Beauty and the Beast (1962)

Article 1816 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-5-2006
Posting Date: 8-2-2006
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Featuring Joyce Taylor, Mark Damon, Eduard Franz

A princess is betrothed to a prince who is cursed to turn into a werewolf every night.

Edward L. Cahn can do some interesting work on low-budget horror and science fiction, but he wouldn’t be my choice for a color fantasy movie. Furthermore, with the Cocteau and Disney versions out there for the pickings, there seems to be precious little reason to pick this version out of the bunch. Granted, it takes a different tack on the tale, but not a particularly strong one. For one thing, with our beast only being a beast for half of the day at a time, it’s not near as big a sacrifice for the princess to commit her love to him. Furthermore, even when the prince turns into the beast, he remains coherent and decidedly non-wild; he is merely ugly. He’s not even that ugly, as a matter of fact; Jack Pierce does the makeup here, and it’s the same makeup from THE WOLF MAN with minor variations. The production is pretty and colorful, but singularly short of magic, and the acting is pretty variable, with Eduard Franz and Walter Burke giving the best performances. There are a few nice touches here and there, but the turgid pace is another minus. There’s no point in settling for this version with the other ones out there.

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