The Beast (La bête)

1975

The Beast (La bête)

Critics Consensus

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65%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,953
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Movie Info

In this story, a young nobleman with an unusually strong interest in horse-breeding is being prepared to marry the wealthy niece of an American Cardinal. (Noble families which are growing impoverished try to marry off their younger generations to the heirs of wealthy commoners.) When the girl arrives at the nobleman's family mansion the day before the wedding, she is shown around the house and its treasures and is told the story of an ancestor's legendary battle against a beast. That night, she dreams of an erotic encounter with a man/beast which culminates in the death of the beast. On awakening, she finds that she has been in bed with her fiancé, who is now dead. When mysterious bandages on his person are removed, he is seen to have a tail and one hand which has turned animal-like. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Beast (La bête)

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for The Beast (La bête)

  • Jul 10, 2011
    Borowczyk's perverse and depraved masterpiece of beautiful erotic brilliance is also a straightforward and honest essay evolving around sexual bestiality and the impulses of man. His take on the tale of "The Beauty and the Beast" is absolutely intentional. Woman is placed as a fragile rose (displaying Walerian's iconic fetish: red roses on naked women, like he did in Story of a Sin) with hidden passions and sexual encounters both real and imagined, while the beast, as we know even from the original tale, is actually a man inside... or is the man a beast inside? Haha, what a brilliant move to transform such kid's fable into an adult work, accurate to the bone. Be sure to watch the director's cut, though, and you'll surely get your horse porn too. 98/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2010
    I never except to see this arthouse film is very erotic while it finally released straight to DVD, not in the cinema in 1975 because it was banned for 30 years - it's true! This attempts to mix a fairy tale, a sort of comedy of manners and faked explicit bestiality. This genuinely erotic film is wonderfully photographed and tasteless. The women here are stunningly beautiful and they are naked most of the time. Overall <I>La Bête</i> is a visual feast. Whether it be from the fetishistic attention to detail, or the visual motifs pregnant with information, director Walerian Borowczyk's masterpiece should be watched with care and attention.
    Dean M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2007
    I wanted to like this a lot more than I did, but as a whole it came across as amateurish and juvenile, a weak framework being used as an excuse to show sexually "shocking" imagery. Great, now I've seen horses mate. Oh wow, they're showing that guy's johnson. Sex and sexual imagery can have meaning and can be truly daring, but there needs to be an artistically perceivable point. I found no such thing in The Beast, which largely left me just bored despite all the supposedly lustful ongoings.
    Steve K Super Reviewer

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