characters and throws them into one mixed up town called Storybrooke. Here, Beauty doesn’t end up with a beast/prince, but does have a tryst with Rumpelstiltskin.

12. Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel, La belle et la bête (2014) Based on the original story as written by de Villeneuve in 1740, French actors Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel star in this moody film. With stunning set design, this francophone film is worth watching.

13. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, Beauty and the Beast (2017) The long-awaited, live-action rendition of Disney’s 1991 animated feature stars the inimitable Emma Watson, and includes the score from the original cartoon. With this new film, this tale as old as time continues to live on into the future.



Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author, and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.