Beauty and the Beast
Movies and Television Shows
Tales of Beasts, etc., Transformed by Love
Mermaids and Mermen
Shells and Snail
Loathly Men Transformed by Love
Loathly Women Transformed by Love
People Transformed by Love into Beasts
Modern Fiction: Analogues and Retellings
Pantomime and Plays
A Story As Diverse as the Animal World: Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast stories span the globe, and the tale transforms as often as Cinderella changes dresses. Beasts can be male or female, frogs, pigs, hideously ugly, cruel, or kind. Several of the story elements cross into other tale types. This tale type contains numerous versions with distinctive histories, and some features may reach even back to pre-historic times.
A Tale Type with an Ancient Lineage
The Golden Ass
Fairy tales are difficult to date because of the oral tradition and the uncertain paths between teller and audience, yet Beauty and the Beast stories are different because several of their elements can be traced to distinct print versions that have influenced the large tale type for centuries.
One of the earliest versions of Beauty and the Beast occurs in a frame narrative from the second century CE, The Golden Ass (also called The Metamorphoses of Apuleius). The larger narrative by Apuleius is about a man who finds salvation after his natural curiosity leads to him being turned into a donkey. He cannot change back until he is able to eat roses, and as he travels in his new animal form, he hears several other tales.
During his adventures, Lucius, the naive protagonist, learns of the story of Cupid and Psyche from an elderly woman who has been enslaved by thieves. She cooks for them and acts as look out. She is charged with guarding a young bride the thieves have kidnapped and tells her the story to pass the time. In his animal form, Lucius overhears the story. Her tale, a mythic parable of the union of Desire and the Soul, offers some of the earliest recorded Beauty and the Beast elements. For example, Venus curses Psyche to marry a hideous monster. Cupid circumvents his mother and loves the maiden instead, but he takes her away to his castle and commands that she accept him as her invisible lover. Eventually, after a visit home where her sisters convince her that she has married a monster, Psyche lights a candle to see her husband as he sleeps when her curiosity, a major theme of the larger tale type, overwhelms her. Psyche will deceive her sisters and contribute to their deaths as revenge for the destruction they helped create. The wounded Cupid flees, and the now pregnant Psyche must go on a quest to find him, a trope that also appears in many important variants. After her quest is achieved, the two are married, and Zeus makes Psyche immortal.
The Loathly Lady
The vast diversity within the Beauty and the Beast story line occurred centuries ago and crosses gender lines. The idea of the “loathly” (ugly) lady informed many narratives in the Middle Ages. Often early adventures like The Weddynge of Syr Gawen and Dame Ragnell (The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle) include discussions of women’s sovereignty, but they also reflect several elements of the Beauty and the Beast story that remain central to the tale, particularly regarding issues of truth, commitment and keeping one’s word, trust, and the importance of vows.
Dame Ragnelle is far outside the social standards for what is beautiful. Her hideous looks and lack of refined manners lead others to scorn her and feel sorry for Gawain, who must marry her due to his promise to save his king. The idea of holding fast to one’s oath remains a key part of the tale as does the focus on the Beast’s hideous appearance. Although the animal element (discussed below) comes from elsewhere, the idea of the Beast as outsider remains a constant in the tale.
The most important element in this type of story is the transformation. Loathly ladies offer their now bound husbands a key choice: they must decide to have a beautiful but faithless wife or an ugly but virtuous one. Most of the husbands have learned enough from the story to let their wives choose, but the idea of a verbal articulation from the protagonist remains a key part of the narrative. Beauties often fall in love with their Beasts earlier in the tale, but the transformation cannot occur until the heroine can verbalize her feelings. Most versions of the plot end with a marriage.
Stories of a mermaid or snake spouse circulated through France, Germany, and England in the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries. The Middle English Melusine was compiled by Jean d’Arras, and many French versions embed the tale inside of a larger frame narrative similar to Cupid and Psyche. The basic narrative is of a woman with a tail like a serpent and her marriage to a human man. The Beauty is the Beast in this romance, but several of the key plot elements remain unchanged.
The British version begins with a long overview of how frequently marriages between men and women who are serpents exist. The men always prosper while married to these other-worldly wives, but his spouse always creates a clear boundary. For example, her husband may not watch her while she bathes, come to her while she gives birth, or visit her on Saturdays. The husband will respect his wife’s request for a time, but eventually, he will transgress. If he does so, his wife must transform from half-serpent, half-woman to a snake entirely, and his fortunes now change for the worse.
Melusine is the product of one such union, and after she seeks out and punishes her father, her mother curses her to turn into a serpent every Saturday. She cannot seek Heaven unless she finds a man who will not look at her on Saturday nor tell anyone about her unique nature. If she can accomplish this task, she will live and die as a human woman. If the man fails, Melusine must live on until Judgement day.
Melusine soon marries Raymond and offers him useful advice after he accidentally kills his uncle. As she dazzles him with her wealth and nobility, she makes it clear that she is one of God’s creatures but that Raymond must respect her terms and her lack of answers at times. On their wedding night, she reminds Raymond of the terms of their contract: he may not look at her on Saturdays or even ask where she has been. If he respects her wishes, she will increase his reputation and holdings.
At first, the marriage is happy. Melusine builds a key fortress, helps her husband rule, and impresses everyone with her wisdom and beauty. The couple have several children, and each one, although fair, contains a mark of faery: three eyes, a long tooth, a lion’s foot, etc. The eldest boys come of age and go out into the world. Melusine prepares their ships, and the plot shows how the sons expand Raymond’s reputation and holdings. A grandchild does not have any unique physical attributes, suggesting that Melusine’s goal of becoming fully human is close at hand. Then another pair of sons enter the world and again increase Raymond’s reputation.
The family’s fortune changes due to Raymond’s brother. He comes to visit his sibling on a Saturday, and when Melusine is not there, he assumes she commits adultery. Like Psyche’s sisters, he essentially plants the idea of the monster into Raymond’s mind. Raymond becomes angry, takes his sword, and carves a hole in the door of the Melusine’s bath chamber. This instance of curiosity and doubt remains embedded in the later fairy tale, but where Psyche experiences desire, Raymond despairs. He gazes on his wife while she bathes, and he can see that she is a human woman from her waist up but has a tail with a serpent’s scales. Raymond is not horrified by her animal form. He regrets having doubted his wife. He threatens his brother and sends him away. He realizes that he has been the cause of his undoing, but he cannot yet tell his wife of his transgression.
Soon, trouble strikes the family as one son, Geoffrey, kills another brother for becoming a monk. He locks him inside a church and burns it to the ground. In his despair, Raymond sees his children as monsters. He rereads their unique birth marks as signs of the Otherworld, and he realizes that his youngest child, Horryble, must be demonic since he has already drained wet nurses and killed squires. The king despairs but is away from Melusine at this time. Well- meaning members of the court summon her to comfort him, but in his despair, Raymond lashes out in public, calling his wife a snake. She swoons causing Raymond to regret his hasty actions.
When she awakens, Melusine reveals that she knew that he had seen her body that Saturday but that she had been willing to overlook the transgression since he did not reveal the secret. She also explains how she can no longer live with him or die as a human woman. She asks for lands to be given to her two younger sons and clarifies that she will visit the boys but that Raymond will never see her in human form again. She also tells Raymond’s councilors that they must kill her other son, Horryble. He is too aggressive, and his life would cause great suffering. She also asks Raymond to reconcile with Geoffrey. With that she leaps from the window, and when she leaves, she is no longer human, possessing a fifteen-foot tale.
Raymond does everything she asks. Horryble is trapped and killed. Raymond knows that she visits the other sons because they thrive. He reconciles with Geoffrey, but before the young man repents fully, he kills Raymond’s brother for causing Melusine’s husband to doubt. Raymond will eventually leave his lands with Geoffrey for a pilgrimage to Rome and will spend the rest of his life as a monk. With time, Geoffrey restores his name and also goes on a great pilgrimage, but the narrator signals that the heirs are not strong enough and Raymond’s holdings will fall. The British version ends as one of Melusine’s sisters curse the heirs further after a male heir tried to ravish her, further destroying everything Melusine built.
The eventual separation of Beauty and Beast appear in many of the tale’s variants. In a Japanese version, “Urashima the Fisherman” a husband disobeys his goddess wife and opens a box, finding himself forever separated from his love. In Melusine stories, Raymond and the main character share the labels of Beauty and Beast since Raymond needs Melusine to prosper, yet it is his “beastly” behavior that destroys her humanity. The tragic tone to this variant becomes common in tales with a spouse from the otherworld. Examples include selkie stories and tales of swan maidens (see below). In some Scandinavian versions, the woman takes on the shape of a dragon. She can only return to her human form if a loving male dares to kiss her while she appears as a dragon, which never happens.
Versions of the Gowther-narrative circulate in France before spreading across Europe. The British versions, recording in the fifteenth century, contain clear folk elements within the larger romance plot. The story of a half-demon who sheds his shaggy, inner-demonic self may seem like an odd original tale for Beauty and the Beast, but Sir Gowther and other devil tales from the middle ages contain several of the redemptive elements that present-day authors continue to embed within the narrative.
A woman who fears being set aside ends up begetting a child with a demon. Her son, Gowther, reflects his heritage shortly after birth. He sucks the life out of wet nurses and bites off his mother’s nipple. As a young man, he takes to raping women and murdering others. He locks nuns in a church and burns them alive. After he learns of his fiendish ancestry from his mother, he seeks redemption. The Pope requires him to be silent until he receives a sign from God, and he must refuse all food unless it has passed through the mouths of dogs. The hero travels and receives food from greyhounds. He eventually arrives at an emperor’s court and sits under the tables with the dogs, where the people assume he is a fool. The emperor’s daughter, however, notices him. A sultan attacks this new kingdom, and Gowther begins to regain his humanity by fighting to protect the maiden and her land in a series of battles where his armor (black, then red, and then white) reflect the progressive state of his soul. After a divine signal, Gowther marries the maiden, returns to his homeland, and attempts to live a pious life. In some variants, he becomes a saint.
The point of this narrative is not tell a story focused on love. The beast comes from Gowther’s demonic nature that must be shed; while protecting the princess, he completes the work needed to regain his humanity. This narrative acts as a Beauty and the Beast precursor, however, in that it contains the idea of a man transformed via transgression. While Gowther always looks human, he acts the animal and has to learn to become a human being. Whenever a Beast is punished for a sin or other error, the trope stems from redemptive stories often focused on the state of the protagonist’s soul.
La Belle et la Béte
Just as our modern notions of Cinderella are heavily shaped by Charles Perrault and Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, our understanding of Beauty and the Beast is shaped by two women who created key versions during the eighteenth century. The first, Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, a writer closely related to the French Salon Writers of the previous generation (writer like Madeline de Scudéry, Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Catherine Bernard, Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier, and Henriette Julie de Murat), created an expansive novella-length version that defines most of the elements we associate with the tale.
The second, foundational author, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, revised Villeneuve’s expansive text to reflect the more compact story that now acts as the basis for most adaptations of what we call Beauty and the Beast today. Also written in French, Beaumont’s retelling was written for privileged English families and was soon translated into English. This variant helps signal how the tales shifted from household stories to children’s literature.
Villeneuve’s version is expansive and rivals Cupid and Psyche’s length and scope. The story first appeared as part of a frame narrative used to entertain a fictional young American girl on a transatlantic voyage. Like Apuleius’ “Tale of Cupid and Psyche,” it is used in its frame narrative as a means of passing the time, a diversion for one caught up in difficult circumstances.
Villeneuve introduces the idea of a merchant and his sons and daughters, who fall into poverty through the whims of fortune. The character of the entire family is tested, and Villeneuve most emphatically develops ideas of choice, commitment, loyalty, and the consequences of one’s choices (behavior that carries significant political as well as psychological consequences).
From the outset, readers see that Beauty is quite different from her six brothers and five sisters. During the story, it is revealed that Beauty is not the merchant’s child but the child of a fairy who transgressed social boundaries. Beauty’s appearance and kind nature are signs of her innate nobility.
Villeneuve’s story is filled with deceitful behavior (both good and bad), along with several thefts and abuses that are hidden by transformation. The merchant, robbed for fortune and his creditors, is entrapped by the Beast, who is also the victim of abuse. The merchant picks a rose from Beast’s garden, an unwitting robbery that leads to the “entrapment” of Beauty, by her own choices, as she attempts to save her father.
The Beast is described in animalistic terms, but his exact form is unclear. In this version, Beauty’s time at the castle is not brief. She spends months in solitude watching plays, reading, enjoying music, and having conversations with monkeys and birds. Her life seems suspended between impersonal activities and dreams, but at night, a handsome prince appears to comfort her. She is also visited by a beautiful, wise fairy who warns her to not believe everything she sees. The psychology is complex in this version as the protagonist comes of age through learning to read herself as well as society and the world around her. She has to learn where she stops and where and how to embrace the work of others, even if what is offered seems ugly or unwise at first appearance. She must move beyond tradition-bound politics to find her path.
The Beast appears ugly and dull when around Beauty, but despite his inarticulation, is always kind as he attempts to provide whatever Beauty requires. While he can influence her dreams as a Fair Unknown, only Beauty can make the meaningful choices the plot requires. With time, Beauty begins to feel gratitude toward the Beast but prefers the handsome man for much of the story; her perception is the first aspect that must be changed before the Beast can transform.
Beauty finally misses her family, and the Beast gives her a mirror that allows her to see what happens at the castle and a ring to travel back and forth. She breaks her promise to return on time because her sisters, who are jealous of her life and general happiness, distract her. After realizing that the Beast is near death, Beauty declares her love and agrees to marry him, and the Beast is transformed into the handsome Prince from Beauty’s dreams.
Villeneuve’s story, however, does not end at this point. The Beast’s fairy godmother and the Prince’s mother appear as the son regains human form, and despite Beauty’s role in this transformation, the queen is not thrilled about her son marrying a merchant’s daughter. The godmother explains a lengthy history for Beauty that involves fairies, rules about whom fairies can love, and a history of a child being raised by another. Beauty is actually the niece of the godmother and a princess in her own right, so the marriage is approved. Although in one respect the conclusion appears to confirm marriage to an inferior as an act of political miscegenation, the majority of the plot subverts this idea a half century before the French Revolution. Throughout the story, themes of gender, sexuality, and sexual behavior are sharply defined and criticized.
The Prince then explains how he was transformed because he rejected another fairy’s lecherous advances, not for aggressive behavior. Beauty and her prince offer to abdicate but are reminded to perform their duties, and the story ends with their marriage and presumed happy lives. In this second act, the tale also includes important themes of animal transformation as fairies have to turn into snakes to gain power to defeat more powerful fairies. While extreme, this idea of animal transformation serves as a crucial element that crosses retellings and sub-variants.
Beaumont truncated this long, complex story to create the version that most of us now think of when first hearing a Beauty and the Beast tale. In her retelling, Beauty is the merchant’s biological daughter, and she only has two sisters, but they are just as jealous as Psyche’s were. The heroine lives up to her name through her appearance and her beautiful nature. She is the one that takes over the household after the family loses its wealth, and she does all of the cooking and cleaning, serving as a type of Cinderella who deserves a better life. The storm, rose, and exchange still occur. Beauty sees the Beast as dull but kind, and eventually she uses the mirror and learns that her father is ill. When she goes home, the protagonist realizes that she prefers living with the Beast; she has learned to value herself rather than living for her family. She returns to find the Beast on the brink of death and articulates her love: she realizes that she would rather have a husband who is kind than one who is handsome. This articulation leads to the Beast’s transformation and their marriage. The Prince explains that he was cursed by a wicked fairy, and at the wedding, another fairy transforms Beauty’s sisters into statues outside the castle so that they have to watch Beauty’s happiness until they can be genuinely pleased for her. The moral focuses on the importance of kindness and virtue.
The Basic Story, Its Many Iterations, and Dominant Modern Interpretations
A Merchant’s Daughter
In Jean Cocteau’s version, the Disney film, and many other modern retellings, Beauty is the daughter of a merchant. This change, although not required for an animal bridegroom tale, helps to establish the heroine as part of a rising middle class and allows the tale to also offer class commentary. Even in versions where Beauty has multiple siblings, her sisters are consistently lazy, rude, and obnoxious. They mirror Cinderella’s stepsisters, who exist to act as a foil for the heroine’s behavior. When brothers are included, they can be protective or just as vice-riddled. Regardless of their behavior, the siblings function as a way to isolate the heroine even within a crowded household. Beauty is consistently the well-behaved, reserved, and modest member of the family. She possesses humility and empathy where her siblings are distracted by the trappings of wealth.
While her name can be a reflection of her physical beauty, that idea alone defeats the purpose of the tale. If the point of the story is to look past the Beast’s appearance, then the heroine’s physical beauty should not matter either. While modern renditions like to focus on the name Belle and the heroine’s looks, the idea of her beauty is supposed to come from her behaviors. She acts with kindness whether surrounded with riches or poverty. Her “beauty” appears in all settings because it is from her kind nature, and her name has little to do with the actual tale beyond being a symbolic cue for the tale’s moral: be careful not be to be misled by deceptive appearances, regardless of class, race, or station – ideas that originate with Villeneuve and the French salon writers and continue to be developed into the twenty-first century.
Loss of Wealth
The merchant’s family will encounter hard financial times. In some variants, their house burns down, and in others, several of the father’s ships fail to arrive on time. These events move the family from their lavish home, where most of the members were not thriving, to a humble pastoral setting. This environment is what leads to the tale’s focus on Beauty. The father often cannot provide for the family and, in several modern retellings, can fall into an intense depression. Beauty becomes the only member of the family capable of seeing their new home away from the city, suitors, and money as a place where they can be happy. If an author wants to show her as capable, she can be seen arranging the move, selling off possessions to gather the family’s resources, or cleaning the new house when her sisters are too incompetent to do much more than complain. While a few modern renditions attempt to salvage the hostile sisters of the earlier tradition and make them positive characters, it is more common in recent retellings to see the sisters removed in further attempts to isolate the heroine.
The Request (The Rose)
One of the key images associated with Beauty and the Beast stories is the rose, which Beauty requests as a gift from her father upon his return from the city. This symbol, which goes back to The Golden Ass by way of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose, where it carries overtones of sexual desire and consummation, has become a staple of modern adaptations. It received prominence in Disney’s retelling but also figures into variants as diverse as Angela Carter’s “The Tiger’s Bride” and Robin McKinley’s Beauty and Rose Daughter.
This key section of story always begins when the father receives word about his business ventures in the city, and in a deluded attempt to change his financial standing, he travels to see what of his fortune has been recovered. He often sets out in summer but is often cheated, disappointed, and forced to return home in winter. Occasionally, he will ask his daughters what he can bring them before he sets out. The sisters want lavish gifts, but in an attempt to humor him, Beauty requests a single rose. When the patriarch gets to the city, he realizes that he was deceived and gains no further wealth.
Because of a storm on his way home, the father has to seek shelter, and he will find himself at the Beast’s castle. Often he is impressed by the wealth he sees on display, and the next morning, he will see a rose and attempt to take it home to Beauty. This enrages the Beast, who consistently enters the tale as an angry creature, demanding blood in exchange for a flower, though his true motives remain unclear.
The idea of a vow is pivotal to most animal bridegroom stories. The role of a commitment made by the father is a prominent factor in Villeneuve, but it can be traced back to Apuleius’s version of the Cupid and Psyche myth. The point is to establish an agreement that cannot be broken without disastrous consequences; the pledge becomes a contract, and although the exchange can be about a simple flower, it represents a much more substantial sequence. In Beaumont and most of her successors, the first promise appears to be between the father and the Beast, but this exchange leads to the assurances and later vows between Beauty and the Beast. These agreements may seem like a business deal initially, but, as in the loathly lady stories, they become a compact to test the protagonist’s ethics.
In simplified versions, the father must agree to either die for his theft or to see if one of his daughters is willing to come to the castle in his place. What the Beast intends to do with the maiden is left ambiguous, and several modern renditions have suggested the father tries to sell Beauty or that the Beast overreacts on purpose in order to court the heroine. The father will return home, and if he tells the family about the encounter, the sisters will be horrified but not willing to save the patriarch. They blame Beauty, concluding that she should die for her request. Being the unselfish daughter, will Beauty will agree to sacrifice herself on behalf of her father. Her decision further isolates her from her family as the heroine again demonstrates her brave nature when surrounded by cowardice.
Within the narrative, her request and the promise exist for one purpose: to move Beauty from her father’s home to the Beast’s castle. Since the story is often given an early setting, an explanation is needed to have Beauty traveling on her own. While many versions have her father escort her to the castle, a few show her running away to save her father. The promise is what allows the actual plot to begin since the early portions serve as little more than character development for Beauty. Once there, Beauty will encounter the Beast for herself.
In the Stith-Thompson classification system of fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast narratives designated as Animal Bridegroom stories. A character consistently marries a spouse in animal form. The shape can vary, so the husbands and wives can be anything from the odd but exotic hedgehog to the more average lion. Beauty and the Beast stories tend to portray a Beast who is lion-like. He is wider and taller than most men, covered in fur, usually possesses sharp teeth and claws, but can speak. The ugly and dull Beast from the earlier versions has been replaced with time, however, and modern Beasts are often quite articulate. The animal form has also led some critics to see Beauty and the Beast stories as tales about animality and desire.
Modern retellings like to explore how far the Beast’s form can go. He can be a demon overlord, a lion-like creature, a horned buffalo, a dragon, a wolf, etc. Beauties tend to remain young women in their late teens or early twenties, but that restriction often changes as the Beast’s form becomes more exotic.
Yet, along with the changing nature, some retellings have also changed why the Beast was transformed and how it relates to the rest of the tale. The 1991 Disney retelling reflects the change to make the Beast’s appearance a mirroring of his aggressive nature. A young prince is transformed due to his rude behaviors. While a few modern renditions have attempted to retain the concept of the Beast being falsely punished, the idea of the first transformation as punishment for a transgression has now become a fairly standard element. The beast shifts from an innocent victim who needs Beauty’s love to someone who needs Beauty to help him restore his body or spirit.
This alteration, however, also shifts the tale’s moral somewhat. In the early versions, the Beast’s transformation was not the point of the story. Cupid grows up across the myth, but he does not physically transform to be with Psyche. The story demonstrates Psyche’s strength and desire to locate her husband. In the French retellings, it is Beauty who undergoes the metamorphosis; her perception of the Beast as her possible husband must change. His physical transformation merely signals the end of the tale. He is the victim, and she is the savior.
If the Beast is changed due to his behavior, then the story is no longer about Beauty’s quest; it resembles the earlier transformation of Sir Gowther instead. When Beauty becomes a tool to redeem the Beast, her female-driven storyline becomes more about a man’s transformation to redeem himself rather than a strong heroine’s journey.
Time at the Castle
Because of other changes to the story, the time the heroine spends at the Beast’s castle can also become distorted. What Beauty does at the castle varies greatly, but usually the characters dine together at night. Each evening the Beast proposes, and every night Beauty rejects him. In many modern retellings, the characters begin to spend time together during the day as their relationship develops.
When the heroine was one of twelve siblings, the time at the castle served as a way for her to find peace and enjoy herself. In the Villeneuve version, the heroine is shown sleeping until noon, reading, exploring nature, watching plays and operas, and other arts. While she will get bored eventually, the point of this time is that Beauty realizes what she prefers as an independent woman rather than as a daughter or sister.
The Beaumont Beauty is extremely humble, and the Beast provides her family with money after the she arrives at the castle. While the exchange of wealth has been taken up in negative ways in modern retellings, the Beast may be paying a bride price for Beauty. Her time at the castle highlights her freedom as she possesses her own room, only dines with the Beast, and learns to prefer life at the castle. When she returns home, she attempts to be overly generous and has to learn to value herself first rather than merely spoiling her sisters. The main point of her extended time at the castle is to create a setting for Beauty to find herself.
When the story’s focus changes to taming the Beast, far darker elements become embedded in the tale by extension. Because Beauty cannot leave due to the promise, her time at the castle can be read as imprisonment, making any idea of a love story a mislabeling of Stockholm syndrome as romance. Beauty is usually alone in the castle with the Beast (other than the invisible servants), so she has no one else on whom to focus. In this reading of the story, her understanding of the Beast becomes a sign of her psychological breakdown, and her eventual marriage is merely an indication that she cannot see any other choices other than the abuse she has already endured.
This level of maltreatment grows to an even more frightening level when paired with a Beast who must be “civilized.” In the medieval Sir Gowther plot, the religious theme of forgiveness explains how the heroine can love the Beast as she remains ignorant about much of his past violence. Some authors remove the religious symbolism to focus on a love the Beast as the love interested who is tamed by affection. Beauty’s love becomes a good influence that slowly transforms the Beast internally; her goodness causes him to regain his humanity, and the plot then becomes a horrifying model of relationship patterns that often lead to domestic abuse. The Beast becomes the ultimate “bad boy” transformed by love if Beauty if patient enough to abide his cruel demands and possible verbal abuse.
The Return Home
When Beauty has learned to live for herself at the castle, her desire to return home can be read as a natural inclination or a feeling of obligation. She has been enjoying her new comforts but wants to check on others. Once home, Beauty begins to realize that she has changed too much. Although she will get caught up again in the drama her sisters create, she finds herself longing for the home she has with the Beast.
The Beast always asks her to make a promise to return and often sets a specific date for her trip away from the castle. While she is gone, he pines away without her, and he is usually near death by the time she realizes her feelings for him. This moment of epiphany signals her agency and how she controls her fate. She is no longer her father’s daughter or the Beast’s prisoner. She returns to the castle and decides to give herself away in marriage. She possess power over her body and life.
When the themes of too-aggressive desire are added to the story, the Beast’s illness can serve as a form of manipulation. If a writer has failed to include the moment of epiphany, then Beauty appears to return to the castle out of obligation, to try to save the Beast’s life rather than because she controls her own. Since Beauty relinquishes her freedom only when the Beast’s life is in jeopardy, Beauty can be read as a victim of a manipulative abuser. Caught between obligations to her father and her jailor, she becomes trapped into marriage with a supposedly gentler monster who controls her choices. This reading, while extreme, is appearing more frequently as authors fail to focus on the ideas of oaths, respect, and consent embedded in the mythic and literary precursors like Villeneuve and Beaumont to explore variations on what some have referred to as the Stockholm syndrome.
In versions where the time at the castle has been about Beauty’s self-realization, the story contains far more agency for the heroine. When Beauty returns, her mere presence is not enough to save the dying beast. She has to articulate her desire, so the entire plot hinges on a woman’s words. Only when Beauty says that she loves or will marry the beast can his transformation begin. Beauty has control over the Beast’s life and death, and she has to choose to save him. A few modern versions have included protagonists who forgot to return or who intentionally let the Beast die to highlight the power Beauty possesses at this moment. Because the tale is about her transformation, the plot hinges on her dialogue, choice, and reaction. The Beast’s physical form reflects the importance of her actions.
Transformation and Resolution
Once Beauty names her desires, the story can end as the Beast metamorphoses. At this point, the Beast transforms back into a man, usually a handsome prince. Several modern retellings have Beasts who retain their animal forms, and a few have Beauty change into a beast instead.
If the Beast was transformed for his behavior, he will have to explain why he was cursed, and often his entire castle is affected by the change. Disney made the transformation even more dramatic by affecting the staff as well, entire realms can be impacted by the Beast’s old and new forms. If the sisters are included, which is rare, they either receive happy endings or fates similar to the women in the Beaumont retelling (to be turned into statues), depending on the story’s larger message.
Modern Revisions and Important Adaptations
Beauty and the Beast appears to be increasing in popularity. Film versions appear routinely, and paranormal romances abound in television series. Where Beasts were once animals, now they can be werewolves, vampires, angels, and other characters as long as the basic story elements are retained. This change has a precedent in the classic stories, for beasts were sometimes a goddess in disguise or a creature at odds with society. The tale type takes so many forms that it can appear to be quite ubiquitous.
Film versions, however, are usually beholden to one more prominent retelling. Jean Cocteau’s 1946 production adds a rival for Belle’s affection, creating a love triangle that many renditions include today. The lion-like image of the Beast that is now a standard icon for this tale also appears in this version and has helped to set the tone for the character’s appearance in many reader’s imaginations. Most older literary versions leave the details about the Beast’s appearance intentionally vague, describing the character as furry, ugly, or animal-like, but film versions, often paying homage to Cocteau, have begun to create a more standardized image of how the Beast appears.
Feminist retellings have also been instrumental to reshaping our understanding of Beauty and the Beast. Angela Carter famously embraces the lecherous aspects of the promise, the importance of desire, and the idea of female transformation in “The Tiger’s Bride.” Robin McKinley creates a world in which the sisters do not fight and instead help each other to succeed as a family in Rose Daughter. Tanith Lee creates a horrifying, handsome monster who kills others in a quest for perfection and a heroine capable of killing him in “The Beast,” and Mercedes Lackey portrays a Beast who remains an animal bridegroom when forced to choose between saving his lover and obtaining the information to regain his human form in The Fire Rose. Some authors, like Grace Draven, even expand the plot to include father and son beasts to explore the idea of family more fully in Entreat Me. This version includes both older and younger Beauty characters. Many successful adaptations, retellings, and re-imaginings of the classic story and other variants can be found in the sections below.
Important Sub-Variants Each of these sub-variants deserves more explanation in future pages on the site, but for now, their connections to Beauty and the Beast are designated here.
Snow White and Rose Red
This tale, usually known from the Brothers Grimm version, has been retold many times, but its name often causes confusion. Snow-White is not to be confused with Snow White from “Little Snow White” or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The heroine in the story with an evil queen, a poisoned apple, and dwarf companions is from a different tale type entirely. Snow White and Snow-White are not the same person and should not be equated. This error is beginning to appear frequently in modern retellings, and while it can lead to creative mergers, it does not represent either tale accurately. Snow-White and Rose-Red take their names from roses, and their story is not about competition between women. Their tale is about faith, family, redemption, and animal transformation.
Snow-White and Rose-Red’s names come from the rose bushes that stand outside the cottage of their widowed mother. Their names also symbolize two vastly different personalities: Snow-White is more quiet and subdued while Rose-Red prefers to run outside and enjoy nature. The girls explore the world together and work to share what they find with each other and their mother. Their kind natures protect them as wild animals refuse to attack them in the woods. An angel watches over them and prevents them from falling over a cliff when they spend a night in the forest. (See Alexander Zick’s illustrations in the Illustration section of the bibliography.) Most evenings, however, the girls stay at home drinking tea and listening to their mother read to them. When the mother would help a traveler during a snow storm, the entire family is surprised when a large black bear enters the house. The bear, who can speak, pleads for shelter. The mother agrees to help the animal. At first, the girls are scared of the bear, but soon they are comfortable enough to wrestle and tickle him. The animal spends the entire winter with the family.
In the spring, the bear leaves to protect his treasure from evil dwarves, and as he passes her, Snow-White sees a bit of gold shining through his fur. This glimpse of the human being within the animal connects this story to the Beauty and Beast tradition. The sisters soon encounter a grumpy dwarf who keeps getting his beard caught. Each time the sisters aid the dwarf but keep having to cut his beard, which he does not take well, abusing the girls despite their best efforts. They even save him when an eagle attempts to carry him off. After he tries to bury jewels he stole from the bear, the animal finds him and kills the dwarf. The bear explains that the dwarf was a wicked thief as he sheds his bearskin, revealing that he is also a prince who had been enchanted by the dwarf. He marries Snow-White, and Rose-Red marries his brother. The mother takes the rose bushes with her as she goes to live with her daughters.
East of the Sun
“East of the Sun, West of the Moon” is one of several Norwegian Beauty and the Beast tales. Like “Snow White and Rose Red,” this version is extremely important because it reflects much of the tale’s origins from Cupid and Psyche. The heroine even goes on a long quest to find her husband, who is a white polar bear who once traveled to find her. The story reflects its mythic heritage by containing a focus on the heroine’s choices, her strength, and her determination. Variants of this tale occur in other places in the world including Appalachia. Its ties to the older myth include the lit candle, the invisible lover who comes at night, the traveling to find the husband, and a series of challenges the heroine must endure, showing the rich history of this tale type. It is gaining popularity through many modern novelizations as well, but film adaptations like The Polar Bear King are still rare.
The Frog Prince
Most people think of this story as a tale about a maiden kissing a frog, but older versions of this plot suggest that the frog is not the story’s beast. While the prince has been transformed into an amphibian, the maiden who helps to change him back is not always a kind, sweet young woman. The Brothers Grimm version, in particular, contains a heroine who is more aggressive than kind as she begins the final transformation by throwing the frog at a wall rather than kissing him.
Similar to Beauty and the Beast, this retelling remains popular, and the frog is generally cursed due to his bad behavior.
The Frog Princess
While many animal bridegroom stories involve male beasts, some sub-variants have female spouses instead. In these stories, the clueless hero tends to need help overcoming a challenge his father sets, and the female beast tends to demonstrate wisdom and various skills until her husband trusts her enough to accept her. Sometimes the men in this retelling have to complete quests similar to the heroine in “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.” The stories often reflect aspects of the loathly lady tales as well suggesting the popularity of this type of narrative.
Hans My Hedgehog
Lovers are not the only people who can have trouble accepting beasts. This tale begins when a mother claims that she would love any child, even one shaped like a hedgehog. The father of the child is not as accepting. The tale includes a modified form of the promise when the protagonist helps a king find his way home but asks for the first thing that runs out to him when he returns, which happens to be his daughter. The story concludes when the hedgehog’s wife figures out to burn the animal skins he can slide out of at night, thereby trapping him in human form. The idea of burning animal skins is important to many Animal Bridegroom tales, and while in some, it leads to a larger quest, it often sets the beast free as well. The skins become important symbols for desire, the body, and freedom or concealment depending on a storyteller’s goals.
Selkie Stories/Swan Maidens
Not every Animal Bridegroom tale is a happy one. The story can tell of entrapment via marriage. In the tale, a selkie or a swan is forced into a marriage after a human (usually a man) finds and hides her animal skin while she bathes or enjoys the sun. The maiden, now trapped in our world, often appears to forget her old life until presented with her skin, usually by mistake. Sometimes, she takes her children with her, but in other stories, the maiden flees the instant the skin is placed into her hands. These variants are rarely positive and include themes of possession and isolation. Some modern retellings are creating more feminist plots centered on empowerment by having the selkie remain by choice rather than imprisonment, suggesting she retains control over her skin and body.
While a tale type in its own right, Bluebeard stories can be understood as an extension of the Animal Bridegroom family. Where beauties meet and help transform beasts, in this variant the protagonists must save their lives when their husbands prove too beastly for redemption.
The husbands in Bluebeard stories are the ultimate beast. Unlike their transformed counterparts, they appear human, but their actions are beastly. They prey on others, hunt and stalk their victims, and feed through murder.
In these tales, a young woman will usually end up married to a much older man, who possesses great wealth and can retain a physical marker such as a blue beard or a silver nose. The man is usually a widower with several past wives who have mysteriously died. His practice is to go away on business, leaving his new spouse with a set of keys or an object that must be protected. He will tell her to stay out of a single room but to otherwise explore his estate. He makes her promise to obey this rule. Like Psyche, the heroine will become overcome by her curiosity, but where Psyche discovers the beauty of Cupid, these heroines find a bloody chamber containing the dead bodies of the previous wives.
Their husband soon returns and finds evidence of his wife’s betrayal. He attempts to kill her, but she, often with the help of a female friend, will stall her execution long enough for her family to save her. Her savage husband is killed for his predatory actions.
Little Red Riding Hood
This tale type should not be classified as a Beauty and the Beast narrative, though it involves a young woman and a beast; it deserves to be analyzed as its own story.
Recent retellings, however, have begun to focus on the heroine often choosing to end up with the wolf as authors mimic the work of Angela Carter. These versions include an aggressive wolf being won over and changing his ways due to his love of Red Riding Hood, thereby taking a story about a cunning maiden saving her family and herself and turning it into a Beauty and the Beast tale.
The Six Swans (And Other Animal Transformations)
Similar to the changes to Little Red Riding Hood, modern revisions are sometimes telling the story of the brother who retains his wing from “The Six Swans” and other tales with animal transmutations. The element of animal transformation is not exclusive to Beauty and the Beast tales. The other alterations should be considered in the contexts of the stories where they occur.
Martha M. Johnson-Olin
Potomac State College of West Virginia University
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Beauty and the Beast narratives have much in common with Cinderella narratives, particularly as defined by Madame Jean-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and Madame Gabrielle-Susanne Barbot de Gallon de Villeneuve: a hard-working girl, the youngest of three, does all the scullery work and household chores without complaint; her spoiled siblings are lazy and cruel and treat her like a stepsister; the mother is deceased and the father somewhat inept; the girl is beautiful and virtuous, but the sisters do what they can to obliterate acknowledgement of her good qualities; the girl has remarkable ingenuity and is capable of venturing outside the ordinary boundaries of her childhood life and servitude; her struggle bears strong similarities with the Cupid and Psyche story in which she learns to see differently and performs labors to save or recover her lost loved ones; the denouement reveals the redemptive power of love, which ends in marriage and the reestablishment of domestic fruition. Both Madame Le Prince and Madame de Villeneuve incorporate within Beauty’s narrative a counterpart, namely, a Beast imported from tales of people transformed into subhuman animal form, who search, often as male Cinderellas, for some way to be returned to their human form. The learning of compassion and empathy are crucial for both sides of the paradigm. Compare Cinderella versions such as “Donkey Skin” and “Allerleirauh,” where the animal form is only a disguise and is worn by the woman. These kinds of narratives tend to be strongly gendered in their exploration of compatible opposites, but they also are alert to tensions between the spiritual and physical within individual psyches. Like Cinderella stories, Beauty and the Beast stories are studies in acknowledgement as well as endurance.
Madame Gabrielle-Susanne Barbot de Gallon de Villeneuve. “La belle et la bête.” In La jeune amériquaine, et les contes marins. 1740.
[A wealthy merchant, with six sons and six daughters, is caught in a disastrous reversal of fortune: his house burns, his ships are lost at sea, his foreign agents are treacherous, and he is left bankrupt. The family is forced to move to an isolated spot in the country. The children, having grown up as socialites, are unable to adjust to rustication — all except the youngest, a sixteen year old daughter, Belle, who decides that it is better to be cheerful and meet misfortune with perseverance and resolution. She is scorned by her siblings for such low notions. News comes that one last ship of the merchant’s fleet has survived and come into port. The father goes to see if their fortune has been restored but discovers that the goods have been ruined and the rest impounded by his creditors. He had promised to return home with gifts for the children, who demanded rich clothing, etc., all except Belle, who asked only for her father’s good health and a rose. On his return, empty-handed, the father is caught in a blizzard and takes refuge in a castle filled with lifelike statues but no people. Nonetheless, the hearth fire burns and a meal appears on a table. The father eats, then sleeps. When he awakens he seeks the genius of the place and in the garden picks a rose to give to Belle. At that moment a beast appears, roaring and placing its elephant trunk on the merchant’s neck, pronouncing a sentence of death on the man. The sentence can be modified if the merchant gives the beast one of his daughters in his place. She must come willingly, moreover. Belle accepts blame for the incident and insists on going to the Beast. Recalling an ancient prediction, the merchant permits Belle to return with him. Beast rewards the father handsomely, though Belle advises him on what to take (gold and diamonds rather than fancy clothing). She sleeps well at the castle and has wonderful dreams of a youth — a fair unknown — who talks with her reassuringly. She is surprised to find in the castle a picture of a youth identical to the one she saw in her dream. At Beast’s palace she is entertained with art, birds, monkeys, theater, etc., and time passes. The dream continues, warning her not to be deceived by appearances. Beauty begins defending Beast in her dreams. A lady also appears in her dreams to advise her. Belle begins to distrust Beast and the fair unknown, who seem at odds with each other, yet similar. Beast permits Belle to return to her father, who is ill. The money has run out. Belle learns of other kindnesses to her father but overstays her time because of enticements by the sisters. Though the dream of the fair unknown vanishes, the lady reappears in her dreams and tells of Beast’s illness. She returns to find him dying in a cave. She expresses her love for him and Beast rallies. Now, instead of being dumb, he speaks eloquently. She agrees to marry him and the sky bursts into a fireworks display. Beast is transformed into the state he enjoyed before he was cursed, and Belle recognizes him as the man of her dreams and the one pictured in the palace. Two women visit, one the lady of Belle’s dreams and the other the queen, who blesses the marriage. But then Belle acknowledges her common origins: the queen is shocked. She offers Belle other husbands. The prince says he would rather be a beast again than lose Belle. Belle asks for one reward of the queen — that her father be restored to her. At this point the Fairy intervenes and favors the lovers. She says that the queen is in error, for Belle is not in truth the child of the merchant. Rather she was born of the fairy’s sister and is of higher rank than the prince. As a baby they hid her with the merchant so that another jealous fairy might not harm her. The queen asks forgiveness for the prejudices of her rank. Belle then asks for the prince’s story: His father died before he was born. His mother became a warrior queen and defended the kingdom well, even defeating other aggressive provinces. The prince, put in the care of an elder fairy of high rank, studied hard, and he too became a warrior. His mother worries about his desire for battle. But the ugly old fairy wants him for a husband, even though she has the power to be beautiful only one day a year. The queen mother is shocked and speaks against the impropriety of such a marriage. The prince stands by his mother and refuses. In a rage the old fairy transforms him into a creature even more ugly than she is. Moreover he will be stupid, unable to think or speak clearly. The curse may be broken only if someone, of her own volition, loves him so utterly that she will marry him. The good fairy comforts the prince. He must forget who he is. She will help him break the spell. The queen mother must keep the secret too. As a comfort to the prince she provides him with theater and art. She then comes up with her plan to rescue Belle at the same time that she is rescuing the prince. The prince recapitulates how difficult it was for him as he to be with Belle yet to maintain silence. To see Belle was to love her. An impulse of self-love hidden under the horrible outward form kept alive the hope that she might someday love him despite the hideous circumstance. He explains how he would approach her at night in his true form and in her dreams, and how the portrait in the house might also speak to her. The fairy protects him by threatening him with a dagger if he were to attempt to explain the story too soon. She snatched him from the grave, so to speak. Belle’s real father arrives, thrilled to learn that his daughter, whom he thought he had lost, still lives. All express their debt to Belle. The story of Belle’s mother, a shepherdess, is next explained. Her marriage to the fairy king had to be hidden on the Fortunate Island. But she was apparently lost while the king defended his borders. Then the good fairy tells her story. The shepherdess was in truth her sister who had assumed a disguise to get beyond the laws of faerie. But she was exposed by a jealous fairy who wanted to marry the king. She put a curse on the child (Belle) that she would become the bride of a monster. The old fairy hoped to destroy the child by degrading her as a scullion. The good fairy gets control of Belle and searches for a means of protecting her. At one point an abductor attempts to steal her when she was a wee baby, but the good fairy, in the form of a bear, destroys the abductor. Nearby shepherds affirm the story. She then learns of a merchant’s wife, who has given birth to a sick and dying infant, and Belle is substituted. She does grow up in adversity, working as a scullion. But the fairy gives the merchant a prophecy that the child will bring him great wealth. Meanwhile, the bad old fairy would marry the king who is grieving over the apparent loss of his wife and daughter. But the good fairy, having lived now a thousand years, gains greater power and is able to contrive a means so that the harmful curses of the old fairy will become blessings. She tells how her sister, the onetime shepherdess, had to endure great hardships, passing part of her life as a serpent, learning of devastating misery until she were able to reappear and regain her husband. But now they are all reunited and the bad fairy imprisoned. Belle asks to see the merchant, who is invited to the feast. He is surprised to learn of the changeling: he is both sad and glad. All in the family celebrate her story. Then she and the prince are married and fly away on an enchanted horse. The prince’s mother has the events recorded in the archives of her kingdom so that people will never cease talking about the wonderful adventures of Beauty and the Beast. See Zipes (Beauties, Beasts, and Enchantments, pp. 151–229) for a modern translation of Mlle de Villeneuve’s story.]
-----. “La belle et la bête.” In Le cabinet des fées, ou collection des fées, et autres contes merveilleux, ornés de figures. Amsterdam, 1786.
Madame Jean-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. Le magasin des enfans, ou dialogues entre une sage gouvernant et plusiers de ses élèves de la première distinction. Par Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont. London: J. Haberkorn, 1756.
[Based on the first part of Mme. de Villeneuve’s La Bele et la Bête, this is the most famous and influential of the Beauty and the Beast stories. A widower merchant had three daughters and three sons. All the daughters were pretty but the youngest most of all. The older girls loved the social life of the rich; the youngest loved to read and was mocked by the others. By a turn of fortune the father lost his wealth and they were forced to live in a small country house. Beauty took the disaster in stride, working, reading, playing the harpsichord, and spinning. She kept the household together. Years pass and the father learns that one of his ships has at last come into port. The spoiled girls want expensive presents; Beauty asks only for a rose. But the father discovers that the ship has been impounded, the cargo ruined, and the ship worthless. On his return he is caught in a raging snowstorm and takes refuge in a strangely peaceful estate in the wilderness. There seem to be no people evident but there is hay in the stable for his horse and food on the table for him. He eats and thanks “madam fairy” for being so kind to him. He sleeps and after breakfast starts to return home, picking a rose for Beauty as he leaves. Suddenly he is seized by a hideous monster who will kill him unless one of his daughters will return in his place by own volition. The merchant returns home, grief stricken. When the children find out the cause only Beauty does not weep. “Why should I lament my father’s death when he is not going to perish?” She will gladly go in his place. Her brothers object but she insists. The horse takes her to the place, and she places herself at the Beast’s mercy. He sees that she is good and treats her well. At night she envisions a lady who tells her that her goodness will not go unrewarded. She has her own room and considerable luxury. The Beast only asks that they eat together at the end of the day. Gradually she learns to like his innate courtesy. She acknowledges his kindness but when he asks her to marry him she always says no. Then she learns of her father’s illness and asks to return home for a week. Beast agrees, providing she return when the week is over. If she does not, he will die. She returns home, taking with her a ring that grants her wish to return. Her sisters, jealous of Beauty’s happiness, decide to spoil it by keeping her past the promised return date. They weep and call her ungrateful for not staying with them longer. On the tenth night she dreams of the dying Beast, puts on the ring and in an instant is back in the Beast’s palace. She dons on her best dress and goes in search of him. Finding him near death she throws herself on his body, finds that he is still alive, and brings him water. He comes to long enough to say that she forgot her promise and that he about to die. But she says, “No, my dear Beast, you shall not die. You will live to become my husband.” She scarcely uttered the words when fireworks and music announce a feast, and Beast is transformed into a young man more handsome than Eros himself. At first Beauty does not recognize him but the beautiful lady of her dreams appears and explains the transformation. She preferred virtue over beauty and wit and has won a great throne with her prince. The two sisters are turned into statues who must perpetually witness the perfect happiness that Beauty and her prince enjoy, perfect because their relationship was founded on virtue. See Zipes (Beauties, Beasts, and Enchantment, pp. 231–45) for a modern edition of the tale.]
-----. The Young Ladies Magazine, or Dialogues between a Discreet Governess and Several Young Ladies of the First Rank under her Education. 4 vols. in 2. London: J. Nourse, 1760.
-----. The Young Misses Magazine, containing Dialogues between a Governess and Several Young Ladies of Quality her Scolars. Vol. 1. 4th edn. London: C. Nourse, 1783.
-----. Letters from Emerance to Lucy. 2 vols. London: J. Nourse, 1766.
Beauty and the Beast. Book of the Words of Peter Davey’s Pantomime. London: Guildford & Hart, Ltd, 1901–1902. P. 30. Royal County Theatre, Kingston-on-Thames. Libretto by Ashton Shere. With additional lines and Lyrics by Hugh B. Pinnock. Music selected and arranged by J. H. Russell and J. C. Shepherd. Scenery by T. E. Ryan, Walter Hann, Nicholas Hinchey, T. F. Dunn, S. Schuter, and George Miller. Costumes by Comelli and Mrs. Peter Davey and carried out by Alias. Directed by Harry Denvil.
Cast: Immortals: Reptilio — Spirit of the Snake (Mr. Roy Lennard), The Good Fairy (Miss Rita Rhylle). Mortals: Prince Roseate (Miss Esmé Gordon), Benedict his fidus Achates (Miss Blanche Garford); His Friends: Ferninand (Miss Violet Carrington), Max (Miss Emily Westcroft), Fritz (Miss Gertrude Westcroft), Karl (Miss Adeline Weldon), Rupert (Miss Muriel Grey). Alderman Horatio Fitzturtle, J.P. (Mr. Allan Dale). His daughters: Beauty (Miss Cecily Gray), Gwendolen (Miss Gertie Morde), Penelope (Miss Harrie Morde). Montmorency, his Butler (Mr. Norman Clarke), Sairey Jane, his Lady Help (Miss Lucy Coventry), The Widow Binns (Mr. Arthur Laceby), Buttons, her staff (Mr .Fred Lake), The Beast (Mr. Lionel Webber), Mr. Growler (Mr. Harry Garnham). Two Ancient Mariners: Tom Bowlin (Mr. B. McNellie), Ben Barnacle (Mr. W. McNellie); Dorothy (Miss Beatrice Hone), Margery (Miss Nellie Reece), Audrey (Miss Margaret Marshall), Celia (Miss Philippa Gumple), Prudence (Miss Vera Dominy), Phyllis (Miss Isabel Bishop), Madame Velocité (Miss Ina Rozant). Supported by a full Chorus and Dancers.
[Sc. 1. The Port and Harbour of Nowerinperticler (Painted by George Miller): On the left is the residence of Alderman Horatio Fitz-Turtle, J.P.; on right is the scholastic establishment of Widow Binns. Dinnerbell rings and the children troop out singing nursery rhymes. The Widow scolds them and they ridicule her. The fashionable daughters of the Alderman return from shopping. Montmorency, the butler, has managed to get wrapped up in the packages. Duet by Widow Binns and Buttons. Sairey Jane stands up for Buttons, for they are engaged. Concerted piece. Beauty tells of her hardships. Song. Sairey Jane gets scolded by Gwendolyn and Penelope. Beauty defends her. Concerted Piece. Beauty’s little school fellows have respect for her but play tricks on Alderman Fitz-Turtle. Song. A yacht arrives in the harbour, bearing Prince Roseate and his companions. Chorus. The companions meet the girls. Song. Boy/girl Duet. The mariners want a grog shop and are assisted in finding one by the servants. Concerted Piece. School has resumed. Widow Binns puts Beauty outside, because her father hasn’t paid for her schooling. Her friends pity her. Prince Roseate meets her and learns of her father’s business disasters. He feels love and compassion for Beauty. Duet. Penelope and Gwendoline meet Benedict and Ferdinand. Quartette and Dance. The Prince, hoping to win Beauty, tells the Merchant of a place across the sea that’s overflowing with loveliness and wealth. They set out. Concerted Piece. Sc. 2: The Alderman’s Kitchen.]
Lamb, Charles. Beauty and the Beast: or a Rough Outside with a Gentle Heart, a Poetical Version of an Ancient Tale. London: M.J. Godwin. 1811; rpt. London: The Rodale Press, 1955.
[Godwin first approached William Wordsworth to put Madame Le Prince de Beaumont’s tale into English verse, but Wordsworth refused. Lamb’s version is in octosyllabic couplets and was printed with a “series of elegant engravings” to sell for 5s. 6d (colored) and 3s. 6d (plain). The engravings include: “Beauty in her Prosperous State” (frontispiece); “Beauty in a State of Adversity” at her spinning wheel; “The Rose Gather’d” as a bear-like beast leaps into the picture at the turbaned merchant with striped pants is startled; “Beauty in the Enchanted Palace,” as the beast first looks in and her father supports her; “Beauty Visits her Library”; “Beauty Entertained with Invisible Music” (three angel musicians, two with harps and one a singer hover overhead); “The Absence of Beauty Lamented” as Beauty returns to the ailing bear; “The Enchantment Dissolved” (Beast, now transformed into Orasmyn, the Prince of Persia, kneels before the startled Beauty.]
COLLECTIONS THAT INCLUDE BEAUTY AND BEAST TALES AND ADAPTATIONS:
Best-Loved Folk-Tales of the World. Ed. Joanna Cole. Illustrated by Jill Karla Schwarz. New York: Doubleday, 1982.
[Includes Madame de Beaumont’s Beauty and the Beast (France), Grimms’ Frog Prince (Germany), Eros and Psyche (Greece), Prince Hedgehog (Russia).]
The Blue Fairy Book. Ed. Andrew Lang. New York: Dover, 1965. See “Beauty and the Beast.” Pp. 100-119.
[First published in 1889; perhaps the most popular of the English translations. Based on Madame de Villeneuve’s version. Five illustrations by H. J. Ford, some based on Walter Crane’s depictions.]
Sleeping Beauty & Other Favourite Fairy Tales, trans. Angela Carter; illustrated Michael Foreman. Boston: Otter Books, 1991.
[Includes Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, and Donkey-Skin.]
Beauties, Beasts and Enchantment: Classic French Fairy Tales, translated with introduction by Jack Zipes. New York: New American Library, 1989.
[Includes the two earliest B&B narratives by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve and Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, along with several other beast-transformation analogues such as “Riquet with the Tuft” by Perrault and a version by Catherine Bernard and Marie Catherine d’Aulnoy’s “The Ram” and “The Beneficent Frog.” Each tale is introduced with a brief sketch of the author.]
Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture, ed. Jack Zipes. New York: Viking Penguin, 1991.
[An anthology of literary fairy tales written explicitly for adults, that includes several Beauty and the Beast narratives, n.b., Apuleius, “Cupid and Psyche (2d century)” (pp. 1–27), Giovanni Straparola, “The Pig Prince (1553)” (pp. 32-38), Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier, “Ricdin-Ricdon (1696)” (pp. 48-84), Charles Perrault, “Riquet with the Tuft (1797)” (pp. 85-90), Marie-Catherine D’Aulnoy, “Green Serpent (1797)” (pp. 91-114), Janosch’s “Hans My Hedgehog (1972)” (pp. 702-703), Angela Carter’s “The Tiger’s Bride (1979)” (pp. 729-744), and Robin McKinley’s “The Princess and the Frog (1981)” (pp. 745-757).]
Beauties and Beasts. Collected and Edited by Betsy Gould Hearne. Illustrated by Joanne Caroselli. The Oryx Multicultural Folktale Series. Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1993.
[Includes eight tales from various countries of Rescued Beasts, thirteen tales of Questing Beauties, six tales of Homely Women and Homemade Men, and a rather snooty essay (pp. 159-160) on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast entitled “In the Dark with Disney,” which objects to the alterations of plot to create a Gaston who is destroyed by violence by Beast while Beauty watches from the sidelines. The monsters inside you “have to be tamed slowly, with acceptance and love, as the Beast was. They can’t just be killed off in one climactic fight like Gaston, hurled to his death. We are all beautiful and we are all beastly. That is an important focus of a Beauty and Beast story, and teacups distract from that focus considerably. None of us is made of china. As an image, teacups just aren’t in the same league with a love-or-death struggle. Dancing forks and spoons make the story cute instead of powerful. At a more elemental level, the addition of a vicious movie villain such as Gaston keeps us from realizing that in the fairy tale, Beauty becomes the real villain by abandoning the Beast, then turns into a hero who saves him from loneliness …. In a dark movie theater, teacups may seem like fun, but they’re not much company on a dark journey. There you need the power to make your own way” (p. 160). Hearne suggests activities students of the story might wish to engage in and includes an excellent bibliography (pp. 170-175).]
[“Only 15c each. Endorsed by Educators, on sale at newsstands everywhere.” Beauty is brunette; Beast, as handsome Mr. Lion with yellow cummerbund. He is blonde after the transformation. The rose is red.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Vera Southgate. Illustrations by Eric Winter. Loughborough: Ladybird Books Ltd (formerly Wills & Hepworth, Ltd), 1968.
[Beauty and the Beast is number 12 in the series (Cinderella is number 1) and is listed as grade 3. Having lost his fortune, the father moves to the country with his three daughters. Two are resentful, but Beauty does the housework and helps her father keep his garden, which produces enough fruit and vegetables for them to live on. The father goes to town on business. The girls request gifts – diamonds, pearls; Beauty asks only for a bunch of white roses. The father conducts his business but gets lost on the way home. He comes upon Beast’s palace where he eats, spends the night, and dresses in Beast’s clothes. When he leaves he picks a bunch of roses and is confronted by his mysterious host: “You ungrateful man! Whose bed did you sleep in? Whose food have you eaten? And whose clothes are you wearing? Mine, mine, mine. And you repay my kindness by stealing my roses. You shall die!” The father returns home. He must either return to die or give Beast one of his daughters. Beauty insists on going with her father. Beast tells the father not to worry. “You need not be sorry, for everything in the palace is for her use …. No harm will come to her. Her room is ready now. Good-night.” Beauty is well cared for. She reads, paints, and enjoys the gardens. Beast kindly talks with her. He asks if she could love him. “Yes, I do love you, Beast, for you are so kind,” but she refuses marriage. She learns of her father’s illness and returns. Beast asks that she come back a week hence or he will die. After a week she misses him and returns to find the palace empty. In the darkness she finds him dying under the white rose. She says she loves him and will marry him for his kind heart. He is made well and transformed into a prince. They marry. The illustrations are lovely full-page color drawings in 18th century settings and dress. Beast is a solemn monkey.]
Beauty and the Beast. Oxford Graded Readers. Color Illustrations. 750 Headwords. Junior Level. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.
[The chapters include: 1) “Bring Me a Rose”; 2) “Why Have You Stolen My Rose?”; 3) “The Beast’s Going to Eat Me”; 4) “Don’t Leave Me. I Love You.” There are study materials at the end.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Sue Arengo. Illustrated by Claire Pound. Classic Tales. Elementary 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
[The story is nicely told using a vocabulary of 400 headwords. Includes exercizes at the end, such as “Who is speaking?” (i.e., identify the quotations); “Find the opposites”; “Make sentences about the story”; “What is it?” (fill in the blanks to define a picture, the first letter of the word being given). There is a glossary of about forty words, using definitions and pictures to help identify the word.]
Beauty and the Beast. Ed. Kelly Park. Cartoon illustrations by Michael Hunter. Seoul, South Korea: Gana Press, 1995. 151 pages.
[This splendidly illustrated cartoon adaptation of Disney’s film tells the story in English on left-hand pages, with Korean glossary, vocabulary builders, and explanatory notes for children in the right-hand pages. In this version the Beast is named Vincent (as in the TV series). He has been cursed by a wicked witch. His shaggy head looks something like a cross between a lion and a buffalo. Beauty looks to be about 12, with long blonde hair. Her father is a tailor rather than an inventor. Also, she has two older sisters who are jealous, mean, deceitful, and lazy. The Gaston figure from Disney is named Mr. Clauser, a smooth egotist who meets Beauty after he has slain a deer. He instantly decides he will marry her, much to the outrage of the other two sisters. She refuses him. Mr. Morgan, Beauty’s father, is invited to do tailoring at a strange palace, which turns out to be Vincent’s estate. Morgan works late finishing up the mending. In the morning he finds a rose under glass which he attempts to take to Beauty, thereby outraging Beast, whose life is bound up with the rose. Vincent’s servants have been turned into talking pictures who help Vincent with the courtship, once Beauty rescues her father and stays as prisoner in his place. As in Disney, Beauty returns to care for her father. Clauser makes a play for her, but the sisters tell him about the Beast, to whom Beauty is evidently attracted. She returns but Clauser follows and shoots Beast in the back. Beast kills Clauser but seems doomed himself, until Beauty declares her love. Then he is transformed back into a lovely blonde youth, and the two are married, with the family all about them. This book is one of a couple dozen readers for Korean children that Kelly has created.]
ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN'S EDITIONS BASED ON JEAN-MARIE LEPRINCE DE BEAUMONT:
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Deborah Apy. Illustrated by Michael Hague. New York: Green Tiger Press, 1980. Reissued New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1983. Owlet paperback edition, 1988.
[A 64 page retelling of the story, with 19 handsome full-page color plates by Hague. Adelle and Jeanette are proud and vain sisters who are impatient with their father for becoming poor. Beauty is kind and does the cottage chores for all of them now that they have been forced to move to the country. No suitors now call on the older daughters. News of one last ship comes in. The father sets out with lavish orders of riches for the two older girls. Beauty asks only for a rose, etc. On his return, impoverished, the merchant stumbles upon the Beast’s enchanted castle, where he picks a rose. Hague’s illustrations present a Beast with lion-like mane, claws, and ram horns. He walks upright and dresses elegantly, though rage is evident in him. His palace is ancient with some delapidation, but beautiful with classical statuary and overgrown gardens. When the father returns knowing that either he must die or send one of his daughters to the Beast he is amazed to receive a trunk full of riches. The room is filled with gorgeous butterflies as the trunk is opened. Beauty insists on going in her father’s place, and the father accompanies her back to the castle. They are greeted with hot baths and magical surroundings. The father leaves at Beauty’s insistance, taking more wealth with him. Beast is kind and enriches her life with enchantments — music, a splendid room, a library, an enormous salon of exotic birds. All features of the place exceed Beauty’s ideas of loveliness. And it is peaceful. On her bed is the carved head of a unicorn. In the evening, Beast joins her for dinner. He acknowledges that he is a stupid, horrible creature, but he is sensitive to her fears and happiness. She comes to feel compassion for the poor creature. At night she hears sharp cries from the wood. It is Beast hunting. She finds him dripping with blood. But a lady attends her at night, reassuring her that she is destined for a better fate, that she should not be confused by appearances. In her dream a handsome man appears, leaving her more confused. She grows fond of Beast, preferring him to men with cruel hearts. They dance on the balcony. The air is sweet and Beast proposes. She declines, preferring friendship. She learns of her father’s illness and must leave. He gives her a magic ring that can help her to return. That night a unicorn appears in Pan’s garden; it lays its head with sweet sadness in her lap. She awakens to find herself at home. Her father recovers, but the jealous sisters plot to destroy Beauty’s happiness by enticing her to stay. On the tenth day the fairy appears to her and she learns that Beast is dying. She plucks a rose and places it in a vase to help her father understand why she is leaving, then the ring transports her back to the palace. All is as it was, except that Beast is not there. She finds him by the pond, apparently dead. She weeps and declares her love. She hears a voice behind her. Beast has disappeared and a prince stands by her. He explains the enchantment that had been placed on him by a wicked fairy. They kiss and return to the hall and find her family there. The good fairy stands with the young couple and the unicorn appears as well. The fairy waves her wand and all are transported to the Pince’s palace. Only the unicorn remains on the magical grounds of Beast’s castle where for countless years, all who stumble upon that place are changed upon their departure, their hearts filled with goodness and beauty.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Kay Brown. Illustrated by Gerry Embleton. New York: Derrydale, 1978. Also issued, n.b., with different cover, end papers, and title page by Award Publications Ltd., London.
[The merchant sets out to meet his returning ship, promising to return with a silk gown and a fur bonnet for his two older daughters, and a rose for beauty. The ship sank in a storm so he sets out in a blizzard for home. He takes refuge at Beast’s castle and picks a rose. The Beast demands that he give him the first living thing that greets him when he returns home. The merchant hopes it might be a chicken or dog, but it’s Beauty. She goes to the castle where she is alone, but aware that she is being watched from the shadows. Finally Beast reveals himself, but is kind. He places a rose each evening on her plate. Months past and she becomes fond of him, but will not marry him. He lets her return to her father, promising to return at an appointed day, lest he die. Beauty forgets but after the ring Beast gave her flashes, reminding her of her promise. She finds him dying, heartbroken. She says she loves him and the transformation occurs. They are married and the father and sisters join them to live happily in the palace ever after.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Robyn Bryant. Graphic design and Illustrations by Zapp. My Storytime Classics Library. Montreal: Tormont Publications, 1995.
[The narrative follows Mme Le Prince de Beaumont, but with a reassuring dream-fairy from Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve. After living for a time with the generous Beast in his art-filled palace with its music and library, Beauty returns to help her sick father. In this narrative no sisters interfere with her return to Beast; she simply “did not notice the days” and overstays her week. But she remembers at the last minute, quickly kisses her father goodbye, and slips on the ring the Beast gave her, and is back. She finds him in the garden, lying beside a fountain. When she declares her love and willingness to marry, the transformation takes place and, as if by magic, the lovely lady of Beauty’s dreams comes to them. She is really the Prince’s mother and she bring with her Beauty’s father and sisters. The marriage takes place and Beauty and the Prince are happy all the days of their lives. See Cinderella 1995 under Perrault, Recently Illustrated Editions, for a description of the My Storytime Classics Library.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Anne Carter. Illustrated by Binette Schroeder. London: Walker Books, 1986.
[A faithful retelling from Mme LePrince de Beaumont. Binette Schroeder is given equal billing on the title page. The frontispiece is a full-page color picture of Mme LePrince de Beaumont 1741-1780, in 18th century dress walking her beast (a leopard like creature with a wolfish face) on a leash. In the tale itself Schroeder’s beast is an enlarged and wilder version of Mme Le Prince’s “pet,” but he proves himself to be gentle, even so. In a postscript, pp. 38-39, Carter suggests that the story, whose history she traces, is a primal symbol of “ourselves: our strengths, our weaknesses, our painful progress towards self-knolwedge and, at last, redemption.”]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold and Illustrated by Fred Crump, Jr. Nashville, Tennessee: Winston-Derek Publishers, 1992.
[Retold from Mme LePrince de Beaumont, but with African American people in European dress. The merchant has three daughters: Griselda and Grushenka are vain and arrogant, but Beauty loves her father even in hardship. When the lost ship is found the two Gr- daughters ask for trunks of finery and jewels while beauty asks for a rose. The father recovers the ship and sends the trunks of finery but is unable to find a rose until he comes to a grim castle. There he picks a large pink one and encounters Beast, who demands his life. The merchant asks if he might say goodbye to his daughters before he dies and Beast agrees. The mean daughters blame Beauty, who asks to return with her father to plead his case to Beast. Beast offers to release the father if Beauty will stay with him. Though the father objects, Beauty says she wishes to try it, hoping that father might visit someday. Beauty is led by invisible servants. Beast at first is tyrannical, insisting that Beauty will never be allowed to leave and that she must dine with him each evening at nine. Beauty comes to admire the beauty of the enchanted place. Beast tells her stories which amuse her, and she tells stories in return. When she asks him why he keeps her prisoner he is unable to reply. He gives her a magic mirror whereby she sees her father, whose position of wealth has been reestablished but he himself is near death with sadness. After three refusals to let her leave Beast consents, providing she return in a week. She overstays her visit and returns to Beast’s palace, now overwhelmed by snow and ice. She finds him and tells him how she has grown to love him. Her love breaks the curse, melts the ice, and he is restored to his princely self. They are married in the enchanted garden and live in peace.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. New York: Dutton, 1989.
[A merchant sets out in winter to meet his ship come from China. Edwina asks that he bring her a velvet gown. Sybill asks for a gown, cape, and hat with parrot feathers. Beauty saks for a rose. The ship is lost and the merchant returns in a blinding storm. He comes upon a splendid castle, etc. The castle is surrounded by a maze. The confused merchant picks a rose and is met by the beast, a monster with a pig trunk, tusks, ram’s horns and chicken feet. He demands one of the daughters in place of the merchant’s life. A magnificent white stallion appears. Beauty mounts it and is carried to the castle. Voices tell her not to fear, that the palace, gardens, and roses are hers. She dreams of a caged nightingale who reassures her with its song. She wishes she might free it. Beast brings her a nightingale in his claws and asks Beauty to be his wife. She declines and asks that the bird be let go. She asks to visit her ailing father. Beast agrees to let her go, hoping that she will return. “I am ugly, I am a beast and a fool. But, Beauty, my heart is good.” She is toughened and returns to her father. The sisters are enraged by her wealth and plan to destroy her by making her break her promise to Beast. The nightingale comes to tell her of his illness. Beauty arrives as he is dying and declares her love. Suddenly the sun rises, the giant bird cage in the garden opens, the birds are freed rejoicing, and beast is transformed into a prince. They are married. Beauty asks the sisters to give up their jealousy and hate. They refuse and are turned into stone.]
Beauty and the Beast. Adapted and illustrated by Warwick Hutton. Atheneum, 1985.
[An efficient retelling of Mme. de Beaumont’s story. The watercolor/pen and ink illustrations are splendid, with impressionist backgrounds, decor-conscious interiors and gardens, and striking use of shadows, mirrors, and dream effects.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Carolyn Magner. Illustrated by Peter Church. Fort Salonga, New York: Book Club of America, 1993.
[Follows Madame LePrince de Beaumont, with the merchant having six sons and six daughters, the youngest of which is Beauty. The Beast is represented as a friendly-looking lion dressed in white ruffled shirts, elegant robes, knee-length trousers with garters, etc. On his wall is a tapestry of a lion lying with a lamb. The narrative of their friendship, separation, and beauty’s return at the last minute to save and transform him is gentle and efficient. One knows by the lions kind and dignified face that he is a goodly and endearing creature.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold and Illustrated by John Patience. New York: Derrydale Books, 1992.
[Instead of a ship coming in, here the merchant father sets out to find work in a distant town but gets lost in a storm. Also, after Beauty goes to the castle an old woman appears to reassure her in her sleep. Otherwise, the retelling follows Beaumont, with a lion-like Beast reviving from his transformed when Beauty’s loving tears fall on him.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Vera Southgate. Illustrations by Eric Winter. Loughborough: Ladybird Books Ltd. (formerly Wills & Hepworth, Ltd.), 1968.
[See Elementary Readers.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Philippa Pearce. Illustrated by Alan Barrett. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972.
[In an appendix Pearce includes a short history of the story. She abridges Beaumont, adding a wise horse, rather in the manner of Cocteau, to expedite Beauty’s first going to Beast’s mansion. The illustrations by Alan Barrett are dark and surreal.]
Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Lesley Young. Illustrated by Annabell Spenceley. A Storyteller Book. London: Anness Publishing Ltd., 1995.
[A large book, 10 1/2" X 13 1/4". The credits cite Mme de Villeneuve, though the narrative follows Mme LePrince de Beaumont, with no details borrowed from de Villeneuve. Odd bits: The merchant is awakened in Beast’s castle by a rooster crowing. The rose he steals is an old-fashioned pink single-petalled floribunda. Beast has a lion-like look. Beauty has flowing strawberry blond hair. The illustrations are quite nice with rural settings of cottages with thatched roofs. The castle is given a Loire valley look.]
Bunny and the Beast. Retold by Molly Coxe. Paintings by Pamela Silin-Palmer. New York: Random House, 2001.
[A clever retelling of Mme. le Prince Beaumont’s story with the principles as a bunny, whose sisters, Thorna and Thistle, don’t like to get their paws dirty, and a dog-like prince, who turns out to be a very handsome hare prince. Before the transformation the beast gives her asperagus to eat and lovely books to read. They dance elegantly in the ballroom to a band of musical frogs. The drawings are elegant and courtly — a beautiful book.]
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Christmas Story. Cartoon strip released over the 22 days prior to Christmas, 1992, in syndicated newspapers. (My source is the Sun Sentinel, Boca Raton, Florida.) The first and last installments are in color.
[Belle and the household staff — Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip, etc. — decorate the castle for Christmas. Beast is grumpy, for he is unable to find a suitable gift for Belle. He tries to carve something, but clumsily ruins it. Belle has gifts for everyone — a tea cozy for Mrs. Potts, a shiny new key for Cogsworth, etc., but she too lacks the most important gift, the one for Beast. She goes out to build a snowman on day 9, loses Chip in the snow on day 10, finds him on day 11 and in the process comes upon a gorgeous stone that she fashions into a clasp for Beast. He still cannot think of an appropriate gift, however, and in his anger rips off his cloak, losing the brooch that holds it together. On day 20 Belle gives him his gift, which is perfect since he can now clasp his cloak, rather than tie it. But he remains moody. On day 21 he gives Belle a letter saying how much they all appreciate the joy she has brought them but that he has no gift and that he is ashamed. On day 21 he wanders out onto the balcony to mope. It is snowing. Belle calls him back but he, in his grief, asks her to go away. On day 22, she approaches him on the balcony and, in color, tells him that he has given her the greatest gift of all — his heart. They wish each other marry Christmas and go back into the radiant palace. The announcement of the strip indicates that the Disney film has been seen by over 30 million people.]
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Ed. Barbara Bazaldua. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1993.
[An adaptation of Disney’s movie done in miniature format (ca. 2“x3") interspersed by scenes from the movie. In fifteen chapters (126 pages).]
Carruth, Jane. My Book of Beauty and the Beast. Illustrated by L’Alpino. Feltham, Middlesex: Odhams Books, 1965.
[Attributes the story to Charles Perrault: “When Perrault was writing this story he was thinking about real love, and of all the people who have learned to love unselfishly, and so found true happiness.” Carruth follows the basic outline of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s version, but with animal helpers and companions, especially birds, bunnies, and fish, liberally introduced a la Disney’s Cinderella. The illustrations are nicely done, and the retelling of the story is lively, with one of the conniving sisters falling into the pigsty, etc. Beauty looks like Cinderella as she works at the hearth or in the field. Beast is an elegant lion wearing a black ermine lined cloak.]
Easton, Samantha. Beauty and the Beast. Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews and McMeel (Ariel books), 1992.
[Through her great capacity to love, a kind and beautiful maiden relases a handsome prince from a spell which has made him into an ugly beast. The illustrations make him look somewhat like Vincent (Ron Perlman) in the TV series.]
McCaughrean, Geraldine. Beauty and the Beast. Illustrated by Gary Blythe. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 1999.
[The illustrations in this adaptation are stunning. The narrative is basically a streamlined version of Madame Le Prince de Beaumont, beginning with the father, Gregor, discovering in a wood a broken fragment of an enchanted mirror. As he looks into it he is magically borne into an enchanted palace that seems deserted. He dines alone, then in the morning imagines how Lotte would give her soul for the silk scarves, how Gitta would give her soul for the racks of white fur capes, and how Beauty would love a rose from the courtyard that is overrun with them. He picks one and is challenged by the Beast, a grotesque monster deformed by elaphantiasis and a huge horned forehead; he is so acutely aware of his deformities, that he lurks only in darkness. He demands Gregor’s life or the life of one of his daughters. Beauty goes to the castle in her father’s place. Her first night of terror is described at some length. But she is essentially kind and eventually coaxes the beast to dine with her. He wonders if he is not the ugliest thing she has ever seen; to which she replies that she has not seen much of the world. Friendship grows betweem them, and she asks permission to return to her father for a few days. At first Beast refuses but then lets her go. She is detained by the devious sisters, but then, looking into the mirror that Beast sent with her, she sees that he is dying. She goes to him, and finding him on the verge of death declares her love for him. Like falling rose petals his pelt falls from his back as he is transformed into the young man who for a hundred years wore the curse of Beast. The castle disappears and the find themselves back in the lovely woods. Without fear they begin their lives together, and though both change with time, the love between them only grows sweeter and more beautiful.]
Apuleius. The Golden Ass. See Precursive Analogues.
Armstrong, A. Hilary. “The Divine Enhancement of Earthly Beauties: The Hellenic and Platonic Tradition.” In Eranos Lectures 6: On Beauty. Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications, 1962, pp. 39-73.
[The classic study of Love as search for the Good and the Beautiful through stages of transformation and ascent.]
Plotinus. “Beauty,” Enneads I, 6 [1-9]. In The Essential Plotinus. Trans. Elmer O’Brien. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1964, pp. 33-44.
[The classic Neoplatonic statement on the ugly and the beautiful and their relationship to vision.]
Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy (1872), translated with commentary by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.
[Juxtaposes the Apollonian (the beautiful) with the Dionysian (the beast) to get at the soul of tragedy and art. Emphasizes the generative power of Dionysus.]
Read, Herbert. “Beauty and the Beast.” In Eranos Lectures 6: On Beauty. Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications, 1962, pp. 1-38.
Apuleius. The Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius. Second century Greek. The most entertaining English translation is that of William Adlingdon (London, 1566). See The Most Pleasant and Delectable Tale of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche, done into English by William Adlington of University College in Oxford, with a discourse on the fable by Andrew Lang, late of Merton College in Oxford. London: David Nutt, 1887.
[Robert Graves translated Apuleius, Penguin Book, 1950, under the title of Metamorphoses. He considered it “a neat philosophical allegory of the progress of the rational soul towards intellectual love.” See also adaptations of the Psyche story by William Morris in The Earthly Paradise, and C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1956): “Love is too young to know what conscience is.”]
The Arrow and the Lamp: The Story of Psyche. Retold by Margaret Hodges. Illustrated by Donna Diamond. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1989.
[An abridgement of Apuleius that plays down the role of the jealous sisters, eliminates their destruction, cuts out Psyche’s various thoughts of suicide, deletes her visit to Ceres and Juno, but includes her four tests at Venus’s command. Jove does not intervene at the end; Aphrodite simply relents. Psyche’s shoulders spring wings, and she is compared to a butterfly which mortals may see in summer fields and remember Psyche and her love.]
Bernard, Mademoiselle Catherine. “Ricky of the Tuft,” In Inès de Cordoue. 1696.
[A girl is so stupid that her natural beauty only makes her more distasteful. On a walk she meets Riquet with the Tuft, a man so hideous that he might be a monster emerged from the ground. He promises to make her intelligent if, after a year, she marries him. With her new intelligence she is much admired by men who vie for her attention. After a year, worrying about losing her lover because of her promise, she walks in the wood where she meets Riquet again. He gives her a choice, to be ugly and smart or once again beautiful and stupid, if she should refuse to marry him, or both smart and beautiful if she carries out her promise. After the marriage she contacts her lover. So Riquet places a curse upon her whereby she is ugly by day, beautiful by night. So she sleeps all day and at night drugs Riquet by placing a leaf over his nose and goes to her lover. But a servant removes the leaf while she is gone and Riquet knows his bad luck. So this time he touches the lover with a wand thereby making him as ugly as Riquet himself. Thus the woman lives with two husbands instead of one, never knowing whom she should address her lamentations to for fear of mistaking the object of her hatred for the object of her love. But the moral is that “in the long run lovers become husbands anyway.” A good modern translation may be found in Zipes (Beauties, Beasties, and Enchantment, pp. 93-100). Compare Perrault’s version, written about the same time.]
D’Aulnoy, Madame. Le Mouton (“The Ram”). 1697. In D’Aulnoy’s Fairy Tales. Philadelphia: McKay, 1923; as are the following two items: La Grenouille Bienfaisante (“The Beneficent Frog”) 1697; and Serpentin Vert (“The Green Serpent”). 1697.
Lucianus Samosatensis. The True History and Lucius or the Ass. Trans. Paul Turner. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1958.
[Source for Apuleius, or perhaps from a common source. Second century Greek.]
Marie de France. Bisclavret (Breton for werewolf). c. 1185.
[The innate goodness of the man trapped in the beast becomes apparent when contrasted with the moral frailty of the beautiful wife who betrays him for a handsome lover. Marie “shows how discourse avoids the tautology of the observing instrument by revealing the dialectical underside of perception”–Stephen G. Nichols.]
Perrault, Charles. “Riquet à la Houppe” [“Ricky of the Tuft”]. In Histoires ou Contes du Tempes Passé, Paris, 1697, with the alternate title Contes de Ma Mere l’Oye.
[First published anonymously. A woman gives birth to a creature so ugly and misshapen the people doubt that he is human. He is named Riquet with the tuft. In a neighboring kingdom a queen gives birth to two daughters, one beautiful but stupid, the other ugly but smart. The beautiful girl is a social embarrassment and is scorned because of her awkwardness. She goes into the wood where she meets Riquet who proposes that he can make her intelligent if she will agree to marry him at the end of one year. She agrees and becomes the hit of society. Men vie for her hand in marriage, but her father leaves the choice to her. She, having forgotten about Riquet, goes into the wood to decide which handsome man to choose where she meets Riquet, dressed like a prince about to be married. She tries to talk him out of the promise. But Riquet convinces her that marriage to him will make him the most pleasing of men, so she consents. Riquet gave her the intelligence she wanted but he also gave her the power to render handsome any man who pleases her. So the marriage takes place and she no longer sees his deformities and ugliness. The moral is that even beauty cannot move the heart as much as charm. See Zipes, (Beauties, Beasts, and Enchantments, pp. 52-57), for a modern translation.]
Spenser, Edmund.The Faerie Queen, Book I (before 1590).
[Uses maiden and wild man/beast paradigm, as Satyrane and lion befriend and defend beauty (Una). Although these beasts are not transformed by beauty, the bestial RCK is, as he lies victim of the monster Orgolio and then, even worse, despair; Una’s beautiful attendance on him in the House of Holiness restores him to shining knighthood.]
ANALOGOUS TO MANY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST NARRATIVES ARE TALES OF BEASTS TRANSFORMED BY LOVE:
East of the Sun and West of the Moon, A Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe, Norske Folkeeventyr (1844). This volume was published in English asPopular Tales from the Norse. Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1888. “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” was first translated into English by Sir George Webbe Dasent, Popular Tales from the Norse(1859). This version is included in Betsy Hearne, Beauty and the Beast (Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1993), pp. 66-75.
[For synopsis see Scandinavian Cinderellas.]
East of the Sun & West of the Moon. Written and Illustrated by Mercer Mayer. New York and London: Collier Macmillan, 1980; Aladdin Books, 1987.
[A farmer, his wife, and lovely daughter fall on hard times. The mother sends her for a potion to help cure her sick father. She goes to the pond of the South Wind but finds only a frog. He gets the healing water in a silver cup, in return for three wishes the first of which is permission to visit her. She agrees. The father is healed; moreover, the king wins a war and pays her father threefold. The frog arrives and asks his second wish–to marry the girl. She refuses and throws him against a wall. Immediately he is changed to a handsome youth who is seized by demons who take him away. The girl is reduced to rags. She sets out to find him. The Moon sends her to a mountain of ice with a cave of fire within where a Salamander lives. The Salamander tells her of the troll princess in the kingdom east of the sun and west of the moon who would marry the prince. Take the tinder box outside and a unicorn will help her to find Father Forest. He gives her a bow and arrow and sends her to the Great Fish of the Sea. The Great Fish gives her a scale from his back and takes her to the North Wind. North Wind takes her there, warning her that few return. The troll princess hires her as a scullery maiden, hoping to get her to turn her into a statue. She pours soot on her and tears her hear. The maiden finds the prince frozen in a block of ice. With her tinder box she sets the bedclothes on fire and releases him from the ice. The troll princess attacks her with an ax but the maiden shoots the troll in the heart with the bow and arrow. She then takes the fish scale, holds it up, and the other trolls see their reflection and are instantly turned to stone. Life returns to the kingdom and the troll castle is dismantled and a new castle and city rise in its place. The Prince and the maiden become King and Queen.]
East of the Sun and West of the Moon: A Play by Nancy Willard. Illustrated by Barry Moser. New York: Harcourt Brace Javanovich, 1989.
Cast: Players: South Wind, East Wind, West Wind, North Wind, Woodcutter, Woodcutter’s Wife, Eldest Daughter, Middle Daughter, Karen the Youngest Daughter, Bear/Prince, Longnose the Troll Princess, Troll Queen, Raven, Troll King, Captives 1, 2, and 3, and Trolls. Voices: Chair, Table, Spoon, Knife, Comb, Rug, Dresses, Bell, Ham, Harp, Waterfold, Beasts, Birds, Stars, Echo. Puppets: Karen, Bear, all the Winds. Golden Apple and Shears that appear to move by themselves.
[Act I. Sc. 1: The winds converse about Karen and her virtue and the Troll Queen’s ugly daughter. Sc. 2: The woodcutter family lives in poverty. Karen is happy and feeds the bears. The older sisters grumble. A white bear comes to the door, offering the family food and riches in return for Karen. The sisters say yes, but Karen says no. The mother convinces her it is for the best. Sc. 3: The winds observe the Trolls squabbling. Sc. 4: Puppet scene: The winds observe Karen and the Bear on the road, laughing as they proceed. Sc. 5: Karen and Bear arrive at his castle. Sc. 6: Karen in her room converses with the furniture, etc. The Bear leaves her alone. She goes to bed and the Bear returns, takes off his skin and, transformed into Prince, climbs into bed.
[Act Act II. Sc. 1: The winds observe a happy scene with Karen skipping rope. Sc. 2: Karen gets permission to visit her family for a week. Bear agrees providing she not talk alone with her mother. Sc. 3: Karen and Bear travel to her home. Sc. 4: Woodcutter and family greet Karen. The house manifests wealth, with a TV in every room. The wife convinces Karen that her husband must be a troll: Observe him at night, but don’t drop candle wax on him. Sc. 5: The Bear carries Karen home. Sc. 6: Karen mimes the story East Wind tells as she observes the Prince sleeping and drops wax on him as she attempts to kiss him. The Prince reveals the spell and is taken by the Troll Queen. Sc. 7: Puppet scene of Karen in the woods, searching. Sc. 8: Karen works in the kitchen of South Wind. A golden apple follows her around. South Wind helps her mop and consults the Water Folk for information about the Troll Princess with the three foot long nose. A lobster suggests she visit the East Wind. South Wind gives her a golden apple and sends her to East Wind. Sc. 9: South Wind carries Karen to East Wind. The winds squabble over their dresses. East Wind consults Beasts (otter, moose, flea, etc.) Flea suggests consulting West Wind. East Wind combs Karen’s hair and gives her the comb.
[Act Act III. Sc. 1: West Wind’s tent in a rocky desert. They consult the birds and stars and send her to North Wind along with a gift of golden shears and a cloak with pockets which they make. Sc. 2: Northwind, howling, is convinced by the other winds of Karen’s virtue, and he agrees to take her to the Trolls. Sc. 3: The winds comfort her and North Wind carries her over water to the Trolls. Sc. 4: Troll Queen tries to get Longnose to clean her room. Karen entices Longnose with the golden apple, which the Troll accepts thinking to add Karen to her collection of captives that night after letting her see the sleeping Prince. Sc. 5: The Prince sleeps but Karen can’t awaken him. The Trolls drive her out. Sc. 6: Karen plays with the golden comb. Longnose wants it and agrees to let Karen spend another night in the Prince’s room. Sc. 7: Karen tries to waken the Prince. Three captives observe her cries. Longnose drives Karen out. The Prince wakens, talks with Longnose about the wedding next day, and learns from the captives that his dreams of a visitor were true. He recalls how he drinks each night from the ruby goblet by his bed. Sc. 8: Troll Queen and Longnose prepare her wedding dress. They see Karen’s golden shears and agree to let Karen have one more night with the Prince in return for the shears.Sc. 9: Longnose offers the Prince a drink. He feigns drinking it and plays like he’s asleep. She leaves, and Karen approaches, calling for the Prince to wake up. He greets her and he tells her of a plan to thwart Longnose. He will ask to have his shirt with the wax spots on it cleaned, knowing that Karen is the only person who can perform the task. Sc. 10: The Prince asks to have his shirt cleaned. The Trolls try but fail. Karen comes in and cleans it. A gong sounds, and the Trolls freeze. Sc. 11: The Trolls disappear, a beautiful ship arrives, the captives are released, and the winds sing a song of Karen and her prince as they sail to joy and happiness at last.]
East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon. Translated by Sir George Webbe Dasent. Illustrated by P. J. Lynch. With an Introduction by Naomi Lewis. London: Walker Books Ltd., 1991; Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 1992.
[Lewis compares Dasent to C. S. Lewis in his love of Scandinavian lore. The bear is king of all animals in Scandinavia, respected for strength and wisdom. Lynch follows Dasent’s translation closely with his superb illustrations.]
East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Retold and Illustrated by László Gál. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1993.
[Ingrid, beautiful daughter of a poor woodcutter, is given in marriage to a bear. He takes her to his castle and gives her a bell which she need only ring to get whatever she needs. At night a handsome prince comes to her. Subsequently she wishes to visit her family. The bear permits her to return but warns her against talking alone with her mother. She forgets his advice, and the mother convinces her she is married to a troll. She returns and at night lights a candle to see who her partner is. She drips wax on him, he awakens and flees, explaining that now he must marry an ugly troll in a castle east of the sun and west of the moon. But Ingrid pursues her beloved, gets advice from an old woman who gives her a spinning wheel, an old man who gives her a ball, and a giant who gives her a harp; she travels by moose and elk and, with the guidance of the Four Winds, finally gets to the castle of the trolls. She uses the golden spinning wheel, the golden ball, and the harp to gain access to her husband, but he has been drugged by a sleeping potion. Finally she finds him awake, and he suggests that he will marry only the one who can wash the wax from his shirt. The trolls fail, but Ingrid succeeds. The trolls are destroyed and the North Wind bears the couple back to the palace where they had lived before. Now they can live happily together; the old woman, old man, giant, and the Four Winds share in their wedding festivities, which may still be going on.]
Meyer, Joanna Ruth. Echo North. Page Street Publishing Co., 2019.
Meyer combines Beauty and the Beast, East of the Sun, and Tam Lin in order to create a book that ultimately explores time, love, and self-acceptance more than the common themes in any of the three tale types. The idea of learning to love someone over time, the enchanted castle, seeing the prince in his human form in an altered reality, and the mirror to see others are borrowed from Beauty and the Beast. From the East of the Sun, West of the Moon tradition, she borrows the idea of the white animal (a wolf in this novel), the journey to the North, the winds, and the lighting of the lamp as an act of disobedience. She changes the Troll Queen into a Faery Queen as she begins the Tam Lin elements of the book, and from this tale type, she takes a hidden deal, a less likable prince, and a complicated relationship between the hero and heroine. While each of the tale types require a strong heroine, Meyer weakens her protagonist so that she always receives help at the right moment rather than reaching her own conclusions. The book is more a model in how tales can be merged to create a larger story rather than a retelling of any particular version. One interesting element is that the Faery Queen’s daughter is more likable and even befriends the heroine in this retelling. When her mother is punished, the daughter is given a different sentence so she can heal from years of trauma. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Tidbeck, Karin. "Underground." In ,i.The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. Edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe. Saga Press, 2017. Pp. 21-37.
Tidbeck combines “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” with elements of a story from a princess who lived underground. She also modernizes the setting to include turntables and drugs. When a family trades away their daughter for a few records, the girl is horrified, but she eventually learns to live with a husband she cannot see. With some help from her stepmother and two other female figures, this heroine looks at her husband’s face and transforms herself from a victim into a heroine. She saves him and then herself by retrieving her child and abandoning the useless man who caused all of the events to happen. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm. Snow White and Rose Red. Retold and Illustrated by Bernadette Watts. Monchaltorf, Switzerland: North-South Books, 1988.
[The two girls and their mother are hospitable to a bear on a winter night. The children love playing with the bear, who departs in the spring. The girls are troubled by a mean-tempered dwarf who keeps getting his beard caught, first in a log and then in a fish line. To rescue him they cut his beard shorter, thus incurring his wrath. They then rescue him from an eagle. When he is caught by the bear he offers the girls to the bear to eat, but the bear calls them to him. They recognize the bear’s voice and approach him. The dwarf’s curse upon the prince is broken and the bear transforms into back into human form. He marries Snow White, and Rose Red marries his brother. Their mother comes to live with them in the castle. She plants roses near her window that bloom white and red each year.]
Rose Red and the Bear Prince. Retold from the Brothers Grimm by Dan Andreasen. New York: Harper-Collins, 2000.
[Rose Red lives in the woods with her mother. She is afraid of nothing and is much loved by forest creatures. One winter night there is a knock at the door and a half frozen bear asks for shelter. She brushes the snow from his coat, and they play like puppies. Each night he returns. But with spring he disappears into the forest, hoping to find his three treasures that a wicked dwarf had stolen. Rose Red comes upon a dwarf with his beard caught in a log. To his rage, Rose Red frees him by cutting the beard. She finds the bowl of pearls he stole from the bear and takes them to her house to be kept for the bear, who will return in the autumn. Three weeks later she saves the dwarf from an eagle by cutting off the dwarf’s hair. As he tumbles to earth, a bag of gold falls from his belt. She takes it and places it on the mantel next to the jar of pearls. Three weeks later the dwarf’s beard gets caught in a fishing line. Rose Red saves him from drowning by cutting off the beard and finds the bear’s chest of jewels that the dwarf had stolen. The dwarf flees, because his power had been in his hair. The bear appears and changes into a handsome young man, who explains how she broke the spell on him by rescuing his treasure and destroying the dwarf’s power. They marry and the widow lives with them, bring with her her beautiful rose bush.]
Rose Red and Snow White: A Grimm’s Fairy Tale. Retold and Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1997.
[Follows the basic story, emphasizing the environmental bliss of the girls’ lives in the forest. A lamb lives with them, who accepts the bear too. Superbly illustrated.]
The Crane Wife. Retold by Sumiko Yagawa. Translated from the Japanese by Katherine Paterson. Illustrated by Suekichi Akaba. New York: Mulberry Books, 1987. Yagawa’s edition 1979. Paterson’s translation 1981.
[A peasant named Yohei comes upon a wounded crane in a snow storm. He removes an arrow from its wing and tends the wound. That night he hears a tapping at his door and a beautiful young woman enters, asking to become his wife. Yohei accepts, though he is very poor, and they have scarcely enough food to survive the winter. His new wife asks for a loom. She weaves an exquisite silk cloth which he sells for a good price. But the winter is long and the money runs out. She wonders that he keeps needing more money–could they not simply live alone together in their happiness? But she weaves again a cloth that brings even a greater price. But each time she weaves she becomes more thin and frail. A neighbor convinces Yohei that they could become rich on his wife’s labor. So he asks her to weave one last time. She agrees to do so but forbids him to watch. He sneaks a peek nonetheless and sees that it is the crane, weaving the exquisite material from her own feathers. When she finishes she gives him the finest material of all, but because he looked she must leave. She explains that it was her love for his gentleness and simple heart that made her come to live at his side. She prays that his life will be long and happy, then leaves. He pleads that she stay, but she flies out across the snow. He pursues but can see only a speck above the mountains.]
[Cunningham briefly details the life of the twelfth brother, who retains one swan wing, following the events of “The Wild Swans.” He settles into a world where many suffer from similar curses, raising the issues of what other stories remain when a narrative ends. For more on this anthology, see My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
[Fowler offers an unusual retelling of “The Wild Swans.” The story is recounted to an infant by Maura, its caretaker, who tells of life working and living by the sea. Maura, by now a middle-aged woman, tends, befriends, and falls in love with the twelfth brother from a fairy tale, who retains a swan wing from his earlier adventures. When Maura helps him remember who he is, he recounts the curse that transformed him and disapproves of his sister’s marriage to a king who would allow her to be burnt on charges of witchcraft instead of overruling a powerful archbishop. He leaves Maura to return to a woman he loved, and Maura now hears rumors about the lives of the King and Queen. The swan brother is banished, and the queen enters seclusion. One night, Maura meets another man, another of the brothers, who tells her how the other brother turned into a swan when his life was threatened after he fled, facing charges of incest. The brother speaking with Maura reveals the weakness of the king and the miseries of his wife. Soon after, the other brothers leave the kingdom but hide a single child, a boy, with Maura. For more on this anthology, see My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
[This unusual retelling of “The Six Swans” joins the story of a sister saving her transformed brothers into the world of artists and exhibitions to draw attention to fetishization and seeking the next “new thing.” It highlights the role of similar stories, variations, lessons within fairy tales, inner transformation through reading, and performance art while referencing numerous other fairy tales. For more on this anthology, see My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Nones, Eric Jon. The Canary Prince. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991.
[A Turinese story of a princess, locked in a castle tower by her wicked stepmother, who sees a lonely prince hunting in the forest below. Unable to find a means to get together the two stare at each other in love. A witch puts a spell on him whereby he can turn into a canary and fly to her window. Then, when he is with her, he can turn back into a man. But the stepmother finds out and puts needles outside the window so that when the canary lands on the sill he is impaled. Desperately wounded, he is transformed back into his human form, but is dying of his wounds whom none can heal. The girl breaks out of the tower, and at night, in the woods, overhears the witches talking of the boy. She learns where the healing ointment is hidden and, albeit in her scraggly clothes, enters the castle and performs the cure. She takes only his bloody shirt as payment. Later the prince goes by the girl’s castle, but scorns her, thinking she was responsible for his wound. But he is transferred back up in his canary form anyway, and, upon seeing the bloody shirt, realizes that she did not betray him but, rather, saved him, and they are married. The girl’s father is pleased and the stepmother placed in the dungeons. The happy young couple spends the rest of their lives together.]
The Swallow Girl. Retold by Tang Mei Ling. Illustrated by Chang Shin Ming. Taipei: Hsin Yi Foundation, 1991.
[In Chinese, with page by page English language oral rendition by Sheila Allen (Arcadia, CA: Shen’s Books and Supplies, 1993) inserted: Lo Zi-fu is a spoiled orphan who lives with his uncle. He robs his uncle of jewelry and antiques and goes to the city where he squanders his ill-gotten fortune in pleasure spots. With the money gone he attempts to survive by begging. He falls ill and becomes diseased. He tries to return home but falls exhausted near his hometown. A lovely young girl appears and takes him to a strange land in the mountains. She cleanses him, cures him, feeds him, and makes him clothes from banana leaves. She is Pian-Pian, a swallow he once helped as a child, who, in this magical place may dwell as a woman. In return for that kindness in his youth she now rescues him. Lo Zi-fu is ashamed and wonders if there might not be evil spirits waiting to destroy him for all his unkind acts. But she reassures him. After a time Zi-fu yearns to see his uncle, to try to obtain forgiveness. Pian-Pian is heart-broken but permits him to leave. He finds his uncle just before the old man dies. The uncle forgives him and gives Zi-fu his inheritance. Lo Zi-fu returns to the mountain and tries to find the heavenly paradise, but he fails and never sees his beautiful Pian-Pian again.]
The Tsar’s Promise. Retold by Robert D. San Souci. Illustrated by Lauren Mills. New York: Philomel Books, 1992.
[The Tsar and his wife are childless. He takes a long journey and upon drinking from a stream has his beard seized by a demon in the pool. The demon demands that the Tsar give him what awaits him upon his return home. The Tsar promises and is released. When he arrives home his wife presents him with a baby boy named Ivan. He forgets his promise and the child grows up. One day Ivan sees white garments on the bank and thirty ducks swimming in a pond. He picks up one of the garments and is surprised when the ducks come out of the pond and turn into beautiful women who put on the garments and disappear into the earth. The last duck comes to him asking for the garment. When he gives it to her she turns into a woman and takes him with her into the earth where they meet the demon. The demon will release him only if he passes three tests. First he must make in one night a castle lit by jewels and with marble walls. The woman, named Maria, comes to him and by magic produces the castle. The second challenge is that he must pick Maria out of thirty maidens who look and dress exactly alike. Maria tells him to watch for a fly on her cheek. On the third viewing Ivan sees the fly and identifies Maria. The third test is to find out what is in a locked casket. But Maria comes to him at night and they escape to a chapel over which the demon has no power. After a couple of diversionary tactics they almost arrive at the chapel, but the demon’s henchmen catch up. So Maria turns herself into a chapel and Ivan into a monk who tells the henchmen that the couple has already been there and asked that he pray for the demon and his henchmen. In a rage the demons turn into hornets and fly away. Maria and Ivan get to the real church and return to the Tsar where they are happily married.]
[The third daughter sets out on a quest with a black bull who feeds her from his ears. They stop at the house of the bull’s three brothers on consecutive nights whereupon each gives the girl the gift, first an apple, then a pear, then a plum, which she must not break until she is in the most dire straits. The bull then must battle an old man. The girl must remain utterly still, else the bull will not be able to find her after his victory. She moves her leg, however, thinking the bull has won the battle and thus loses the bull. She serves seven years a smith then sets out again, climbing a glassy hill. There she meets a washerwoman who makes her wash bloody clothes. She falls in love with a knight, but the washerwoman foists her elder daughter upon him. To thwart the marriage the girl breaks the apple, obtains jewels with which she convinces the elder daughter to let her spend the first night with the knight. But the witch gives him a potion whereby he sleeps all night. The girl breaks the pear to obtain be with the knight the second night, but again the witch puts him to sleep with a potion. While the knight is hunting the third day his friends inquire about moaning they heard in his chamber. He determines that he will stay awake to check out the mystery. The girl breaks the plum, obtains the richest jewels of all which she gives to the daughter; the witch gives the knight a sleeping potion, but he pours it out and meets the girl who tells her story. The witch and her daughter are burnt and the girl and knight marry. Betsy Hearne includes this story in her collection Beauties and Beasts (Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press, 1993), pp. 92-96. She notes that Jacobs adapted the tale from Robert Chambers’ Popular Rhymes, Fireside Stories, and Amusements of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1842 and 1870), and cites other variants, including “The Red Bull o’ Norroway” and “The Brown Bear of Norway,” which is apparently derived from “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.” For a modern retelling see Isabel Cole, under Modern Fiction.]
[Based on Madame d’Aulnoy’s “La chatte blanche.” The illustration of the white cat after she is transformed, through the agency of the Prince, back into a gloriously beautiful women, thus breaking the bad fairy’s spell, is especially well done.]
San Souci, Robert D. The White Cat. Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. New York: Orchard Books, 1990.
[A retelling of Madame d’Aulnoy’s “La chatte blanche.” The youngest of three princes sets out to find his father’s little dog and comes upon an enchanted castle where hands appear out of thin air to serve him. He enters and is made welcome by a mysterious voice. He attends a dance of the cats the meets the mistress of the castle, a lovely white cat dressed like Queen Elizabeth I. He tells the White Cat of his quest and she gives him an acorn containing the tiniest dog in the world, with a tiny bark. He returns home with the acorn and the king is charmed by the most beautiful little dog. But he sends the brothers out on a second mission, this time to find a piece of linen so fine it will pass through of the tiniest needle. He returns to the White Cat just in time to encounter a fierce battle between the cats and the rats. The White Cat gives him a walnut which will have fine linen in it. But to his surprise the walnut has a hazelnut inside, which in turn contains a cherry pit. Inside the cherry pit he finds a grain of wheat, in which he finds a single tiny mustard seed. Just as he thinks White Cat has played a trick on him he opens the mustard seed to find four hundred yards of very fine linen. He returns to White Cat’s castle a third time, in time to challenge a dragon who turns himself into a two-headed rock. This time the White Cat is transformed into a princess who, out from under a wizard’s spell. The Prince marries White Cat who becomes known for her knowledge, courage, beauty and generous heart. beauty, and generous heart. Andrew Lang offers a version of the story in The Blue Fairy Book, illustrated by G. P. Jacomb Hood (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1889; rpt. New York: Dover, 1965), pp. 157-173.]
Yep, Laurence. Tiger Woman. Illustrated by Robert Roth. BridgeWater Books, of Troll Associates. Printed in Mexico, 1995.
[Based on a Shantung folk song. A selfish old woman makes smooth, white bean curd, which she will share with no one. A beggar asks for some. She replies that she must eat it all herself or become a terrible tiger. The beggar curses her so that she becomes what she says. All in the market are terrified to see a loose tiger. The soldiers come to kill it. She hides in a sedan chair where she sees some bread. She says she would be dumb as an ox to waste such a snack. When she eats she is turned into an ox. The soldiers get nooses to catch the beast. But she sees some grain on the ground and in her greed forgets her fear. Even a dumb bird would eat the grain, she thinks, and is turned next into a sparrow. She flies to a pavilion where a man feeds the birds. “I’m starved as an elephant,” she says and turns into one as she eats. Again she is pursued but comes upon a cook chopping vegetables. Her appetite is great — she is hungry as a swine, which she becomes. Immediately she is captured and is about to be chopped up with a cleaver when she remembers the beggar’s curse. She nibbles on a bit of remaining bean curd, wishing she were as she was, for now she would be a generous old woman. The cook turns to chop up the pig but finds only an old woman. She now becomes famous for serving her bean curd to others. She tells everyone: “In kindness I’ve become a believer, / since I faced the wrong end of the cleaver.”]
[After Beauty and the Beast’s marriage (his real name was Auguste), Auguste spends his time hanging around with neighborhood princes and dukes, ignoring beggars, the sick, and his pregnant wife. Beauty is furious. Hunting with his crones in the wood Auguste thinks he sees the witch who cursed him and returns home, terrified that he may be turning back into a beast. But Beauty tells him that she is more concerned about their three children (she had triplets while he was away). And, indeed, they have tails, fur, and wild beastly behavior. Beauty is again furious at Auguste, who clearly didn’t learn a thing by his own transformation. The children terrorize the neighborhood until Auguste finally starts paying attention to them and tells them stories, namely his own. The boys come around asking after the king, but he tells them he cannot come out: “A king’s duty is to raise princes who will make fine kings, you know.” The beggars come by and he looks after them. Their children’s fangs become shorter, their tails smaller and smaller, their bodies less hairy, and their behavior more civil. One old beggar turns out to be the witch who, when treated kindly, grins and removes the curse. The children, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, turn out to have regular smiles, and their only hair is on the tops of their heads.]
[A girl finds an old red dog with tattered ears by a river. She loves the dog and plays with it in the woods. They move like ghosts between the trees until they come upon a satyr and woodland creatures that speak. The satyr tells her that the hound is other than he seems — a prince under a wicked spell until a girl loves him well. The girl whispers that she does love him, and the forest swells with joy declaring the dog a summer prince and her a summer girl, crowning them with flowers. The goat-man leads a parade, and all follow the pair with their crowns, dancing until the moon is round and full. Together they roll on the ground, laughing. Suddenly brother William, who is five years old, calls Molly to dinner. She comes from the woods, the stray dog with her. Molly keeps the dog and tells William that the dog is not as he seems. William agrees, for “I saw his crown.”]
[This second book in the Tales of the 500 Kingdoms series reveals the story of Princess Andromeda while combining the Perseus story, Beauty and the Beast tropes, and elements from St. George and the dragon stories. Andromeda must overcome the scheming of her mother and the lack of a fairy godmother in her kingdom to survive and rule. She must also deal with a female champion in disguise, a charming dragon, and the responsibilities of running a kingdom where the Queen supports maiden sacrifices, including that of her own daughter. Elena and the champions make a brief appearance in a novel where beauties become beasts and beasts can become men, maintaining but transforming the Tradition.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Yep, Laurence. The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty and the Beast Tale. Illustrated by Kam Mak. New York: Harper-Collins, 1997.
[A Southern Chinese version of a traditional Chinese tale. A poor farmer has seven daughters. They would starve were it not for the industry of Seven, who cares for the house and makes the finest silk adorned with exquisite needle work which they can sell. The other six hate Seven. One day when Three is working in the field she comes upon a serpent. She would kill it, but Seven pities it and lets it go. It slithers to the mountain and turns into a dragon who seizes the father and will kill him unless he gives him one of the daughters in marriage. The first six come to fetch him for the supper that Seven has prepared dinner. Each is given the choice of marrying the dragon, but each refuses. Then Seven comes and, though she is terrified by the dragon, she looks into his eyes and sees gentleness. She agrees to the marriage and the father is released. Seven learns to love the dragon with her heart rather than her eyes, and he turns into a prince. After a time she yearns to see her family again. She returns with gold and pearls. The sisters become more jealous than ever and strike Seven on the head and cast her into the river. They then tell the dragon that she has been ill and undergone physical changes. Three puts on her clothes and goes to take her place. The dragon soon figures out that Three is not Seven and goes in search of her. Seven, meanwhile, has floated down the river and is rescued by an old woman. She weaves beautiful silk shoes with dragons on them that are sold in the market. The prince sees the slippers and knows they could only have been made by Seven. He finds her, transforms himself back into a dragon, and brings his bride home. Three is sent back to papa.]
[Adapted from Grimm. Three nights bedding, but no kissing. Beautifully illustrated by the author.]
Edens, Cooper, and Harold Darling. “The Frog Prince. By the Brothers Grimm,” In Favorite Fairy Tales. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1991. Pp. 38-43.
[With four color illustrations from Walter Crane, 1874.]
A Frog Prince. Written and Illustrated by Alix Berenzy. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1989; Owlet Paperback edition, 1991.
[A Frog loves a princess, but she does not notice. Her ball falls into the swamp and he returns it to her when she agrees that she will let him dine with her in the castle and sleep there too. When he arrives at the castle door that evening she despises him, but the king insists that she uphold her promise. After supper she scornfully takes him to her room, puts him on the floor, then stamps off to her silken bed. He looks in a mirror and sees nothing wrong. The moon sings to him in his dream suggesting he seek another kingdom and a princess of a different mind. He tells the king next day of his decision. The king makes him clothing and gives him a horse, and the frog sets off, following the sun by day and the moon by night. He rescues a bird from two trolls, who kill each other. He rescues a turtle from a witch who was about to make soup of it. The witch pursues him, but the birds peck her to death. He comes to the ocean, and a great turtle carries him across to the end of the world. There he finds a castle where a frog princess dwells. She awakens and loves him even though he is only a common frog, albeit well-dressed. They are married, and everyone dances to the music of crickets and tree frogs for three days. Superb illustrations.]
Lyons, Missy. The Frog Prince. Nashville, TN: Hot Tropica Books, 2008.
[While technically the story of a man transformed into a frog, this item reflects characteristics that make it more of a Cinderella story. Please see its larger annotation, here.]
The Princess and the Frog. Retold and Illustrated by Jonathan Langley. London: Harper-Collins Publishers Ltd., 1993.
[Tomboyish Ivy, the youngest of seven daughters still lives at home. Playing football in the fields with her golden ball she kicks it over a tall oak tree, through which it falls into a pond. A frog retrieves it after obtaining a promise that he may sit at her table, sleep on a silk cushion beside her pretty bed, and receive a good night kiss before she sleeps. Filled with joy at retrieving her ball she forgets her promise and rushes home. The frog arrives a week and a day later to claim his promise. The king insists she comply. She would keep him in a fish tank but he insists upon the cushion and the kiss. When she complies the frog turns into Prince Frederick, the spell being broken. Ivy and Freddy play ball in the fields, go swimming, and a year and a day later are married. They have seven children who excel at swimming and leapfrog. Well-illustrated.]
The Frog Prince, or Iron Henry, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Illustrated by Binette Schroeder. Translated by Naomi Lewis. New York: North-South Books, 1989.
[The king has lovely daughters but the youngest is most lovely. Her golden ball falls into a well where a frog rescues it upon promise of entrance to the court, supper at the table, and sleep in the princess’ bed. Pleased to have the ball returned the princess hastens home, leaving the frog hopping behind. The king insists she uphold her promise which she does. In her room she becomes enraged and throws the frog against the wall and he turns into a handsome prince. He had been cursed by a wicked witch, a curse that could only be broken by the loveliest princess. They are married. In the morning a coach awaits, driven by faithful Henry. Three times they hear cracking sounds and think the carriage is breaking, but it is the bands breaking to free Henry’s faithful heart. Superb Magrite-like illustrations.]
The Frog Prince. Retold by Jan Omerod and David Lloyd. Illustrated by Jan Ormerod. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1990.
[A princess loses her ball in a well. A frog returns it for a promise that she love him. After receiving the ball she ignores the frog but he would claim the promise from his darling. The princess is miserable but must entertain the frog at table, then take him to bed with her. She places him on her pillow. Next day he is still there. So too the second night. She is amused a bit by his antics, but thinks he is only a frog, albeit a pretty one. The third night he returns but in the morning seems to have disappeared. The princess wonders, “Where is my frog, my own darling?” Their three nights together have broken the spell and he is now a prince. They are married. Superbly illustrated.]
The Frog Prince. Retold by Edith H. Tarcov. Illustrated by James Marshall. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1974.
[A Hello Reader!–Level 3 book for second grade readers. Adapted from Grimm, with the frog thrown against the wall to precipitate his transformation.]
McKinley, Robin. “The Princess and the Frog.” In The Door in the Hedge. Greenwillow Books, 1981.
[An evil prince eliminates his elder brother, then ingratiates himself with ominous power into the neighboring kingdom, obtaining power in that court and wooing the princess with a magical necklace. She fears him and takes the necklace outside to examine it, drops it accidentally into a pond, and recovers it (now without its magical power) through the help of a frog who, as reward, joins the household. The wicked prince throws the frog against the wall, whereupon it turns into his elder brother who challenges him. The princess gets water from the frog pond and dumps it on the evil prince, who is turned into a statue. Then she and the true prince join hands.]
Mieder, Wolfgang. “Modern Anglo-American Variants of the Frog Prince (AaTh440).” New York Folklore, 6 (1980): 111-135.
Vuong, Lynette Dyer. “Master Frog.” In The Brocaded Slipper and Other Vietnamese Tales. New York: Addison-Wesley, 1982; rpt. New York Harper-Collins, 1992, pp. 65-82.
[Giang Dung, an ugly girl, is finally given a husband, who dies soon leaving her pregnant. She gives birth to a frog. The frog shows himself apt at school and as he becomes an adult requests the hand of a princess in marriage. Giang Dung is shocked but requests an audience with the king. The king ridicules Master Frog, but shows him his three daughters as a joke. Master Frog then stuns the king by croaking loudly and producing a stampede of elephants, tigers, leopards, and panthers in the court, then departing leaving the animals there. The king reconsiders the offer and the youngest daughter, Kien Tien, agrees to the marriage. Master Frog proves an intelligent and agreeable partner and after a time sheds his frog skin and becomes a handsome prince. He is a fairy, it turns out, a heavenly mandarin, one of the sons of the Jade Emperor, who wanted an adventure in the world below. His father granted him the request only if he begin as a frog. The other two sisters of Kien Tien become jealous, steal the frog skin, try to find frog princes for themselves, then murder Kien Tien. Master Frog, who had disappeared when they stole the skin, returns, rescues Kien Tien from the sea, and accepts the rule of the kingdom. The wicked sisters flee to the wood and are not heard of again. Giang Dung is brought to the palace and lives in comfort to a ripe old age.]
[In this Russian tale a childless empress wishes for a son even were he no bigger than a hedgehog. She gives birth to one, to everyone’s shame. Hedgehog grows up and, riding a cock, goes looking for a bride. A king welcomes him and agrees to Hedgehog’s marrying his youngest daughter. She is forced to consent. On the advice of her priest she sprinkles holy water on her bridegroom and pricks herself with his spines so that three drops of blood trickle from her hand upon him. He is transformed into a beautiful youth, and they are married.]
Haviland, Virginia. “About the Hedgehog Who Became Prince.” In Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Poland, Retold by Virginia Haviland. Illustrated by Joel Cook. New York: A Beech Tree Paperback Book, 1995. Pp. 7-16.
[Haviland first retold the story in 1965. Cook’s illustrations, 1995. In this version the woman wishes for a child, even if it were a hedgehog. A witch overhears and grants the wish. The hedgehog son grows up, herding the pigs in the woods. One day the king rides by, lost in the wood. The hedgehog shows him his way out, providing he pledge to him one of his daughters in marriage. The king consents, thinking nothing could come of his device to find his way home. Later, the hedgehog orders that a cock be saddled so that he might ride away. His mother consents and hedgehog sets out for the palace. The king is at dinner when the hedgehog arrives. He orders the beast killed but instantly the room is filled with hedgehogs, that are really good fairies. They impale the court with their barbs until the king consents. The hedge takes the youngest daughter to church. After the ceremony she is amazed to find him transformed into a handsome young man. He explains that the marriage broke the wicked witch’s spell.]
Janosch. “Hans My Hedgehog.” From Janosch erzahlt Grimm’s Marchen. Belta & Gelberg Verlag, 1972.
[Childless woman wishes for child even if it were a hedgehog. It so happens, and the minister refuses to baptize it. So the creature is called Hans My Hedgehog. The farmer goes to town and will return with gifts. Hans wants a harmonica in B flat. Next trip he wants sunglasses, then a motorcycle. Hans sets out on his own. He gets a job playing background music for a radio station, gets into movies, and sets fashions with his garb and hairdo. Everyone wants to be like him and to cut their hair exactly as he does.]
Walker, Wendy. “The Contract with the Beast.” In The Sea-Rabbit: Or, The Artist of Life. Los Angeles: Sun and Moon Press, 1988. Pp. 105-180.
[A retelling of “Jack My Hedgehog.”]
Williamson, Duncan, ed. “The Hedgehurst.” In Fireside Tales of the Traveler Children: Twelve Scottish Tales. New York: Harmony Books, 1985.
MERMAIDS AND MERMEN:
Mermaid Tales from Around the World. Retold by Mary Pope Osborne. Illustrated by Troy Howell. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1993.
[Includes The Mystery of Melusine, Menana of the Waterfall, The Sea Nymph and the Cyclops,The Enchanted Cap, Nastasia of the Sea, The Fish Husband, The Serpent and the Sea Queen, The Mermaid’s Revenge, The Princess of the Tung Lake, The Sea Princess of Persia, The Mermaid in the Millpond, The Little Mermaid.]
Nicholas Pipe. Told by Robert D. San Souci. Illustrated by David Shannon. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1997.
[The tale is based on a brief account “Of Nicholas Pipe, A Merman” in Walter Map’s De nugis curialium (Courtiers’ Trifles). Map (c. 1140-1208), a priest, storyteller, sermon writer, courtier, was contemporaneous with Chrétien de Troyes and a notable figure in the court of Henry II. San Souci’s adaptation follows a suggestion by the medievalist Frederick Tupper, which provides the tale with a happy ending. San Souci’s tale is as follows: Nicholas Pipe was a merman who had saved a sorcerer’s child from drowning and, in gratitude, the sorcerer gave him the capacity to have legs while on land and a merman’s tail when at sea. Marius, a fisherman, had a daughter Margaret who fell in love with Nicholas. Marius had lost a son at sea, however, and blamed the mermen. Thus he hated Nicholas. But the village appreciated Nicholas, for he gave them fair warning of approaching storms. One day her father went to sea to fish. Margaret learned of the warning and hastened to help her father. But the storm struck. Only with Nicholas’ help did they survive. But the father continued to hate Nicholas and told the king of his existence. The king sent guards to imprison him in a cage to bring him to court as a show. Margaret, however, was determined to rescue him. She had once offered to marry him but he had declined: she was of the land, he of the sea. If ever a day passed that he did not swim in salt water he would die. When the king’s men took Nicholas away she hastened to the sea and got two skins of sea water and set out in pursuit of the soldiers. When she found them they thought Nicholas was dead and had left him under a tree. As Margaret wept salt tears over him he revived. Then with the water skins as remedy they began their trek back to the sea. But the water ran out, and it seemed he would die after all. But the father, repentant of his hatred, came to help. He cut the skins open and placed the wet interior against Nicholas’ skin. That was enough. He got to the sea in time. Next day he appeared in human form, and he and Margaret were married. He still worried that he was of the sea and she of the land. But she replied: “Our children will be children of land and sea, and Oh! what marvels they will be.”]
Mayer, Fanny Hagin. “The Monkey Son-in-law.” In Ancient Tales in Modern Japan: An Anthology of Japanese Folktales. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
Straparola, Giovanni. “The Pig Prince.” In Le piacevoli notti (The Facetious [or Delectable] Nights). 1553.
[A childless queen sleeps in a garden where three capricious fairies cast spells upon her — that she shall give birth to a most handsome child, that no one will have power to offend her and that her son will have great virtue, and that the child will be cursed with the skin of a pig and a pig’s manners until he has been wed three times. Through the agency of a woman with three daughters, one of whom honors and obeys him, the pig prince finally comes into his human form and is rid of his piggishness.]
Thomas, Rosemary Hyde. “Prince White Hog.” In It’s Good to Tell You: French Folktales from Missouri. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981.
Walker, Barbara. “The Princess and the Pig.” In A Treasury of Turkish Folktales for Children. Hamden, Conn.: Linnet Books, 1988. Pp. 114-117.
Cooper, Susan. The Selkie Girl. Illustrated by Warwick Hutton. New York: Macmillan, 1986; rpt Aladdin Books, 1991.
[Based on an ancient Celtic legend of a beautiful seal girl, daughter of King of Lochlann, who is loved by Donallan; he steals her seal skin while she is sunning on the beach in human form. He names her Mairi and marries her, and they have five children. Years later Mairi finds the skin and returns to the sea. Every year, at the seventh stream of the spring flood tide she may be seen in the waves. Donallan’s nets take three times as many fish as those of others and, in spring, they can hear singing that seems to come from the sea. See The Secret of Roan Inish for a film adaptation under Movies.]
Kingfisher, T. "Jackalope Wives." In Jackalope Wives and Other Stories. Argyll Productions, 2017. Pp. 15-30.
Kingfisher offers a beautiful Selkie story set in the American Southwest, taking full advantage of the its rich mythology. The tale explores the boundaries of choice, consent, freedom, and escape, and offers a positive conclusion for the Jackalope Wife whose skin is taken. The story may also be found online through Apex Magazine. https://apex-magazine.com/short-fiction/jackalope-wives/ [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
“Seven on Land, Seven in the Sea.” In Icelandic Folk Tales. Edited by Hjörleifur Helgi Stefánsson. Illustrations by Tord Sandstrom Fahlstrom. The History Press, 2021. Kindle edition.
Stefanasson presents a rare selkie story that includes consent and freedom. When a young man finds a selkie’s skin, the woman already knows his name and agrees to marry him. She asks him to lock her skin away where it will not tempt her, and he does as she asks. They marry, have seven children, and are quite happy for many years. When the family walks on the beach, seals always visit. After a time, the wife grows increasingly despondent, and her husband gives her the key to the chest holding her skin. She puts it on and says goodbye, mentioning her seven sea children as she departs. The man tells the children the truth of their mother and that the heart must be kept whole. In later years, when the family visits the beach, eight seals appear, although one always cries out when it sees its human children. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
[See “The Serpent,” Il Pentamerone was first published posthumously in 1634-1636.]
Arnott, Kathleen. “The Snake Chief.” In African Myths and Legends. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.
Delarue, Paul. “The Serpent and the Grape-grower’s Daughter.” In French Fairy Tales. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968. Pp 104-109.
“The Serpent of the Sea.” In American Indian Myths and Legends, selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. New York: Pantheon, 1984, pp. 327-331.
[Based on Frank Hamilton Cushing’s version, 1931. A beautiful Zuni maiden bathes in Kolowissi’s sacred spring. The god appears as a baby which the maiden takes home. At night he turns into a gigantic serpent. Her father, a priest, prays to the serpent, giving his daughter to him as a gift. The serpent accepts. On the way back to the pool the serpent turns
himself into a young man and pledges his love. The maiden forgets her sadness and her home and goes to the Doorway of the Serpent of the Sea, where they live happily.]
[Uncle Wu, disappointed in love, tells his story to the sea. A woman called Shell appears out of the sea to tell him he wastes his love on cold waves. He would marry her, but she has a secret too: she comes from the sea and lives most of her life as a large seashell. But that is okay with him, so they are married. The king hears of this strange love and collects the shell for his treasure room. The king would marry her too, but she refuses. He threatens to kill her husband, however, so she consents. The king then makes demands, first the hair of a toad, which she supplies from the moon, which shivers without its hair. Then the arm of a ghost, which she supplies also. Then the king demands a bushel of luck. She brings a black dog as large as a pony. He says that’s not luck, but changes his mind when the dog eats burning wood then spreads fire about, burning down the castle and the king with it — bad luck! The king forgot to specify which kind. So Shell leaps on the dog’s back, helping her husband Wu on too, and they escape back to their home by the sea. All that’s left of the cruel king is lumps of melted silver, amber, cracked crystal, and ashes.]
The Snail Lady. Adapted by Duance Vorhees and Mark Mueller. Illustrated by Kang Mi-sun. Seoul, Korea: Hollym Corporation, 1990.
[A Korean tale, printed in English and Korean. A young man hoes in his garden. A small voice asks him to share his food. Unable to find the lady whose voice he hears he picks up a snail and puts it in a clay jar in his house. Next day he finds his breakfast waiting him and his house straightened up. Who does this he wonders. Next day he pretends to go to work but hides near the kitchen. He sees a lovely woman step out of the jar and do the work. He wishes she were his wife. Next day he waits and catches the lady after she appears and proposes. She agrees to be his wife. They live together many years. The king rides by and wants the woman, thinking she is too beautiful to be married to a farmer. He proposes a contest. The first to cut down a tree gets the girl. The king chooses a small tree for himself and conscripts two hundred men to do the work. The farmer must cut down a very large tree. The snail lady goes to her father the Dragon King in the sea, however, and brings back a gourd, which she gives to her husband. From the gourd come countless little men who cut down the big tree before the king’s men, who get in each other’s way, can get half way through their task. So the king sets another task — a race with horses across a stream. The Dragon King gives his son-in-law a tired looking horse, but it goes fast as lightning. The king, in losing, falls off his horse into the river. But he insists on one more contest — a boat race. The farmer competes in a row-boat, but it is fast as a dolphin and outstrips the king’s big bulky ship. A wave capsizes the king’s ship and swallows it. So the young man gives the king’s food and riches to the poor and lives happily with the snail lady ever after.]
[In this retelling of “The Snow Maiden,” Ardour, a snow spirit, finds love after facing years of rejection. Her presence brings winter to the kingdom she inhabits, and if a man sleeps with her, she will retreat for a year, allowing Spring to arrive. After many years, however, she grows tired of meaningless relationships and the men who seek her merely to gain status in the kingdom and refuses to be caught, nearly destroying the kingdom with a perpetual winter until encountering the king’s son who genuinely means her no harm. She takes him away with her, and typical seasons begin to affect the kingdom. The king mourns his lost son, but the peasants joke that occasionally loud storms are the “spats” of Ardour and her lover. For more on this anthology, see My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me.] [Annotation Martha Johnson-Olin]
The Snow Wife. Retold by Robert D. San Souci. Pictures by Stephen T. Johnson. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1993.
[Two Japanese woodcutters, descending a mountain, are caught in a blizzard. As they hide in an abandoned cottage the door blows open and a beautiful snow woman appears. The young woodcutter sees her and loves her beauty and she him. She asks that he never tell anyone of their love. He promises and she disappears. In the morning the old woodcutter is dead. The younger man, named Minokichi, works on always thinking of the beautiful ghost. Then he meets Yuki, whose skin is white as snow. They marry and she gives him children. One day he tells her that she is as beautiful as the snow maiden, at which point she says that she is in fact the same person but since he has broken his promise she must return to the spirit world, which she does with a shriek. Minokichi goes to a priest who advises him against pursuing a ghost. But there is no dissuading him, and he sets out. He gets past the Mountain Man, then the Mountain Woman. A procession of lights appears to guide him on and at last, thinking he will certainly die, he arrives at the shrine of the Wind God. He obtains forgiveness for destroying one of the Wind God’s shrines and is granted a wish. He asks for Yuki the Snow Wife. The God reminds of his broken promises but at last consents after Minokichi promises to build him a shrine. At first the Snow Wife does not recognize him. But the Wind God sends them both back, with instructions to her never to let him forget his promise. They build an altar to the Wind God and tend it, as do their children and grandchildren, always faithful to their promises.]
TALES OF LOATHLY MEN TRANSFORMED BY LOVE (Monsters, Dwarfs, Humpbacks, etc.), Other than the Basic Beauty & the Beast Plot of Mme. de Villeneuve and Mme de Beaumont (see “Riquet with the Tuft”, under Basic Texts):
Hague, Michael. “Riquet with the Tuft.” In Cinderella and Other Tales from Perrault, illustrated by Michael Hague. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1989, pp. 55-65.
[Ugly Riquet gives Beauty intelligence on promise of marriage. When he comes to collect she appeals to his reason, arguing that she had agreed to the contract when she was stupid. He turns the argument around to insist that if she loves him he will be beautiful. She agrees and he is transformed.]
Salisbury, Eve, ed. Sir Gowther. In The English Breton Lays, ed. Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury. Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University Press, 1995. Pp. 263-307.
[A woman cannot conceive. Her husband threatens to take a new wife. She goes into a garden where a fiend inseminates her. The child born is of monstrous appetite, sucking nine wetnurses to death and biting the nipples off his mother. At fifteen he rapes all the nuns in a convent and then burns it down. His uncle says he must have been fathered by the fiend. He goes to his mother and learns that it is true. Overwhelmed by the revelation he goes to the pope and receives penance. He must wander taking food only that dogs give him. He comes to a palace and sits under the table with the dogs. The maiden of the castle, who is a mute, pities him and sends him food by a dog whose mouth she washes clean with wine. The kingdom is attacked by a monstrous king who demands the princess as his bride. Unbeknownst to any Gowther prays, is given armor, and wins the day. Only the princess knows what has happened. The bad king attacks again, and a second time Gowther defeats the army, this time in a different disguise. A third time the villain attacks, this time in his own person. Gowther kills him, but is wounded himself. As he returns the maiden sees him from the tower, faints, and falls. All think she is dead. They call for the pope who comes to bless her. She returns to life, now with speech. She tells of Gowther’s deeds and the youth is invited from under the table to join them. The pope pronounces that his penance is over, and the maiden and Gowther marry. Her founds a holy church for nuns as a further act of penance. He lives a long life and rules as an excellent emperor, always holding the Saracens at bay. His life illustrates that God can make the blind to see and the dumb to speak and the crooked right. In some versions he is declared a saint.]
TALES OF LOATHLY LADIES TRANSFORMED BY LOVE:
Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” (ca. 1393). In The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd edn. Ed. Larry D. Benson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987. Pp. 116-122.
Gower, John. “The Tale of Florent” (ca. 1390). Confessio Amantis, Bk I, lines 1407-1861. In The English Works of John Gower, ed. G. C. Macaulay. London: Oxford University Press, 1900; rpt. 1957, I. Pp. 74-86.
Hahn, Thomas, ed. Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle (ca. 1400). In The Gawain Poems. Ed. Thomas Hahn. Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University Press, 1995.
Hastings, Selina, ed. Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady. Illustrated by Juan Wijngaard. New York: Lathrop, 1985.
[An illustrated adaptation of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle.]
Hoffmann, E. T. A. Nussknacker und Mausekonig (1816). First appearing in a Christmas collection of children’s stories, Kindermarchen von C.W. Contessa, Friedrich Baron de la Motte Fouqué und E.T.A. Hoffmann. See “Nutcracker and the King of Mice,” trans. Alexander Ewing, in The Best Tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann, ed. E.F. Bleiler. New York: Dover, 1967, pp. 130-182.
[In the encapsulated story told Marie by Drosselmeier, the Mouse Queen curses Princess Pirlipat at birth with ugliness until a young man cracks a hard nut and yields the kernel to the princess to eat. Drosselmeier’s nephew, the necessary young man, stumbles over the Mouse Queen, killing her and unfortunately transforming himself into the Nutcracker. The
retransformation of the Nutcracker and thus of Princess Pirlipat lies in Marie’s (the audience’s) power. Marie becomes Clara in Tchaikovsky’s adaptation.]
Kingfisher, T. "Loathly." In Toad Words and Other Stories. Red Wombat Tea Company, 2014. Kindle edition.
Kingfisher retells the Loathly Lady’s story from the perspective of a woman cursed to transform into a bear. She describes how the woman hated being the animal but despised the attempts to break the curse more, especially as the price for finally freeing her included rape and forced marriage. The protagonist misses the hermit who saved her life once and looks forward to transforming back into an animal after her spouse dies. [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
[A degenerate Russian aristocrat who has gambled away his entire estate loses his daughter in Italy to the Beast at a game of cards. The Beast takes his prize to his remote stable where he desires to see her naked. She insults him but on a second encounter, when he presents his own nakedness, she disrobes and he licks her skin off leaving a creature with a nascent patina of shining hairs — beautiful damp fur.]
Cole, Babette. Princess Smartypants. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1986.
[Lots of princes want to woo Princess Smartypants, who gives them tasks at which they fail. But Prince Swashbuckle comes along and does all the tasks, so she kisses him and turns him into a toad, which frightens all the other suitors away so that Princess Smartypants, who enjoys being Ms., can live happily ever after by herself.]
Goble, Paul. Buffalo Woman. New York: Macmillan, 1984; rpt. Aladdin Books, 1986.
[A young hunter prepares to shoot a buffalo cow but she turns into a beautiful young woman whom he marries. Their son is named Calf Boy. But his people do not accept his wife. She leaves and he follows. She and her son rejoin the herd as buffalo. The hunter follows, is challenged by the chief bull of the buffalo nation, and passes several tests. Then the old bull recognizes that this Straight-up-Person loves his wife and child that he is willing to die for them, the herd surrounds him, rolls him in the dust until he is transformed into a young buffalo bull. So the People and the Buffalo Nation are kin, and Buffalo People give their flesh so that little children will have meat to eat. We are all related. Based on similar tales among the plains Indians, particularly the Blackfeet and Comanches.]
-----. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. New York: Bradbury Press, 1978.
[The girl who loves horses finds herself isolated with a wild herd after the horse she is riding is stampeded by a thunder storm. She lives with the wild herd which is ruled by a spotted stallion. They are happy to be free together. A year later two hunters from her tribe find her and bring her home. But she yearns for the spotted stallion and his wild horses. They come for her and she leaves her people to be with them. Each year she sends back a colt to her parents. Then the people see her no more but say that she has become one of the wild horses at last. Today we are glad to remember that we have relatives among the Horse People. Goble’s illustrations are superb; winner of the Caldecotte Medal in 1979.]
[Cover: “Is beauty only skin deep? Just like everyone in town, beautiful Bonnie Oliviera has heard the rumors about the mansion on the cliff. They say it’s haunted by a ferocious beast. But this beast is no ghost. He’s a horrible-looking creature named Peter Crowley. Placed under a spell long ago, Peter was transformed into an ugly beast and given an enchanted rose. Now Peter must earn the love of another before the last petal falls, or he will remain a beast forever. Peter’s sure falling in love is just a fairy tale — until the day he meets Bonnie. She’s smart and beautiful. She’s gentle and kind. But can a girl as beautiful as Bonnie learn to love a hideous beast? Once Upon a Dream … where wishes really do come true.]
Beard, Julie. Lady and the Wolf. New York: Diamond Books, 1994.
[“Fiery passion...an outstanding tale of the Middle Ages” — Rendevous. Back cover: “Ms. Beard captures your imagination from page one … A keeper!” (Rendevous). Lady Katherine rode through a fierce storm to her dreaded destiny: a wedding with the cold-hearted Stephen Bartingham. She had promised her dying brother she’d flee to a convent instead, but her father’s will prevailed. She went unwilling, determined to remain chaste. Taking shelter at a roadside inn, Katherine felt the first stirrings of a traitorous desire as a coarse, rugged stranger swept her into a wanton embrace. But shame engulfed her as she realized that the man she thought a peasant was, in fact, her betrothed … And that the demands of her own passion threatened to rule above all. Fly leaf: Hunger … “I am glad she is in the cage,” Katherine said. She admired Stephen’s fearlessness. These wolves were his kindred spirits: comfortable in solitude, sleekly beautiful, with a potentially dangerous side. “Come hither,” Stephen coaxed, offering her a slice of meat. “Feed Vixen and you will have a friend for life.” Katherine knelt by the side of the cage. Stephen crouched beside her. As Stephen had promised, Vixen was soon licking her fingers through the square slats. “It seems so unfair that she is caged,” Katherine said softly. “A moment ago you were grateful for it.” “That is because she was unknown to me. Now she is not. Europa says they mate for life. All of God’s creatures that know such loyalty should be free as the wind.” Still kneeling, Stephen reached out and stroked Katherine’s cheek. She shut her eyes, and a burst of light, like a shooting star, filled the darkness that ensued. In her mind’s eye she kissed his chafed lips, inhaled the musky scent of leather that clung to him. And when her arms coiled around his well-muscled shoulders, she surrendered to his arms like a lamb curled against the chest of a lion.]
Briggs, Katharine M. “The Small-Tooth Dog” In A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970, I. Pp. 487-489.
Brooke, William J. “A Beauty in the Beast.” In Untold Tales New York: Harper-Collins, 1992. Pp. 49-97.
[Beast, a plain man, is cursed by a sorcerer to be the most handsome of men, for whom all riches are at hand, but whom none appreciate for his inner self. He is wooed by many for his wealth, but they are turned into invisible servants. Beauty is the ugliest of women, whom none appreciate either. Beast hopes she will agree to marry him to break the curse. He tells her stories, the moral of which is to look to the inside. But Beauty is reluctant to tell the answer and dodges with naive responses instead. Beast lets her return to her parents, knowing that both their salvations lie in her willingness to return. At home Beauty wonders if anyone sees her. They talk to her but never look at her. She realizes that there is a man who loves her and whom she loves back. He is Beast, and he is dying. So she returns to find the garden in disarray and Beast dying. She rouses him sufficiently for him to ask again that she marry him. She replies, “Maybe.” He recovers somewhat and tells another story, to which she is to apply a moral. She gets him to look at her in a mirror and tell what her face looks like. He admits it’s ugly. The curse is broken, but he retains his magical powers. It’s all going to be okay.]
Browning, Dixie. The Beauty, the Beast, and the Baby. New York: Silhouette, 1996.
[Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Three very different sexy bachelors say “I do!” You met the tall one in last September’s MAN OF THE MONTH, Alex and the Angel. Now meet the dark one in The Beauty, the Beast, and the Baby. Just wait till you meet the handsome one, coming your way soon! Others in the Silhouette Desire MAN OF THE MONTH series include: In JanuaryWolfe Wedding, by Joan Hohl. In February Megan’s Marriage, by Annette Broadrick. In March The Beauty, the Beast and the Baby, by Dixie Browning. In April Saddle Up, by Mary Lynn Baxter. In May (Desire’s 1000th book) Man of Ice, by Diana Palmer. In June The Accidental Bodyguard, by Ann Major. MAN OF THE MONTH: He’s tough enough to capture your heart, tender enough to cradle a newborn baby, and sexy enough to satisfy your wildest fantasies. Backcover: Can the beauty transform the already handsome beast into a husband? Mr. March: The Beast: Gus Wydowski, a brooding bachelor with a weakness for beautiful women — but not for bouncing babies! The Beauty: Mariah Brady didn’t need a man who knew nothing about babies — especially when she was juggling a newborn! The Baby: Was cute little Jessie going to hook Mariah a husband? Gus couldn’t diaper an infant to save his life, but he also couldn’t stay away from Mariah Brady. And Mariah and baby Jessie were a package deal, so before he knew it, he was knee-deep in bottles and diaper pins. And now the beauty was trying to turn the beast-bachelor into a family man! Flyleaf: Gus tried hard not to think about Mariah. Walking in and seeing her bending over that baby coop thing with her sweats clinging to her hips and her hair slipping in wisps from under the scarf she had tied around her head — it had hit him hard. Ever since he’d left her that morning, the taste of her still on his tongue, he’d done his best to convince himself that she was just one more attractive woman in a world full of attractive women. But Mariah had that certain something that reached right inside a man and got so snarled up he lost sight of all common sense.]
Calvino, Italo. “Bellinda and the Monster.” In Italian Folktales, trans. George Martin. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. Pp. 197-202.
[The narrative follows Madame Leprince de Beaumont up to Bellinda’s return. Here a tree points its leaves upward is there is joy in Bellinda’s home, and down if there is grief. In the first instance she returns to participate in sister Assunta’s wedding to a carpenter. The wicked sisters steal her ring so that she can’t return to the monster within the week. He nearly dies before her father makes the bad girls return the ring. The same happens when the second sister, Carolina marries, the ring is stolen and monster suffers greatly. Then the leaves turn down at the time of her father’s illness. He recovers because of her visit but this time the stolen ring is recovered almost too late. Bellinda hurries back to find monster at point of death, at which point she promises marriage. Monster is transformed into prince, no longer cursed, and they marry. The spiteful sisters, who remain outside at the wedding, are turned into statues on each side of the door.]
Carter, Angela. The Bloody Chamber and Other Adult Tales. New York: Harper and Row, 1979. See “The Courtship of Mr. Lyon,” pp. 47-60, and “The Tiger’s Bride,” pp. 61-83.
[See Tales of People Transformed to Beasts through Love, for annotation of “The Tiger’s Bride.”]
[This novel is a sequel to Beauty and Beast and explores what happens to several of the most common female fairy tale heroines in Grimm Land after they marry. With humorous references to the Grimm Psychologist (touching on the work of Bruno Bettelheim), numerous fairy tales, and other fairy tale criticism, Ditchoff weaves together several complex plots to discuss happiness, wish-fulfillment, and transformation in often troubling and disturbing ways. The story begins as Princess Beauty hates her husband Prince Runyon, formerly the Beast. Her once gentle, passionate husband has become a spoiled, bisexual, murderous man who humiliates her sexually in public. She vows to seek Elora, the enchantress who cursed him, so that she may turn him into the Beast again. Elora, who has always been impressed by Beauty’s virtue and determination watches Runyon’s humiliation of Beauty, her vow, and the heroine’s entire journey along with her dog Croesus while commenting on theories of agency, psychology, and the need for realistic expectations in life. Beauty leaves the castle with the magic mirror that reveals what is happing at home. During her travels, she will remember her story: how she quickly overcame her fear of the Beast and began a passionate relationship with him; how her sisters attempted to ruin her wedding day before being turned into statues; and how her loving husband changed. As she travels to the Glass Mountain, she faces many obstacles and only receives a small amount of help from Elora herself, who realizes that Beauty must achieve her quest herself for both the sake of her and the child she carries. As Beauty meets each fairy tale heroine on her quest, Ditchoff retells their fairy tale and the lessons Beauty needs to learn about the meaning of love and beauty.
Beauty and Snow White
As Beauty travels, she encounters a community of seven dwarves and their wives before meeting the extremely cold and withdrawn Snow White. Snow White’s pushes everyone away after her fairy tale ending did not turn out happily. Even living with the dwarves, she continues to be tormented by visits from Vanita, her stepmother, driven mad by being forced to dance in hot, iron shoes that continue to torment but fail to kill her after twenty years. As Beauty spends time with the dwarves, she learns Snow White’s story and what happened after the maiden awakened. Before she lived with the dwarves, the young princess endured brief molestation at the hands of the huntsmen sent to kill her, and the child fled before finding safety with the dwarves for a time. Once married to Prince Otto, however, Snow White’s life changes again when her marriage is not consummated. Otto loved keeping items in glass cages, including his wife, at whom he gazes but with whom he does not sleep. In his quest to make his wife more perfect, he criticizes her behavior until his comments drive them entirely apart. When Otto finally attempts to consummate their marriage, Snow White rejects him out of fear due to her prior encounter with the huntsman. Their marriage slowly ends, and Snow White returns to live with the dwarves. She finds comfort from Lars, but soon the other dwarves became jealous. Eventually, Snow White asks for her own house and puts out a personal ad and arranges marriages for her seven companions. She tells Beauty that she refuses to seek love for herself, vowing domestic contentment is better than any type of physical pleasure.
Beauty and Rapunzel
After she leaves Snow White’s home, Beauty travels on the path of the maimed animals, those harmed by interacting with other fairy tale heroines, before briefly ending up in the cottage of a group of robbers and thieves. She escapes and is nearly captured by an enchanter, but is rescued by Rapunzel and a giant, one of her many “friends.” Rapunzel has not adjusted well after her time being kept in the tower. Her mother, Gothel, did not visit her regularly, and over time her isolation caused her to turn to her Prince, Johann. When their affair was discovered, Gothel banished Rapunzel to the desert where she married and had two children, Omar and Scheherazade, with Prince Fazel. His people did not accept Rapunzel, and he was forced to marry another. After his death, Rapunzel flees into the desert with her children and is rescued by Elora before being reunited with Johann. He accepts her children and marries Rapunzel, and everything is happy until Johann becomes ill and impotent. Rapunzel becomes restless for sex and soon begins to wander around the city, although the narrative does not indicate her infidelity. Johann soon becomes increasingly jealous and restrictive until Rapunzel leaves him, taking the children with her. She lives quietly on the outskirts of a city, supporting herself as a prostitute while her children’s various fathers providing food for their many children. Beauty tends the twins while Rapunzel attempts to save Kurt, her youngest, from being replaced with a changeling. As Beauty cares for the children, she learns that Rapunzel sets few boundaries and just seeks a life of pleasure for herself and her children with no restrictions, regardless of the consequences. Her other children have all died due to her carelessness, and as Rapunzel returns with Kurt, Elora, who is still watching Beauty’s travels, reveals that the long-haired heroine is pregnant again. Beauty departs just as Rapuzel is set to return, taking with her the lesson that love can be too demanding.
Beauty and Sleeping Beauty
While Runyon uses the image of his wife to inspire his paintings, he plots to divorce her while also threatening to kill her father if she does not return soon, Beauty encounters Princess Rosamund. After the greedy and fat Hansel and Gretel steal her food, Beauty attempts to cross the Kingdom of Dreams but is overcome by the fumes from the fog surrounding the castle. She awakens in a grotto beneath the castle, having been rescued by Fergus the frog, who informs her that the opium smoke would have harmed her child. She then has to wait for three weeks while Rosamund, the only person in her kingdom, harvest the poppies and slowly tells her story when not hallucinating. She relates that she was once Sleeping Beauty, and the thirteenth fairy punished her with death before another fairy, Elora, modified the spell to cause her and the entire kingdom to sleep for 100 years. She was rescued by Prince Fitzgerald, and everything was happy for a time, but eventually, Rosamund’s husband found her naïveté boring. Rosamund began studying incessantly, and soon the Grimm Psychologist gave her opium to make her relax. She finds that the drug opens her mind and seeks escape into enlightenment it provides. Her sisters-in-law reject her, and her husband takes away her drug supply. Once she experiences the pain of withdrawal, Rosamund leaves her husband and attempts to return to her family only to find the castle deserted. Meanwhile, the subjects returned to their families; the king died of old age; and the queen died alone. Rosamund then plants poppy seeds to make her own happiness. Her plight saddens Elora who views her as a wasted life, but in her delirium, Rosamund asks Beauty to consider if her quest is truly to save Runyon when he hates the form of the Beast. She reminds the heroine that the prince may not view his return to the animal as an act of love.
Beauty and Cinderella
Troubled, Beauty attempts to cross the Lake of Longing and meets Trina and Harry, an engaged couple who will marry in a few hours. Trina stares into the lake, which allows women to see their idealized selves. Harry reacts with shock when Beauty stares into the water and only sees herself. Trina, however, immediately becomes jealous of Beauty’s appearance, convinced she will steal Harry, who only loves his Trina and the marks on her body from spinning, her wider lip, foot, and thumb. As she sees the desperation in Trina and the love between the couple, Beauty thinks back to her feelings for the Beast. She releases her fantasy of love and romance with Runyon in Beast form when she gives her best gown to Trina as a wedding present. As she enters Charmed Kingdom, Elora diverts her with a false letter that Runyon awaits her at King Paul’s castle. Almost immediately, Beauty meets King Paul, an attractive, distinguished, and powerful older monarch who brings her to his wife, Queen Cinderella. Cinderella is covered entirely in veils, takes baby steps, speaks with a squeaky voice, and remains ever accompanied by a white raven. The raven steals Beauty’s mirror, and Elora sees the raven’s desperate attempts to help Cinderella. It keeps demanding to know if King Paul cheats on the Queen and wishes to make the matron young again. As they speak, Beauty initially guesses that Cinderella is around thirty, but when Paul announces that his son is about to be a father, Beauty observes Cinderella’s difficulty accepting the role of time. When Beauty and Cinderella take a ride around the city, Elora poses as a human, and Beauty chases after her. In the exchange, Mother, the white raven, is hit with a bit of magic and is temporarily knocked unconscious. Cinderella begins to scream, and Beauty attempts to calm her by having her remove her many veils covering her face to look at the bird, but she refuses because of where the pair is in the city. They are on the edge of town where the old people in Charmed Kingdom live. The girls who once teased Cinderella as a child now play with their grandchildren, but Cinderella sees their aged bodies and swoons. Beauty takes Cinderella and the raven back to the castle and finally locates her mirror; she sees Runyon kill his father and decides to focus on Cinderella. The girl tells her mother that this illusion needs to end, and as Beauty watches, the white raven fades away. Cinderella pries her original golden slippers off of her feet that are now covered in a mass of bunions, corns, calluses, and ingrown toe nails. She had become obsessed with her appearance when she married. Initially, she feared Paul did not love her because he almost married each of her stepsisters. They were happy at first, but as her body changed with pregnancy, Paul did not dote on her appearance. Although he was never unfaithful throughout their long marriage, Cinderella withdrew after the birth of their son. She watched as the people praised him for his deeds and focused on her looks, and she even attempted to have an affair, but when a stable boy rejected her because of her body, she took too wearing the veils and fearing her appearance. She tries to convince Beauty that the body of an old woman is ugly by stripping off all of the corsets, veils, and other garments used to improve her figure until she stands naked before the younger woman. Beauty accepts her for who she is and rubs salve on Cinderella’s feet; Elora allows the salve to return only Cinderella’s feet to their original tiny size. Beauty departs from the castle deciding that beauty harms those who possess it because of how others react to them, for it has harmed each of the women she has met.
Beauty and Elora
Elora sees that Beauty is at the base of the mountain in a forest surrounding by elves who enjoy stealing children. Beauty uses the mirror to check on Runyon and sees him hosting her funeral. As Beauty’s water breaks, Elora takes pity on her and provides her with an escalator that takes her up to the top, where Elora delivers the child, a daughter, Rune. During the delivery, Beauty begs Elora for a spell, but not for Runyon. She wants herself turned into a beast, regardless of whether or not the child is born with the same condition. Elora, Rune’s godmother, casts the spell so that Beauty will remain in beast form until a man loves her in this form and shows her companion an image of Beauty and Rune, who is also a beast, living happily together in a cave. As Elora realizes that some fairy tale heroines can find love, the narrative ends with an image of Beauty burying the magic mirror and cuddling her child.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
-----. Princess Beast. West Palm Beach, Fl: Stay Thirsty Press, 2010.
[This brief sequel to Mrs. Beast focuses on Rune, Beauty’s daughter. She is now fourteen and rebellious due to falling in love with Hans the Hedgehog, and she despises herself. When Hans decides to marry the princess who helped him obtain his human form, Rune despairs and vows to become human, using her mother’s magic mirror to see her human form. She will travel to Andersen Land and encounter the Ugly Duckling, the Little Mermaid, and other Andersen heroines, but the sequel lacks the plush continuations seen in the previous book. Elora will enter the narrative as the Snow Queen, and due to the romance between Beauty and Holger the Dane, Rune gains her human form. The novel details the sacrifices mothers make for daughters and how daughters often risk their entire identities for love. As the happy and transformed Rune marries Hans; Beauty, also in human form now, tries to wish the couple well. In the end, Elora, although praising Rune for seeking out her desires, advises her to seek happiness from within.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Dokey, Cameron. Belle: A Retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.” NY: Simon Pulse. 2008.
[Dokey’s novel is part of the Once Upon a Time series of young adult fairy tale revisions that includes work by Debbie Viguié, Tracy Lynn, Nancy Holder, and Suzanne Weyn. The retelling is a straightforward revision that focuses heavily on the lives of the family before and during the financial crisis that transforms their lives. Dokey departs from her source texts by expanding the mother’s role, for the entire family moves to the small cottage and reacts to the father’s promise to send Beauty in his place. The retelling quickly moves through Beauty’s time at the castle with her falling in love with the Beast and transforming him, and many readers will note the plot’s similarity to the work of Robin McKinley.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Fast, Jonathan. The Beast. New York: Ballantine Books, 1981.
[An actress is exchanged by her homosexual agent for his freedom from a grotesquely deformed recluse in Death Valley. She comes to love the monster as she had never been able to love before. The narrative is paced by segments of Madame Marien Leprince de Beaumont’s B&B.]
Fox, Paula. The Moonlight Man. New York: Bradbury Press, 1986.
Gregory, Kay. A Perfect Beast. Toronto: Harlequin Books, 1989.
[Back cover: Mr. Riordan set her teeth on edge! High-school biology teacher Rosemary Reid had always handled irate parents with professional aplomb — until Jonathan Riordan turned up. He’d come furiously to the defense of his difficult daughter, Tamsin. And made Rosemary blow her customary cool. When the dust settled, Rosemary realized that Jonathan was no predatory beast, but a warm human being. Moreover, he was a widower with a daughter set on seeing him remarried. Rosemary found herself tantalizing drawn to Jonathan. Then she discovered that she’d have to fight against his self-condemning memories of his dead wife. Fly leaf: “Afraid you’re committed to me for life, Jonathan!” What on earth made her ask that? That wasn’t what she wanted to say to him at all. He replied angrily. “Cut it out, Rosemary. I’m trying to set the record straight, that’s all. I’ve enjoyed being with you. And I admit my original ideas to ….” “Get me into bed!” Her head tilted defiantly. “Right. You’ve got it,” Jonathan said harshly. “But I’m glad you had the sense to stop me the other night, because I’ve no right to use you … when I can’t give you anything in return.” Rosemary turned her head so that he couldn’t see the sudden desolation in her eyes. “You needn’t worry,” she lied to him. “Because you don’t have anything to give me that I want.”]
Grimms’ German Folk Tales, translated by Francis P. Magoun, Jr., and Alexander H. Krappe. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1960.
[See “The Frog King, or Iron Henry” (pp. 3-6), and “Hans the Hedgehog.”]
Hodge, Rosamund. Cruel Beauty. New York: Harper Collins, 2014. Kindle edition.
[This retelling combines numerous versions of Beauty and the Beast, Greek mythology, and the conventions of a fantasy novel. Beauty is an assassin sent to kill the Gentle Lord, a figure she perceives as a demon overlord. The story is complex as it weaves in references to Blue Beard stories, the Villeneuve retelling, “The Pig King,” “Hans My Hedgehog,” and other Beauty and the Beast variants. Hodge is now publishing other novels set in the same universe, and the other stories possess similar frameworks with demons, a world out of alignment, and wishes with significant consequences.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Leprince de Beaumont, Mme. Beauty and the Beast. Illustrated by Walter Crane. London & New York: George Routledge and Sons, 1875. Reprinted in Beauty and the Beast and other Tales, with Introduction by Anthony Crane. London: Thames and Hudson, 1982; New York: Metropolitan Museum, 1982.
[The reprint includes Princess Belle-Etoile and The Yellow Dwarf as well as Beauty and the Beast. 21 color plates. Beast has a trunk and tusks, though he is more hog-like than elephantine; his hooves are cloven, and he wears a monocle. All three were originally in Walter Crane’s Toy Books Series and sold for a shilling.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Illustrated by E. Ducornet. New York: Knopf, 1968.
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Vera Southgate. Illustrations by Eric Winter. Loughborough: Ladybird Books Ltd (formerly Wills & Hepworth, Ltd), 1968.
[See Elementary Readers, above.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Philippa Pearce. Illustrated by Alan Barrett. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972.
[In an appendix Pearce includes a short history of the story. She abridges Beaumont, adding a wise horse, rather in the manner of Cocteau, to expedite Beauty’s first going to Beast’s mansion. The illustrations by Alan Barrett are dark and surreal.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Translated and illustrated by Diane Good. New York: Bradbury Press, 1978.
-----. Beauty and the Beast, Based on a Fairy Tale by Charles Perrault. Illustrated by David Chestnutt. New York: Random House, 1978; rpt. 1991.
[Though the title page claims Perrault for source, the tale follows Mme Leprince de Beaumont. Chestnutt’s illustrations are nicely done.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Adapted by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by E. LeCain. New York: Doubleday, 1979.
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Deborah Apy; illustrated by Michael Hague. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1980.
-----. Beauty and the Beast and Other Tales. Adapted and illustrated by Walter Crane. London: Thames and Hudson, 1982. First printed 1875.
-----. Beauty and the Beast. From the collection of Madame D’Aulnoy. Illustrated Etienne Delessert. Paris: Grasset & Fasquelle, 1984; reissued Mankato, MN: Creative Education Inc.
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Adapted and illustrated by Warwick Hutton. Atheneum, 1985.
[An efficient retelling of Mme. de Beaumont’s story. The watercolor/pen and ink illustrations are splendid, with impressionist backgrounds, decor-conscious interiors and gardens, and striking use of shadows, mirrors, and dream effects.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Anne Carter. Illustrated by Binette Schroeder. London: Walker Books, 1986.
[Retold from Mme LePrince de Beaumont, with Binette Schroeder given equal billing. Schroeder’s beast looks like a cross between a wolf and a leopard. In a postscript, pp. 38-39, Carter suggests that the story, whose history she traces, is a primal symbol of “ourselves: our strengths, our weaknesses, our painful progress towards self-knowledge and, at last, redemption.”]
[Draws on components of Madame de Villeneuve as well as Madame LePrince de Beaumont’s version. In her dreams Beauty learns of Beast’s origins and plight. With the breaking of the spell on the Beast, the palace servants are likewise freed from the spell of invisibility. A videotape of this book has been made by Bosustow Entertainment Productions. See Movies.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast.
[Retold by Mary Pope Osborne; illustrated by Winslow Pinney Pels. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1987.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Adapted by Elizabeth Rudd; illustrated by Eleanor Vere Boyle. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1988.
[Eleanor Vere Boyle’s splendid Pre-Raphaelite illustrations were originally published in 1875, and represent beast as a walrus-like monster.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett. New York: Clarion Books, 1989.
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold and illustrated by Carol Heyer. Nashville: Ideals Publishing Corporation, 1989.
[Through her great capacity to love, a kind and beautiful maid releases a handsome prince from the spell which has made him an ugly beast.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. With illustrations selected and arranged by Cooper Edens from the Green Tiger’s Collection of old children’s books. San Diego: Green Tiger Press, 1989.
[Forty different illustrators.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. New York: Dutton, 1989.
-----. La Bella y la Bestia. Traducción de Mario Merlino. Ilustraciones de Willy Glasauer. Madrid: Altea, 1989.
[A Spanish translation at about eighth grade level of difficulty, with lovely halftone drawings. Beast is illustrated as a bear, with eyes as big as Beauty’s. He has fangs and claws but soulful expressions.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. In Favorite Fairy Tales, compiled by Cooper Edens and Harold Darling of The Blue Lantern Studio. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1991. Pp. 44-53.
[With five illustrations from M. Bowley’s edition, ca. 1920.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Illustrated by Charles W. Moore, with assistance from Tami Hodge. New York: Rizzoli, 1991.
[Charles W. Moore is an acclaimed American architect, winner of dozens of national awards. His illustrations are remarkable for their architectural extravagance of grand interiors and exteriors, cut-away views into houses, formal gardens, courtyards, and landscapes.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold and Illustrated by John Patience. New York: Derrydale Books, 1992.
[Instead of a ship coming in, here the merchant father sets out to find work in a distant town but gets lost in a storm. Also, after Beauty goes to the castle an old woman appears to reassure her in her sleep. Otherwise, the retelling follows Beaumont.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast: A Fairy Tale Pop-up. Illustrated by John Patience. Bridlington GB: Peter Haddock Ltd., 1996.
[Five pop-up panels. A book cleverly drawn and skillfully contrived in its pop-ups.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Kay Brown. Illustrated by Gerry Embleton. London: Award Publications, n.d.
[Hedgehog attendants in the castle.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast. Retold by Carolyn Magner. Illustrated by Peter Church. Fort Salonga, New York: Book Club of America, 1993.
Beauty and the Beast. Fairy Tale Pop-up. Published by Playmore Inc. New York: Waldron Publishing Corp., 2000.
[One of a series of four pop-up books that include Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Snow White as well. Five pop-up pages: The father blesses Beauty as he prepares to investigate the ship report; The father plucks a pink rose as Beast approaches; Beast kneels at Beauty’s feet, offering her a rose; Beauty returns to her father; As Beauty leans the reclining Beast he is turned into a prince.]
Beauty and the Beast Pop-Up Book. Edmonton, Alberta CA: Creative Publishing (A division of Transblobal Communications Group Inc.), 2003.
[Illustrator not identified. The cover shows a lion-like Beast in green jacket with Beauty in a red gown with a white shawl ready to dance as they stand at the top of a stair. In a mist behind Beast his princely self, also in green jacket and white pants looks eagerly on. To the right the father looks back as he rides away on his horse, which looks puzzled. Pop-up 1 shows the father setting off on his trip. Beauty waves goodbye while the other two sisters look snooty. Beauty has asked for a white rose. Pop-up 2 shows the father fallen to the ground at Beast’s rosebush as Beast rages. Pop- up 3 shows Beauty in a lovely white gown sitting in her chamber, looking to see her worried father in the mirror. Pop- up 4 shows Beauty at her father’s bedside. He looks ill. Pop- up 5 shows Beauty back at Beast’s Castle as the Prince materializes before her very eyes.]
Leroux, Gaston. Le Fantome de L’Opéra. Paris, 1911. First American edition: The Phantom of the Opera. New York: Grosset & Dunlop, 1911. Illustrated by André Castaigne.
[A detective novel in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes. “Accidents” at the Opera House lead to searches for a “phantom” presence who lurks in the shadows. This presence turns out to be a composer who has trained Christine Daaé, a virginal soprano, whom he loves and over whom he becomes jealous. Born with a deformed face over which his mother placed a mask, the phantom grew up as a freak. He became an architect, singer, composer, and, ultimately, music teacher who lived through his art, both through his songs and the beautiful soprano whom he Pygmalion-like trains to perform his music and whom he, filled with love, perpetually watches. When she takes a friend, her “Angel of Music” becomes a fiend taking revenge on all who interfere, but ultimately he releases her as she acknowledges her love for him. The tale is reconstructed long after the fact from notebooks and the testimony of a Persian who was there. See the numerous adaptations of this narrative under Movies and Opera.]
McKinley, Robin. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. New York: Harper and Row, 1978.
[A wealthy sea merchant has three daughters, Grace, Hope, and Honor. The youngest does not understand her name and, being plain, prefers to be called Beauty. All three daughters are intelligent and kind. Grace wishes to marry Robbie, a captain, but he would first prove himself worthy and goes to sea. Hope would marry an ironworker in her father’s shipyard named Gerwain, but delays the wedding until Robbie returns. Disaster strikes with the stock market crash and the family is left poverty stricken. Gerwain returns to being a blacksmith in the country and the family join him after he and Hope are married. They all fear the nearby enchanted forest. News comes that a ship has returned and father goes back to the city to investigate. Grace hopes it will bring Robbie back, Hope gests for pearls, and Beauty asks for rose seeds. The ship was not Robbie’s, but the father did make a good sale and returns home in a blizzard. He falls into Beast’s enchanted domain and, upon plucking a rose, finds himself in Beast’s debt. Beast asks for a daughter and Beauty’s the one. She and Beast becomes friends through conversation and shared interests, but she refuses to marry him. She becomes homesick and, by means of Beast’s magic mirror, sees an impending disaster at home. Grace is about to marry a preacher, despite her continuing love of Robbie, and Robbie is about to get home from sea after storms and shipwreck. So Beast lets her go with a promise to return in a week. She does not return on the seventh day, has a nightmare of Beast’s death, gets lost in the wood returning, but after further delay arrives in the knick of time to declare her love and save him. They look in a mirror and see that they are both beautiful. Love transforms all. McKinley’s first novel; included in Best Books for Young Adults in 1978.]
-----. Rose Daughter. New York: Ace Books, 1997.
[In her second version of Beauty and the Beast, Robin McKinley expands the storyline and develops the narrative’s level of detail. Beauty and her older sisters, Lionheart and Jeweltongue, live in the city with their father. Beauty is the gentle, kind one, known for rescuing animals and reassuring others. The heroine has been plagued with nightmares in which she runs down a corridor toward a monster, and these dreams become worse and change as the narrative progresses. After his wife dies, the father prohibits anything magical from coming into their lives, and eventually his despondency leads to the loss of his business just before his eldest daughters are to marry. The city and future husbands reject the family, and the father collapses into a fit of despair. When going through his papers, Beauty finds a will to Rose Cottage, a house owned by her mother and left to the family by her grandmother, a green witch. She helps her family journey to the cottage, where they recover slowly. Lionheart dresses as a stable boy and begins to work on the nearby noble estate, and Jeweltongue works as a seamstress. For a time, the family prospers with the local community questioning if Beauty is a green witch herself because of her skills with growing roses. Three years later, the father receives word that one of his ships thought lost had been found, and he goes to see if he can obtain any money from the cargo it carried before his creditors descend. He, however, arrives at the city too late and finds little hospitality from his former colleagues. In anger, he sets out for home, traveling carelessly during snowy weather in his rush. As he and his horse become lost and face death, he finds himself inside the grounds of a magnificent castle. Magical forces provide food for him and his horse, and as he prepares to depart the next morning, he takes a rose from a vase; the Beast appears and accuses him of theft. In exchange for the merchant’s life, the Beast demands that he bring him his daughter, Beauty, because of her skills with growing roses. The father returns home and tells his girls what has happened but refuses to bring Beauty to the castle at the end of the month; the heroine runs to the castle to protect her father. Once she arrives, the Beast attempts to welcome her into his magical castle, where time moves differently. For every day that Beauty spends in the castle, one month passes for her sisters. During her seven day time at the castle, Beauty begins to tend the Beast’s rose garden, and her presence brings life to the castle as a number of animals appear. During this time, Beauty also learns of the Beasts ability to paint and cannot fathom how the magical forces around her take care of them both. Most nights, she dreams of her family and sees her father’s recovery and local work as an accountant, Lionheart’s engagement to the young lord who discovered her true identity, and Jeweltongue’s choice to marry the local baker. Each night, the Beast proposes, and each night, Beauty rejects him. It is during these dreams that she also learns of the feud between two wizards, one of whom studied philosophy. The feud has left a magical scar on the countryside. The local green witch fell in love with the more arrogant of the two wizards and attempted to use a simulacrum to make him love her. Eventually, however, the truth was discovered as the more violent man cursed the philosopher, who rejected his arrogance. The philosopher was already suffering under the curse of being the Beast for discovering some of the secrets of the universe. After seven days, the dreams and constant magic become too much for Beauty who demands to see her family. The Beast explains how she can travel magically with rose petals but explains that when the last petal falls off the rose she carries he will die of despair for losing her. She spends a few hours with her family, enough time for all of them to realize her love for the Beast before the rose fades. Beauty frantically returns to the castle and finds the Beasty dying. She vows to marry him before the green witch appears and reveals that she has been using her limited magic to attempt to help the Beast, but even that was fading before Beauty came. The green witch is, in fact, Beauty’s grandmother. As the fiercest of magical creatures surround the couple, Beauty must choose to have the Beast return to his former appearance, magical powers, and responsibilities or remain as he is without magic. The green witch implies that she will rule by his side in the first scenario. Beauty chooses the quieter life for both of them. After facing the wrath of the magical forces around them, the curse ends, and Beauty wakes to discover herself with the Beast at Rose Cottage. Her family is planning a triple wedding, and Beauty and the Beast will live quietly in the small house.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Opie, Iona and Peter. Classic Fairy Tales. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
[Includes Madame Leprince de Beaumont’s version, with introduction and two woodcuts from Popular Tales of the Olden Time (1840) and one of W. Heath Robinson’s scratchboard drawings (1921).]
Perrault, Charles. Favorite Fairy Tales Told in France. Retold by Virginia Haviland. Illustrated by R. Duvoisin. Boston: Little Brown, 1959.
-----. Perrault’s Complete Fairy Tales. Illustrated by H. Robinson. Dodd, Mead, 1961.
Ryan, Taylor. Beauty and the Beast. Toronto: Harlequin Books, 1996.
[Back cover: Life was a banquet: a treasure to be enjoyed with gusto, and the impossible Lord Perfect seemed bent on starving himself. Though he had suffered greatly, Margaret Penwell knew there was still much to be savored, and she was determined to restore his appetite for living! Claymore Perfect was mired in brooding isolation, until a bundle of sass and optimism, otherwise known as Marke Penwell, arrived to disrupt his quiet seculsion. Crowned with a riot of rusty-hued curls and fresh as an autumn breeze, the disarming nuisance had somehow given him new reason to live. Fly leaf: “I see no reaon for feminine companionship!” the marquis roared. “Nor do I need company for dinner!” Marke leapt to her feet and balled her hands into fists. Of all the overbearing, insufferable, arrogant … She would not, must not for the sake of her promise to Dr. Barrows, allow him to dismiss her from the house. “Lord Perfect!” she commanded. “Do not order me from your presence in such a tyrannical manner. I shall not be dictated to by you in this instance.” Claymore spun his chair with remarkable dexterity to face the defiant young woman. “And just when have I ordered you anywhere, Miss … er. Miss …” “Miss Penwell, I think you had best give pause to consider that it is within the walls of my house that you are refusing to heed my wishes!”]
Scieszka, Jon. The Frog Prince, Continued. Illustrated by Steve Johnson. New York: Penguin Books (Viking Press), 1991.
[The transformed prince can’t stand the beauty who kissed him in his froggy state and seeks the witch who can turn him back.]
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Ed. James Rieger. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974. First published 1817.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 1897.
Tarrant, Margaret. Fairy Tales. Illustrated by the Author. New York: Crowell, 1978.
Taylor, Bayard. Beauty and the Beast, and Tales of Home. New York: Garrett Press, 1969.
[Includes “Beauty and the Beast,” “Tales of Home,” “Can a Life Hide Itself?” “Twin-Love,” “The Experiences of the A.C.,” “Friend Eli’s Daughter,” “Miss Bertram’s Trouble,” “Mrs. Strongitharm’s Report.”]
Tunnell, Michael O. Beauty and the Beastly Children. Pictures by John Emil Cymerman. New York: Tambourine Books, 1993.
[After Beast is transformed into Auguste the Prince and he marries Beauty, he reverts to his vain ways, running around with his buddies, leaving Beauty to do all the work and bear the children. She has triplets. The old woman who cursed Beast returns. Auguste runs away from her but she puts the curse on the kids: one has paws for feet, another a long bushy tail, and the third has fangs. They nip at the servant’s heals, wreak havoc in the castle, and terrorize the countryside. Finally, Auguste stops running around with his gang of ne’er-do-wells and gets acquainted with his monster children. He tells them stories about Beauty and the Beast and gradually they take an interest. The peasants and the court can hardly believe it as the wild bunch starts becoming gentle. One day an old woman in a tattered black cape comes by. But seeing the gentle family this time she smiles and runs off in a lightning storm, declaring “It’s done.” The beastly qualities fall away from the kids, the sun comes out, and the only hair left to speak of on the men is on the tops of their heads.]
Willard, Nancy. Beauty and the Beast. With wood engravings by Barry Moser. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.
[A wealthy New Yorker loses his fortune and is force to withdraw to Elmore’s Corners, Upstate, with his three daughters, Vanity, Money, and Beauty. Beauty finds the old family place beautiful; Vanessa and Mona find it detestable. A ship comes in with promise of wealth, but when the father arrives the captain has cheated him, the ship has gone on and its merchandise been sold. Father sets out for home by horse in bad weather, takes refuge in a grand place, takes a rose upon leaving, and encounters Beast, who demands one of the daughters or the father’s life. Beast is kind to her, the furniture and birds sing to her, and Beast repeatedly proposes. Beauty returns to Elmore’s Corners to see her ailing father. The sisters trick her into overstaying her time. In the nick of time she returns and asks that Beast live to be her husband. He is transformed into William. The sisters are turned into andirons. They feel no pain from the fire. Only envy at Beauty’s happiness.]
Yolen, Jane. Sleeping Ugly. Illustrated by Diane Stanley Vennema. New York: Coward-McCann, 1981; reissued Putnam Publishing Group, 1984.
[Miserella is all ugly on the inside, a really mean little girl. Stranded in woods she meets a witch and Plain Jane. Jane uses her three wishes to countermand Miserella’s self destructive choices. After they are put to sleep for a hundred years the Prince, who had three sisters just like the pretty and pampered Miserella, knows which to kiss.]
[Based on Gabrielle Suzanne de Villeneuve’s story.]
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Percy Snow. Clarendon/Gaumont Pictures. Released November 1905. 1 reel.
La Belle et la Bête. Released 1908. 1 reel colored. Pathe Films, France.
[Based on Mme. Gabrielle Suzanne de Villeneuve.]
Beauty and the Beast. Produced and directed by H. C. Matthews. Released 1913. 1 reel. Universal-Rex Pictures.
Cast: Elsie Albert (Beauty).
[Based on Mme. Marien Leprince de Beaumont and the Brothers Grimm.]
Beauty and the Beast. Written and directed by H. E. Hancock. Released 1916. International Film Service, Inc.
Cast: Mineta Timayo (Beauty).
Beauty and the Beast. Written and directed by Guy Newell. Released January 1922. Produced by George Clark. Stoll Pictures.
Cast: Ivy Duke (Beauty), Guy Newell (The Beast), Douglas Munro (Father), Winifred Sadler (Mother).
Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et La Bête). Written and directed by Jean Cocteau. 1946. 100 minutes cut to 92.
Cast: Jean Marais (Bete), Josette Day (Belle), Marcel André (The Merchant), Mila Parély (Adelaide), Nane Germon (Felicia), Michel Auclair (Beauty’s Brother), Doudou (Diana).
[“Cocteau’s fairytale set standards in fantasy which few other film-makers have reached. Despite the Vermeer-like compositions, he has some trouble capturing the right tone for the ‘realistic’ scenes, but the sequences in the enchanted castle — wonderfully designed by Christian Bérard complete with fantastic living statuary, and dignified by a beast at once ferocious, erotic and genuinely tragic — are pure magic. René Clément is credited as co-director, but had very little to do with the mise en scène” — Tom Milne for Time Out. This is the single most influential cinematic adaptation of the story in the twentieth century.]
[Synopsis: The film opens with Ludovic and Avenant [meaning personable, comely, pleasing] shooting arrows at a target. Ludovic interrupts Avenant’s shot which goes awry through a window, striking the floor near the two older sisters, who are descending a staircase on their way to visit the duchess. They scold the men while Ludovic mocks his sisters as they set out for town in hand chairs. Throughout this beginning scene we never see more than the back of Avenant’s head.
[Belle (Beauty) washes the floor. The first image of her face is in the reflection on the floor. Avenant approaches, reclaims the arrow, then aggressively proposes to Belle. Ludovic is angry and the men fight.
[The father enters with business men. The daughters return in an ill-humor for the duchess refused them. The father announces that a ship has come in — their last hope. As he leaves to inquire the sisters ask for gifts — one for a monkey, one for a parrot. Belle asks only for a rose since they have none in their garden now that they have had to move to the country.
[While the father is gone, a creditor visits Ludovic, who, with Avenant, has gambled the estate away. With the encouragement of Avenant he signs a promissory note against the hoped for wealth of the returned ship.
[The father learns of his loses and is dismissed by his former business associates. He goes out into the foggy street where peasants work and a cripple passes by. The businessmen wish him bon jour as he sets out into the forest.
[He leads his horse through wolf infested gloom. A strange palace appears in the nick of time as he gets through the gate and locks it. He puts his horse in a stable and enters past surreal candelabra and a clock. He calls to residents of the place, but none appear. He eats, then sleeps, having been fed by what appear to be animated objects.
[Next day he calls for his horse and prepares to set out for home. As he picks a rose for Belle, Beast appears demanding his death or his daughter. He must return in 3 days or the Beast will seek him out. He gives the father his magical horse Magnifique who responds to va, va, va. As he departs Beast watches through the bushes.
[The father tells the family of his fate. The sisters blame Belle. Avenant strikes one sister, and Ludovic intervenes. The father has chest pains and must retire. Belle leaves, determined to take her father’s place. Magnifique appears and carries her into the wood.
[Belle enters the Beast’s mansion, moving in slow motion through the corridors where the candelabra follow her and curtains billow as she passes. A door addresses her, showing her to her room. So too a magical mirror, in which she sees her father severely ill. She flees to help him, but as she is about to leave Beast confronts her and she faints.
[Beast carries her to her room. She comes to. Beast shies away: “You must not look into my eyes …. You have nothing to fear …. Dinner will be at 7:00 ….Will you marry me?” The statuary watch.
[At dinner he appears from behind. He is gentle as he tells her she is master of the house (n.b., the what women most desire trope). They discuss his ugliness. She acknowledges that he is trying to seem less ugly. He professes that his heart is good, but he is a monster. She replies, “There are men whose ugliness is all within.” He says he is “not without a soul.” “You have courage,” she replies. Every evening he will ask her the same question. She quietly, but firmly says, “No.”
[Belle looks about the palace. She hears him slaying food. She hides in the corridor and sees his bloody, smoking hands, which he contemplates. He enters her room and finds her by means of the mirror. She confronts him and orders him out. He produces a pearl necklace. She values it and wears it. She wanders in the yard and finds him drinking beyond closed doors. They walk. He hears a deer, his ears twitch, and can’t concentrate. He apologizes for being a beast. She offers him water. “I never want to hurt you,” she says.
[She waits for him at dinner and scolds him for being late. She kneels before him asking him to permit her to return to her father. He’s upset and kneels before her. “Will you marry me when you return?” She is unable to answer the question. “You’re killing me,” she says. He replies that he will die of grief and tells her that she speaks to him as if to an animal. “You are an animal,” she replies. He asks if another has proposed. She says yes. Was he young? Yes. What is his name? Avenant. He flees in despair down a hill into the willows.
[Belle enters his room where he is feasting. She scolds him for his bloodiness. He asks her pardon for being a beast. “Aren’t you ashamed?” she demands, and tells him to clean himself. She gives him her scarf to wipe himself with. He can’t abide her looking at him accusingly. “Fermé la port, fermé la port,” he cries out.
[Avenant and Ludovic play chess as creditors strip the house. The father is left with the bed he lies in. Ludovic tries to explain his worthless ways and is ordered out.
[Beast finds Belle ill, worrying over her father. He lets her go, giving her the key to his treasure hidden in Diana’s pavilion, a place which even he dare not enter. He explains his magical possessions — the key, the mirror, his glove, his rose, and his horse, which are the sources of his power. After his death all will be hers, he declares. The key is a pledge to her of his love. The glove will transport her wherever she wishes. He bids her “Adieu, ma Belle.”
[Belle puts on the glove and finds herself in her father’s room. As she looks at the glove (her link with Beast) her face is somberly luminous between shadows. The father recovers quickly, knowing she is safe. She defends Beast for his kindness. He is more cruel to himself than others. But his sadness is great. “I’ll be happy if I can make him forget his ugliness. He is good.” Her tears for him turn to diamonds, which she gives to her father as a gift from Beast. Don’t give them to the other daughters.
[The siblings wash the sheets, complaining of their labor while Avenant chops wood. They see Belle and her father and are jealous. She puts the pearls on Felice, but they turn into smoking hemp. Her father puts them back on Belle and they return to their former beauty. Avenant senses that she loves Beast. She tells of the key to Beast’s treasure.
[The sisters plot Belle’s ruin; Avenant plots the ruin of Beast. The sisters plan to delay her by showing affection. They steal the key and give it Avenant. Belle agrees to stay longer but immediately falls back into the old role of servitude.
[Beast wanders the palace, views her empty bed, and goes out to die.
[Magnifique appears bringing Belle the mirror. Avenant and Ludovic set out on Magnifique while the women look into the mirror and see an old woman and an ape. They take the mirror to Belle as it is of no use to them. Belle sees poor Beast dying, puts on the glove and returns. Then she remembers that she has left the key. She returns to find it but it is gone. The mirror breaks. With the glove she returns again and searches the palace for him. This she must do on her own, for the mirror is gone.
[Belle finds Beast by the stream where she watered him before and pleads with him to live. She is the monster.
[Avenant and Ludovic arrive. Rather than seek to kill the Beast they attempt to raid Diana’s treasury. They climb to the skylight and see the treasure within.
[Belle calls Beast a coward: he must fight against his death. He replies, “Belle, if I were a man perhaps I could do as you say, but the poor beasts who want to prove their love can only grovel on the ground and die.”
[Avenant smashes the glass, enters the pavilion with the aid of Ludovic, and is slain by Diana. He turns into the beast.
[Belle declares her love for Beast. He is transformed by love in to Ardent. “Where is Beast?” she asks. “He is no more. It was I. My parents didn’t believe in magic. Loving alone could save me. Love can make man a beast. Love can beautify ugliness. Do you regret my ugliness?” “It’s not there anymore. But you resemble someone I know,” she replies. “Did he know?” “No.” “You loved the beast?” “Oui.” “You are disappointed that I’m like this friend?” “Yes … no.” “The first time I took you in my arms I was the beast. Are you happy?” “I must get used to it. Where are we going?” “To my kingdom. You will be my queen. Your father and sisters will serve you.” “Is it far?” “We’ll fly through the air. Will you be afraid?” “I’d like to be … avec vous.”
[They pass into a grotto. We see a shot of the dead beast Avenant. Then Ardent picks Belle up, and they ascend into the clouds.]
-----. Beauty and the Beast: Scenario and Dialogs. New York: New York University Press, 1970.
-----. Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film. New York: Dover Publications, 1972.
Beauty and the Beast. Shirley Temple Storybook (TV). January 12, 1958. NBC. 1 hour. Executive Producer: William H. Brown, Jr. Producer: William Asher. Teleplay by Joseph Schrank. Hostess Shirley Temple.
Cast: Claire Bloom (Beauty), Charlton Heston (The Beast), E.G. Marshall (The Merchant), June Lockhart and Barbara Baxley (Beauty’s Sisters).
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Edward L. Cahn. May 1962. 77 minutes. Screenplay by George Bruce and Orville H. Hampton, as suggested by “the Ancient Legend.” Art Director Franz Bachelin.
Cast: Joyce Taylor (the beautiful Lady Althea of Sardi), Mark Damon (Duke Eduardo / Beast), Eduard Franz (Count Orsini), Michael Pate (the villainous Prince Bruno), Merry Anders (Princess Sybil), Dayton Lummis (Althea’s father, Count Roderick of Sardi), Walter Burke (Grimaldi), Charles Waggenheim, Tom Cound, Herman Rubin, Alexander Lockwood, Meg Wylie (servants and villagers). Harvard Film Corporation / United Artists.
[At his death, bricked into a tomb in the deepest reaches of Castle Aleta, the alchemist Scarlatti placed a curse on Duke Francesco, whereby the heir to the throne, Eduardo, will transform into a beast at night. Althea, Eduardo’s bride to be, discovers the secret, but loves him despite the curse: “Power and Glory and Greed — all three / Have made of man a beast through me, / And no escape shall ever be / Til born of love with soul fear-free. / A woman’s hand shall hold the key.” Her love transforms Eduardo back into his princely shape just as a mob is ready to burn him alive. The story ends with the banishment of Bruno, Sybil, and Grimaldi, and the wedding which takes place amidst the festive joy of the whole community.]
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Seymour Robbie. TV December 31, 1969. 1 hour. ABC. Produced by the San Francisco Ballet Company. Executive producer, David Sacks. Producer, Gordon Waldear. Settings, Dik Rose. Costumes, Tony Duquette. Choreography, Lew Christiansen.
Cast: Hayley Mills (Narrator), Lynda Meyer (Beauty), Robert Gladstein (The Beast), David Anderson (Prince Charming). Members of the San Francisco Ballet Company.
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Fielder Cook. December 3, 1976. 90 minutes. NBC. Hallmark Hall of Fame (TV). Produced by Thomas M. C. Johnston and Hank Moonjean. Teleplay, Sherman Yellin (based on Mme. Leprince de Beaumont). Music, Ron Goodwin.
Cast: George C. Scott (The Beast), Trish Van Devere (Belle), Virginia McKenna (Lucy), Bernard Lee (Beaumont), Michael Harbour (Anthony), William Relton (Nicholas), Patricia Quinn (Susan).
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Juraj Herz. Released 1978. Studio Bartranov, Prague.
Cast: Ota Hofmann Zdene Studenkova (Beauty), Vlastimil Harapes (The Beast), Vaclav Vosko (Beauty’s Father), Jana Brejchova (Gavina, Beauty’s sister), and Zuzana Kocurikova (Malinka, Beauty’s other sister).
Beauty and the Beast. Coronet Films. 1979.
Beauty and the Beast, directed by Sam Weiss. Produced by Nich Bosustow. Music by Larry Wolff. Based on Beauty and the Beast, retold by Marianna Mayer (Four Winds Press). Layout designs by Alan Zaslov. Backgrounds by Walt Perogoy. Animation by Vincente Bassols and Alan Zaslov. A Bosustow Entertainment Production. 10 minutes. 1981; reissued 1991, along with The Silver Pony.
Voices: Claire Bloom, James Earl Jones, Michael York.
[See Marianna Mayer, for annotation of the story.]
Beauty and the Beast. CBS Family Classics (TV). November 25, 1983. 1 hour. Produced by Ruby-Spears Entertainment and Triple Seven Concepts. Executive producers: Joseph Ruby and Ken Spears. Producer: Larry Huber. Director, Rudy Larriva. Animated special written by Steve Gerber and Martin Pasco (based on Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s story). Animation supervisor: Michael Longden. Art director: Ric Gonzalez. Music: Dean Elliot and Paul DeKorte. Narrated by Paul Kirby.
Voices: Janet Waldo (Beauty/Jacqueline/Queen/ Old Crone), Robert Ridgley (The Beast/The Prince), Linda Gary (Erwina/ Stately Lady/ Messenger Boy), Alan Young (Rene/Cockatoo), Stacy Keach, Sr. (Merchant/Sailor/Male Voice), Paul Kirby (Gerard).
Beauty and the Beast. Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre (TV). 1983. First airing 13 August 1984. 1 hour. A Platypus Production. Showtime. Produced by Think Productions, Inc. Executive producer: Shelley Duvall. Producers: Bridget Terry and Frederic S. Fuchs. Teleplay by Robert C. Jones (based on Mme. Leprince de Beaumont). Directed by Roger Vadim.
Cast: Klaus Kinski (The Beast), Susan Sarandon (Beauty), Stephen Elliott (The Father), Angelica Huston and Nancy Lenehan (Beauty’s Sisters Margueritte and Josette), Stanley Wilson (Nicholas).
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Eugene Marner. Music by Lori McKelvey. Released May 1987. 95 minutes. Golan-Globus Production for Cannon Films: G.G. Israel Studios, Jerusalem, & CTS Studios, Wembley.
Cast: John Savage (Beast), Rebecca DeMornay (Beauty), Yossi Graber (father), Michael Schneider (Kuppel), Ruth Harlap (Isabella), Carmela Marner (Bettina), Jack Messenger (Frederick), Joseph Bee (Oliver).
[Screenplay by Carole Lucia Satrina. Based on Madame de Villeneuve’s version. An excellent musical retelling of Villeneuve’s tale, featuring “What would you do without us,” “This life is for me,” “Wish for the moon,” and “See with your heart” as its main songs. Filmed in Israel and England.]
Beauty and the Beast. 1989. 20 minutes. Lunch Break Theater (Nickelodeon). Saban Production. Written by R. Dwight, B. Lesko, Dave Marlow, Jeff Windless, Morgan Loftering, Robert Axelrod, Michael Santiago, Barbara Riel, Robert Benedict, Wendy Manehl, Edie Merman, Melora Harte, Steve Kramer. Animation Production by Takaji Matsudo. Nippon Animation, 1988.
[Father goes to town to get a dress for one daughter, shoes for another, and a rose for Maria. He steals a rose from beast’s magical garden and, consequently, must give Maria to beast in marriage or die. He tries to ignore the beast’s demand, but the beast comes on the eighth day to collect her. She goes with beast to save her father. She comes to love beast for sensitivity, love and friendship with animals, and gifts with music. She returns with roses when her father is ill, attends his grave after his death, is reminded by one of the sisters that nine days have passed, returns to beast to find winter everywhere in the mansion and beast near death. Her tears of love bring back the roses and make possible the transformation of beast into prince.]
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Mordicai Gerstein. 1989. 27 minutes. Lightyear Entertainment. Based on book by Mordicai Gerstein. Story consultant William Hooks. Music by Ernest Troost. Narrated by Mia Farrow. Produced by Joshua M. Greene.
[A rich merchant goes to greet his ship laden with ivory and silks and promises to bring gown to his selfish daughters Sybil and Edwina; Beauty asks only for his safe return, then, upon his insistence, a rose. The ship is lost at sea, however, and the merchant left penniless. He returns empty handed in a blizzard but finds shelter at a mysterious castle. He takes a rose from a rose maze and must either give his life in return or one of his daughters who must come voluntarily. Beauty leaps on a mysterious white horse and goes in her father’s stead, despite his protests. Once in the castle, though terrified of Beast, she finds him to be kind and of gentle heart. A nightingale reassures her in her dreams that she is mistress of the castle and not to be deceived by appearances. She is moved by Beast’s eyes. He catches the nightingale but lets it go at her command. She then asks for her own release to see her ailing father. Beast agrees, praying that she return within a week. The jealous sisters trick her into staying away ten days longer; but she dreams of the ailing Beast, places the magic ring he had given her on her table, and is transported back. She finds Beast near death in the maze, pledges her love, and thus precipitates the transformation. They are married and her family joins them. The sisters remain jealous and are turned to statues.]
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. 1991. 84 minutes. Walt Disney Company. Associate Director Sarah McArthur. Produced by Don Hahn. Animation Screenplay by Linda Woolverton. Story by Roger Allers. Songs by Howard Ashman (1950-1991) and Alan Menken. Original score by Alan Menken.
Cast: Belle (Paige O’Hara), Beast (Robby Benson), Gaston, the vain lover (Richard White), Le Fou, his sidekick (Jesse Corti), Maurice, Belle’s father (Rex Everhart), Lumiere (Jerry Orback), Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers), Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury), Chip (Bradley Michael Pierce), Wardrobe (Jo Anne Worley), Bimbette (Mary Kay Bergman), Featherduster (Kimmy Robertson), Philippe (Hal Smith). Title song performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson.
[Academy award for best music. The story is framed by an account of a prince’s being turned by a curse into a beast for having shown no kindness to an elderly woman who was bitterly besieged by winter. The prince’s courtiers and servants are likewise transformed into things. Beauty’s father is an inventor who gets lost while taking his wood-chopping machine to the fair and is imprisoned by Beast. Beauty, a book-loving, independent-minded girl who has grown beyond the provinciality of the village, rescues her father and agrees to stay captive to Beast if her father is released. She is made comfortable by Beast’s entourage of things. Her curiosity puts her so at odds with Beast that she flees the castle only to be trapped by wolves. Beast rescues her, but is sorely wounded himself. They come to an affectionate understanding after she nurses him back to health. Meanwhile, Gaston, a macho villager whom Beauty has scorned, gets the inventor committed to an insane asylum. Beauty, learning of his plight through the mirror, comes to rescue him. Gaston in turn sets out to destroy Beast. Beast is so depressed over the departure of Beauty that he would gladly die, despite the encouragement and valiant defense of the castle by his things. Beauty arrives at the last moment, Beast rallies, and defeats Gaston. But before falling to his death Gaston knifes Beast in the back. As he is dying Beauty kisses him and pledges her love, thus precipitating the transformation of Beast and all his things back into their proper forms. The tale ends with a ball, the couple dancing to Angela Lansbury’s singing of “Beauty and the Beast.” Musical numbers: “Belle,” “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest,” “Something There,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Mob Song,” “Beauty and the Beast” (reprise).]
Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Bill Condon. Written by Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos, and Linda Woolverton. 2017. 129 minutes. Cast: Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), and Luke Evans (Gaston).
Songs: The film contained all of the songs from the original animated film with “Belle,” “Gaston,” and “Be Our Guest” becoming extended by new lyrics. New songs: “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” “Days in the Sun,” and “Evermore.”
[This live-action remake of the 1991 animated Disney film contains frequent shot-for-shot moments. Minor additions include a brief introduction to the prince’s backstory, more on Belle’s dissatisfaction with provincial life, and the presence of the enchantress in the local community.] [Annotation by Martha M. Johnson-Olin]
Beauty and the Beast: Work in Progress. A Walt Disney Classic. Released 1994. 114 minutes.
[This videotape includes (1) “The Making of Beauty and the Beast,” a TV special (1992) that looks behind the scenes at the making of the Disney Beauty and the Beast movie, hosted by Davie Ogden Stiers (the voice of “Cogsworth),” discussing the creating of the principal characters, the music, the use of color, and the sequencing; (2) “The Four States of Animation,” which takes you through the animation process, from the most rough sketches and sketches over sketches, to fine line drawing with shading, to rough coloration, to finished animation; and (3) the “Work in Progress” version that was shown at the 1991 New York Film Festival, a complete but not completed version of the film which includes cuts in various stages of animated sophistication, but takes the viewer from the beginning to the end with nearly finished soundtrack, though not necessarily in the final sequence. For further information on the making of Disney’s movie, see Bob Thomas’ book on the subject under Criticism.]
Beauty and the Beast Goes to Broadway. Produced by Dan Boothe and Stu Schreiberg. Written and directed by Dan Boothe. Associate Producer Joanie Burton. A Disney TV Preview Special on the making of the Broadway Musical Beauty and the Beast (see Musicals). Hosted by Robby Benson. Released on Disney Channel, 6 March 1994, in anticipation of the opening of the Broadway Production on 18 April 1994.
[In six scenes: Act 1: “A Tale as Old as Time”: On adapting the movie to the stage, selecting the cast. Act 2: “Human Again”: Wardrobe, Makeup and Lots of Hair. Act 3: Behind the Scenery: A glimpse at special effects and scenic technology designed at ECTS. Act 4: “Something More”: New Music & fitting in the six new songs. Act 5: They can Sing, They can Dance: Rehearsing for Broadway. Act 6: A Street Named Broadway.]
Beauty and the Beast (TV series). Executive Producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas.
Cast: Linda Hamilton (Catherine) and Ron Perlman (Vincent); with John McMartin (Charles Chandler, Catherine’s father), Roy Dotrice (Father), Jay Acovone (Joe Maxwell, deputy D.A.), Ren Woods (Edie, streetwise computer whiz in D.A.’s office).
[Variety TV Review Sept. 30, 1987: “surely the most provocative pilot of the new season” with “strong potential with female viewers in the top 18-49 demographic grouping.” “Done wrongBeauty would have been comic-book ludicrous, but writer Ron Koslow and director Richard Franklin shaded it just right to spotlight the ‘different’ premise. The underground sets were eerie and comforting-looking at the same time, and Ron Perlman’s rich voice, as Vincent, was effective in making the ‘beast’ into a sympathetic and compassionate hero.”]
Beauty and the Beast (TV Series). Created by Ron Koslow. 2012-
Cast: Kristin Kreuk (Catherine Chandler, Beauty), Jay Ryan (Vincent Keller, Beast), Austin Basis (J. T. Forbes, Vincent’s friend and protector), Max Brown (Evan Marks), Nina Lisandrello (Tess Vargas), and Brian White (Joe Bishop).
[A remake of the 1987 TV Series. Themes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, obsession, and identity are explored.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Beauty and the Beast (also called Blood of Beasts). Directed by David Lister. Written by Paul Anthony. 2003. 89 min.
Cast: Jane March (Freya), David Dukas (the Beast and Agnar), William Gregory Lee (Sven), Justin Whalin (Eric), Greg Melvill-Smith (Thorsson), Candice Hillebrand (Ingrid).
[The film retells the traditional Beauty and the Beast storyline while also incorporating elements of Norse mythology. As children, King Thorsson’s daughter, Freya, spends time with Ingrid, Sven, Eric, and Agnar, and both Agnar and Sven fall in love with her. After many years, Agnar’s father takes his family to conquer an island containing a beast cursed by Odin, and when no one returns, they are presumed lost. Freya continues to wear a necklace Agnar gave her and rejects Sven’s romantic advances. Eventually, Thorsson begins to fall ill and decides that he wishes to die in battle, so he pledges to take the island. Sven offers his support if he can marry Freya and thereby become king, and the king accepts this arrangement despite Freya’s obvious distaste for Sven. When the war party arrives on the island, they set up camp, and on the first night, a man trapped within a bearskin attacks and kills one of the warriors. The next day, the king and his followers attack the beast and suffer heavy losses; Eric is hurt during the battle, and Sven grabs him and orders the men to fall back after seeing the Beast fighting with the King. He commands the men to leave the island and convinces them that their king has fallen; however, the Beast throws the monarch into a cage and offers him water. When the men return, Sven tries to claim Freya and the seat of power, but she attempts to rally the men, who will not follower her back to the island. Ingrid overhears an angry exchange between Eric and Sven and eventually convinces Eric to tell Freya that her father lived when the men retreated and that he may still live. Freya and Ingrid sneak off to rescue Thorsson, and on the island, the Beast talks with the father, claiming to know him. When the women arrive with Freya dressed in men’s armor, they find the father, but the Beast attacks. He pins Freya to the ground but stops when he sees the necklace from Agnar; he forces her to exchange her freedom for the lives of her father and Ingrid. Ingrid takes the King, who has become quite ill, home. When Ingrid and the king arrive, the leader is unconscious, so Eric rallies the warriors to rescue Freya, and Sven agrees to fight. On the island, the Beast places Freya inside a cage that she can lock from the inside at night. They are left together for several days and soon spend time together. She learns that the man became trapped in the skin of the beast when he killed an animal sacred to Odin, and with time, he slowly becomes more animal than man. At his transformation, he heard “blood washes blood; a soul for a life, an innocent heart given to the beast.” He can break the curse if he can find out what the words mean. Freya soon trusts the beast and realizes that he reminds her of Agnar; they kiss just as Eric and the other men arrive on the island. The men attack the Beast who does not offer much resistance. They kill him, hang him from a rafter, set fire to the island, and take a screaming Freya back to her father’s kingdom, where Thorsson, once conscious, pledges her hand to Sven, supporting Sven’s “version” of what happened. That night, the moonlight heals the Beast, and he leaves the island and enters the throne room at the wedding feast of Freya and Sven. He challenges Sven for Freya’s hand and the ability to rule by revealing his identity as Agnar. During the fight, he gives Sven a lethal blow, but as the rival falls, he grabs a spear and would give the Beast a similar fatal would, but Freya runs to the Beast’s side and throws herself in front of him, taking the spear wound herself. As she lies dying, she recites the words of the curse, and the Beast transforms into Agnar.] [Annotation by Martha Johnson-Olin]
Monsieur Verdoux. Dir. Charles Chaplin. Assoc. Dir. Wheeler Dryden and Robert Florey. Original story by Charles Chaplain, based on an idea by Orson Welles. 1947. 125 minutes. Music composed by Charles Chaplin, arr. Rudolph Schrager. Dir. Photography Roland Totheroh.
Cast: Charles Chaplin (Henri Verdoux alias Varnay alias Bonheur alias Florey), Mady Correll (Mona his wife), Allison Roddan (Peter their son), Robert Lewis (Maurice Bottello, Verdoux's friend), Audrey Betz (Martha, Bottello's wife). The Ladies: Martha Raye (Annabella Bonheur), Ada-May (Annette her maid), Isobel Elsom (Marie Grosnay), Marjorie Bennett (her maid), Helene Heigh (Yvonne, Marie's friend), Margaret Hoffman (Lydia Floray), Marilyn Nash (the Girl). The Couvais Family: Irving Bacon (Pierre), Edwin Mills (Jean), Virginia Brissac (Carlotta), Almira Sessions (Lena), Eula Morgan (Phoebe). The Law: Bernard J. Nedell (Prefect of Police), Charles Evans (Detective Morrow). Others: William Frawley, Arthur Hohl, Barbara Slater, Fritz Leiber, Vera Marshe, John Harmon, Christine Ell, Lois Conklin.
[Tombstone of Henri Verdoux 1880-1937). Voiceover tells of his work for 30 years as a bank clerk, his being let go, his unemployment, his playing street music, then his career as Bluebeard. He has killed twelve, but does not recommend it as an occupation. The first scene is at the home of the Couvais family, wine merchants in north France, unattractive, lazy people woried about the disappearance of sister Selma who drew out all her money from the bank, married a stranger, went to the south of France and disappeared. The next scene shows Verboux as M. Floray cutting roses in his villa that is up for sale. The incinerater has been burning for three days! Marie Grosnay, a widow with conservative style and plenty of money, visits with a real estate agent. She admires his roses. Bluebeard (mow alias Varnay) attempts to put the make on her but she leaves in disgust. A registered letter arrives from north of France with Selma's money. He forges her signature and puts her money into the failing stock market. He goes to Paris to meet with another of his wives, gets money from her, and she disappears. He now goes home. His wife Mona is an invalid. She and their son Peter adore him, and worry about his health. They have friends over for supper; the men talk about a poison that makes one sleepy, then kills by means of an undetectable heart attack about an hour letter. Henri gets the formula. He leaves next day to keep his business going, and visits another wife, Annabella Bonheur. He learns that she has put her house in his name, has a considerable nest egg, and lots of diamonds hidden away. He plans to give her the poison, but the maid comes home, and he fails to do so. He meets a poor woman just out of prison. He cares for her and plans to try out the poison on her. But when he hears her story about the deceased invalid husband she loved dearly, he gives her money and sends her home. He meets Marie Grosnay and sends her flowers regularly for two weeks. Meanwhile the Couvais family has gone to the police who connect the disappearance of Selma with the dozen other women who have disappeared. Detective Morrow starts following Verdoux, knows of his bigamy and figures he has caught Bluebeard himself. Verdoux asks for time to go to his family, offers Morrow a drink (i.e., the poison) and the two take the train to break the news to his family. Morrow dies on the train of a heart attack. Verdoux uncuffs himself, gets from Morrow's billfold all evidence of the investigation (no one else knows), and returns to Paris. He tries to poison Annabella, but the maid gets the poison in a peroxide bottle and puts it on her hair, which falls out. To Henri's amazement Annabella drinks almost the whole bottle of peroxide wine to no effect. So next day he tries to drown her in a boating accident, but falls in himself. Mme Grosnay at last responds to his flowers, they meet, and are to be married. Her friend insists on a big wedding. Annabella shows up as guest of a mutual friend. Henri (alias Varnay) flees; Mme Grosnay goes to the police, who put it together. Meanwhile the stock market crashes, Verdoux is left penniless, his wife and child die, Hitler's troops take over Germany, Mussolini controls Italy, and the Nazi supported Spanish revolution kills thousands. The girl Verdoux had helped earlier meets him. He's on the verge of suicide. She has become friend of a munitions manufacturer who is very rich. She would help Verdoux and takes him to a fancy restaurant. The Couvais shows up and recognize him; he is taken by the police, tried, and sentenced to the guillotine. He accepts his fate gladly; nor does he apologize. He is a mass killer but nothing compared to Nazi governments and industrialists that get away with murder large scale. The priest comes to hear his confession and help him make peace. He says he is at peace with God. "My conflict is with man." The film ends with his walking across the courtyard to the guillitine without cigarette or blindfold. He did have a glass of rum, because he had never tasted it before.]
“Once Upon a Time in the City of New York.” Written by Ron Koslow. Directed by Richard Franklin. Aired 25 September 1987. The initial episode.
“Terrible Savior.” Written by George R. R. Martin. Directed by Alan Cooke. Aired 2 October 1987. The second episode.
“Siege.” Created by Ron Koslow. Written David Peckinpaw. Directed by Paul Lynch. Aired 9 October 1987. The third episode.
“No Way Down.” Created by Ron Koslow. Written by James Crocker. Directed by Tom Wright. Aired 16 October 1987. The fourth episode.]
“Masques.” Written by George R. R. Martin. Directed by Alan Cooke. Aired 30 October 1987. The fifth episode.
“Beast Within.” Written by Andrew Laskos. Directed by Paul Lynch. Aired 6 November 1987. The sixth episode. N.b., Cinderella Complex]
“Nor Iron Bars a Cage.” Written by Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and Ron Perlman. Directed by Thomas J. Wright. Aired 13 November 1987. The seventh episode.]
“Song of Orpheus,” story by Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon. Directed Peter Medak. Aired 20 November 1987. The Eighth episode.
“To Reign in Hell.” Written by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. Directed by Christopher Leitch. Aired 18 March 1988. The twentieth episode.
“A Happy Life.” Created and written by Ron Koslow. Directed by Victor Lobl. Aired 8 April 1988. Episode twenty-two; the final episode of 1st season.
“Orphans.” Created by Ron Koslow. Written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon. Directed by Victor Lobl. Aired 6 March 1989. Episode 34, among best of the second season.
Bacon-Smith, Camille. Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.
Barth, Jack. “Fanzines: The Sleaze Factor.” Film Comment, (March-April 1985): 24-30.
Battaile, Robert. “Beauty and the Beast.” Theatre Crafts (November 1988): 28-35. On the TV series.
Bombeck, Erma. “What Does Beauty See in the Beast?” Los Angeles Times, 7 April 1988, sec. V, p. 3.
Bulger, Peggy A. “The Princess of Power: Socializing Our Daughters Through TV, Toys, and Tradition.” The Lion and the Unicorn: A Critical Journal of Children’s Literature, (December 1988): 179-191.
Burke, Vicki, and Janet Dunadee. A Collection of Memories: The Beauty and the Beast Phenomenon. Grand Rapids: Whispering Gallery, 1990. TV series.
Carlson, Timothy. “Beauty and the Beast, the Show That Wouldn’t Die … And the Fans Who Wouldn’t Let It.” TV Guide 13 January 1990, pp. 2-6.
Carstensen, Jeanne. “’Zines: Your Right to Rave.” Whole Earth Review, No. 57 (Winter 1987): 46-47.
Carter, Angela. “Screen and Dream.” In Nothing Sacred: Selected Writings London: Virago Press, 1982. Pp. 143-148.
Collins, Monica. “Why ‘Beast’ is King of Romance.” Los Angeles Times, 29 October 1987, sec. D. p. 3.
-----. “For Them, This ‘Beast’ Is No Burden.” Los Angeles Times, 6 March 1989, sec. D, p. 1.
Evans, Ellis D., et al. “Content Analysis of Contemporary Teen Magazines for Adolescent Females.” Youth & Society: A Quarterly Journal, 23 (1991): 99-118.
Formaini, Peter J. The Beauty and the Beast Companion. National Edition. Ithaca, N.Y.: Loving Companion Enterprises, 1991.
Gerard, Jeremy. “The Success of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’” New York Times, 2 November 1988, sec. C, p. 20.
Gross, Edward. The Unofficial Tale of Beauty and the Beast. Las Vegas: Pioneer Books, 1988. On TV series.
Gunderloy, Mike. “Zines Where the Action Is: The Very Small Press In America.” Whole Earth Review, 68 (Fall 1990): 58-64.
Gunderloy, Mike, and Janice Goldberg Cary. The World of Zines. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
Haithman, Diane. “An Unlikely Sex Symbol.” Los Angeles Times, 28 January 1988, sec. VI, p. 1.
-----. “What’s Next for Lovers in ‘Beauty and the Beast’?” Los Angeles Times, 18 November 1988, sec. VI, p. 1.
Hodge, James L. “New Bottle-Old Wine: The Persistence of the Heroic Figure in the Mythology of Television Science Fiction and Fantasy.” Journal of Popular Culture, 21 (Spring 1988): 37-47.
Jenkins, Henry III. “‘It’s Not a Fairy Tale Anymore’: Gender, Genre, Beauty and the Beast.” Journal of Film and Video, 43 (1991): 90-110.
[Analysis of TV B&B series and its fans.]
-----. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. London: Routledge, 1992.
Moore, Suzanne. “Here’s Looking at You, Kid!”The Female Gaze London: The Real Comet Press, 1989.
O’Connor, John J. “An Urban Female Goes Beneath the Surface.” New York Times, 20 December 1989, sec. C, p. 26.
Palumbo, Donald, ed. Erotic Universe: Sexuality and Fantastic Literature. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.
Shales, Tom. “CBS’s Beastly Makeover.” Washington Post, 12 December 1989, sec. D, p. 1.
Taplin, Ian M. “Why We Need Heroes to be Heroic.” Journal of Popular Culture, 22 (Fall 1988): 133-142.
Williams, J. P. “A Bond Stronger Than Friendship or Love: Female Psychological Development and Beauty and the Beast.” National Women’s Studies Association Magazine 4 (1992): 59-72.
Young, Shelagh. “Feminism and the Politics of Power: Whose Gaze is it Anyway?” In The Female Gaze London: The Real Comet Press, 1989.
MOVIES WITH BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MOTIFS:
Adventures from the Book of Virtues. Created by Bruce D. Johnson. Based on William J. Bennett’s The Book of Virtues. Produced by KCET, Los Angeles for TV. Aired on three consecutive nights, September 2, 3, 4, 1996, on PBS.
[Includes Frog Prince as an illustration of the second virtue of the film, Honesty.]
Batman. Directed by Tim Burton. Musical score Danny Elfman. Story by Sam Hamm.
Cast: Michael Keaton (Batman), Jack Nicholson (Joker), Kim Basinger (photographer Vicki Vale), Robert Wuhl (journalist Alex Knox).
[B&B motifs explicitly woven in throughout. Vicki’s love helps Bruce Wayne through his perversity. Joker’s “beauty” a foil to Batman’s.]
Batman Returns. Directed by Tim Burton. 1992. 126 minutes. Music by Danny Elfman. Story by Daniel Waters and Sam Hamm.
Cast: Michael Keaton (Batman), Danny Devito (Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman/Selina) Christopher Walken (Max Shreck), Michael Gough (Alfred), Michael Murphy (Mayor).
[Specific definition of Batman and Catwoman as both beauties and beasts, who sort of help each other toward normality.]
DRACULA AND VAMPIRES:
[Numerous Dracula and related vampire movies devolve around B&B motifs–the grotesque feeding off the beautiful, whether literally or voyeuristically, the beautiful grotesque, sadism and masochism, naive love becoming all-consuming passion or forbidden or incestuous, with transformations from ugly to exotic or visa versa. The horrific and the darker passions extended from Bram Stoker’s novel (1897) have been favorite starting points for numerous cinematic adaptations, some of which are presented here chronologically.]
Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens. Directed by F. W. Murnau. 1921. 63 minutes. German. B/W.
Cast: Max Schreck (Count Dracula), Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schroeder, G. H. Schnell, Ruth Landshoff.
[“One of the most poetic of all horror films. Its power derives partly from Schreck’s almost literally sub-human portrayal of the Count, resplendent with long ears and fingers and a wizened, skeletal face, partly from the sexual undercurrents coursing through the movie which suggests that the vampire is a threat not only to bourgeois society and its emphasis upon scientific rationality, but also to the very marriage of the Harker couple” — Geoff Andrew, for Time Out.]
Dracula. Directed by Todd Browning. 1931. 85 minutes. b/w. Screenplay by Garret Fort. Camera work by Karl Freund.
Cast: Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Helen Chandler, David Manners (Renfield), Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan.
[The most famous of the Dracula movies, based on Bram Stoker’s novel and the play by Hamilton Deane and John Balderston. Some brilliant moments and faultless camera work.]
Vampyr. Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. Germany 1931. 75 minutes. Script by Dreyer. Music by Wolfgang Zeller. Also known as Vampyr: Ou L’Etrange Aventure de David Gray; Vampyr: Der Traum des David Gray; Not Against the Flesh; Castle of Doom; The Strange Adventure of David Gray; and The Vampire.
Cast: Julian West, Sybille Schmitz, Harriet Gerard, Maurice Schutz.
[“Dreyer’s classic portrays a hazy dreamlike world full of chilling visions from the point of view of a young man who believes himself surrounded by vampires and who dreams of his own burial in a most disturbing way. Evil lurks around every corner as camera angles, light and shadow sometimes overwhelm plot. A high point in horror films based on a collection of horror stories by Sheridan le Fanu”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
The Vampire Bat. Directed by Frank Strayer. 1932. 69 minutes.
Cast: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Dwight Frye, Maude Eburne, George E. Stone.
[“A mad scientist and a vampire bat and its supernatural demands set the stage for murders in a small town. Sets and actors borrowed from Universal Studios in this low-budget flick that looks and plays better than it should. Weird and very exploitative for 1932, now seems dated”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Dracula’s Daughter. Directed by Lambert Hillyer. 1936. 72 minutes. B/W.
Cast: Gloria Holden, Otto Kruger, Marguerite Churchill, Irving Pichel, Edward Van Sloan, Nan Grey.
[A genuine sequel to Todd Browning’s Dracula (based on Bram Stoker’s story Dracula’s Guest), wherein “Van Helsing is placed under arrest for the murder of the Count, only for a mysterious woman (Holden) to turn up and take away Dracula’s body for ritual consignment to a funeral pyre. Though she has inherited the vampic urge from her father, this princess of darkness desperately seeks release from her condition through an understanding psychologist (Kruger). Apart from its haunting, low-key mood, the film is also notable for its subtle suggestion of the lesbian nature of the female vampire”–David Thompson, for Time Out.]
House of Dracula. Directed by Erle C. Kenton. 1945. 67 minutes.
Cast: Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Martha O’Driscoll, Lionel Atwill, Glenn Strange, Onslow Stevens.
[“A follow-up to Universal’s House of Frankenstein monster omnibus, this time adding a girl hunchback to the usual fauna. Stevens plays a benevolent doctor who cures the Wolf Man, fails with Dracula, and while running amok himself with an inadvertently acquired bloodlust, gleefully revives the Frankenstein monster. It all ends in a grand holocaust borrowed from The Ghost of Frankenstein. Nicely shot by George Robinson, it’s agreeably loony fun if you don’t expect too much”–Tom Milne, for Time Out.]
The Vampire’s Ghost. Directed by Lesley Selander. 1945. 59 minutes.
Cast: John Abbott, Peggy Steward.
[“A 400-year-old vampire/zombie, doomed to walk the earth forever, heads the African underworld. He can’t be killed and can even go out during the day if he wears sunglasses. His future’s so bright he’s just gotta wear shades”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
The Vampire. Directed by Fernando Mendez. 1957. 95 minutes.
Cast: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, German Robles, Carmen Montejo Jose Luis Jimenez.
[A vampire look alike tries to swindle a beautiful woman out of a fortune. Also known as Mark of the Vampire. Sequel, made same year with same cast and director, was called The Vampire’s Coffin.]
The Vampire’s Coffin. Directed by Fernando Mendez. 1958. 86 minutes. Also known as El Ataud Del Coffin.
Cast: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, German Robles.
[The faithful servant of vampire Count Lavud removes the stake from his master’s heart to permit a sequel to Mendez’s The Vampire.]
The Horror of Dracula. Directed by Terence Fisher. GB 1958. 82 minutes.
Cast: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, Valerie Gaunt.
[The first of the Hammer remakes–more or less a classic. Dracula is “a crisply charming aristocrat with pale face and unforgettable eyes”–Time Out.]
Dracula, Prince of Darkness. Directed by Terence Fisher. GB 1965. 90 minutes.
Cast: Christopher Lee (Dracula), Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Thorley Walters.
[“Full of the sensual mysteriousness which Hammer used to achieve so effortlessly during their long occupation of Bray Studios. Starting with a re-run of the Count’s dusty demise at the hands of Van Helsing, this was the official sequel toDracula, and the first hour has real grandeur as Dracula’s servant uses a prudish Victorian couple to effect his master’s restoration”–David Pirie, for Time Out.]
The Vampire People. Directed by Gerardo “Gerry” De Leon. Philippines 1966. 79 minutes. Also known as The Blood Drinkers.
Cast: Ronald Remy, Amalia Fuentes, Eddie Fernandez, Eva Montez.
[A vampire, assisted by a dwarf, attempts to save the live of his beloved by transplanting her sister’s heart. In color and sepia tone.]
Dracula has Risen from the Grave. Directed by Freddie Francis. GB 1968. 92 minutes.
Cast: Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews.
[Another Hammer production. Some admirable atmosphere and tension, but mainly “an inconsequential splurge of arbitrary religious and sexual motifs”–David Pirie, for Time Out.]
The Vampire Lovers. Directed by Roy Ward Baker. 1970. 91 minutes.
Cast: Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steele, Madeleine Smith, Peter Cushing, George Cole, Dawn Addams, Kate O’Mara, Ferdinand “Ferdy” Mayne.
[“An angry father goes after a lesbian vampire who has ravished his daughter and other young girls in a peaceful European village. Innovative story was soon used in countless other vampire vehicles. Hammer Studio’s first horror film with nudity, another addition to the genre which spread rapidly. Based on the story ‘Carmilla’ by Sheridan Le Fanu. Followed by, Lust for a Vampire”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
The Vampire Happening. Directed by Freddie Francis. 1971. 90 minutes.
Cast: Ferdinand “Ferdy” Mayne.
[An actress discovers to her chagrin that she comes from a long line of vampires but learns to enjoy their habit.]
Vampire Circus. Directed by Robert Young. GB 1971. 84 minutes.
Cast: Adrienne Corri, Laurence Payne, Thorley Walters, John Moulder-Brown, Lynne Frederick, Elizabeth Seal, Anthony Corlan, Richard Owens, Domini Blythe, David Prowse.
[“A circus appears in an isolated Serbian village in the 19th century but instead of bringing joy and happiness, this circus brings only death, mutilation, and misery. It seems all the members are vampires who have the unique ability to transform themselves into animals. They intend to take revenge on the small town, whose inhabitants killed their evil ancestor 100 years previously. Excellent Hammer production”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Dracula A.D. 1972. Directed by Alan Gibson. GB 1972. 98 minutes.
Cast: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Michael Coles, Christopher Neame.
[“Feeblest of the early 1970s cycle of Dracula revivals, set in contemporary London and decorated with scantily-clad female victims. Plot revolves around a trendy party-goer, Johnny Alucard, who suggests livening up a party with a spot of devil worship. Guess who materializes, ludicrously rigged out in traditional period garb? Crass Hammer trash”–Martyn Auty, for Time Out.]
Blacula. Directed by William Crain. 1972. 92 minutes.
Cast: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala, Gordon Pisent.
[The high-minded African Prince Mamuwalde defies Count Dracula, but is bitten and cursed despite his noble values. After a century in darkness he emerges in Los Angeles to stalk the streets trying to rid himself of his condition, all while feasting insatiably on bad guys. Ultimately he is forced into the daylight, which seems to destroy him. But it takes Pam Grier in the sequel Scream Blacula Scream to rid him of his affliction.]
Scream Blacula Scream. Directed by Bob Kelljan. 1973. 96 minutes.
Cast: William Marshall, Pam Grier, Don Mitchell, Michael Conrad, Richard Lawson, Lynne Moody, Janee Michelle, Barbara Rhoades, Bernie Hamilton.
[Count Blacula is resurrected by a rival jealous of the Voodoo cult giving its blessing to the Cinderella-like stepchild of their recently deceased matron rather than to him. Blacula immediately victimizes the rival and seeks out Pam, knowing that she truly has the ancient talents that might counter Dracula’s curse. He meets her at a party of the elite of black Los Angeles, where he identifies artifacts from his 18th century tribe which might help in his restoration. Pam comes through, believing who he is and what his affliction is, but is foiled in the final voodoo stages of his restoration by the arrival of the LA police force who disrupt the procedure to their own destruction as the thwarted Blacula takes it out on the lot of them. The police chief, armed with a stake gets away, as does the ever noble Pam, but Blacula, for all his nobility, withers in the sun apparently one last time. It is not clear whether he might return in a yet unmade sequel or whether Pam’s cure has ultimately helped him to find rest.]
Dracula. Directed by Dan Curtis. GB 1973. 98 minutes.
Cast: Jack Palance, Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport, Pamela Brown, Fiona Lewis, Penelope Horner, Murray Brown.
[A TV movie released commercially in Britain. Some romance, but mostly rage after Dracula’s reincarnated love, Lucy Westenra (Lewis), is killed.]
Vampyres. Directed by Joseph Larraz. 1974. 90 minutes. Also known as Vampyres, Daughters of Dracula (its original title); Blood Hunger; and Satan’s Daughters.
Cast: Marianne Morris, Anulka, Murray Brown, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner.
[“Alluring female vampires coerce unsuspecting motorists to their castle for a good time, which ends in death. Anulka was the centerfold girl in Playboy’s May 1973 issue.]
The Vampire Hookers. Directed by Cirio H. Santiago. 1978. 82 minutes.
Cast: John Carradine, Bruce Fairbairn, Trey Wilson, Karen Stride, Lenka Novak, Katie Dolan, Lex Winter.
[“Man in makeup recruits bevy of beautiful bloodsuckers to lure warm blooded victims to his castle. High ham performance by Carradine”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever. Alternate titles: Cemetery Girls, Sensuous Vampires, Night of the Bloodsuckers, and Twice Bitten.]
Dracula. Directed by John Badham. 1979. 112 minutes. Screenplay by W. D. Richter. Based on a stage play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. Music by John Williams.
Cast: Frank Langella (Count Dracula), Laurence Olivier (Van Helsing), Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Jan Francis, Tony Haygarth.
[“Langella offers the best interpretation of Stoker’s villain since Christopher Lee, and Badham’s film, shot in England, gives him a classy environment to devastate”–Time Out.]
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. Directed by Werner Herzog. WGer/F 1979. 107 minutes.
Cast: Klaus Kinski (Dracula), Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor, Walter Ladengast, Dan Van Husen.
[Stylish, somber, owing little to Murnau and nothing to Hammer or Hollywood. An inhabitant of 18th century Delft (Ganz) encounters the weary, jealous Count, who brings doom to the berger’s marriage, the town, and himself.]
Love at First Bite. Directed by Stan Dragoti. 1979. 96 minutes.
Cast: George Hamilton, Susan Saint James, Richard Benjamin, Dick Shawn, Arte Johnson.
[“A camp and knowing spoof along the lines of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, in which Count Dracula (Hamilton), dispossessed by the People’s Commissar in his native Transylvania, moves to New York to have a bite out of the Big Apple and Susan Saint James. Atrociously directed and full of groan-making jokes, but the cast are having such a good time that it’s difficult not to respond in a similar way”–Time Out.]
A Polish Vampire in Burbank. Directed by Mark Pirro. 1980. 84 minutes.
Cast: Mark Pirro, Lori Sutton, Eddie Deezen.
[A shy vampire tries repeatedly to find blood and love in Burbank, which ain’t easy if you’re Polish.]
The Hunger. Directed by Tony Scott. 1983. 100 minutes. A Richard Shepherd Production. Music by Michel Rubini and Denny Jaeger. Screenplay by Ivan Davis and Michael Thomas. From a novel by Whitley Strieber.
Cast: Catherine Deneuve (Miriam Blalock), David Bowie (John Blalock), Susan Sarandon (Dr. Sarah Roberts), Cliff DeYoung (Tom Haver), Beth Emlers (Alice Cavender), Ann Magnuson (young woman from disco), John Stephen Hill (young man from disco), Dan Hedaya (Lieutenant Allegrezza), Rufus Collins (Charlie Humphries), Suzanne Beatish (Phyllis), James Aubrey (Ron), Shane Rimmer (Jelinek), Balhaus (Disco Group), Douglas Lambert (TV Host), Lucybelle (Bessie Love), John Pankdon (First Phone Booth Youth), William Dafoe (Second Phone Booth Youth), Sophie Ward (Girl in London House), Philip Sayer (Boy in London House), Michael Howe (First Intern), Edward Wiley (Second Intern), Richard Robles (Skater), George Caveller (Eumenes), Oke Wambu (Egyptian Slave).
[The master vampire neither dies nor ages, though her victims age rapidly as she tires of them but do not die. All in their hunger yearn for beauty, youth, and love. The movie juxtaposes masterfully the beautiful in “timeless” art as well as sumptuous human bodies with the wasteful violence of time and desire as the 2000 year old beauty Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) keeps her world in order with her lover. She is caught off guard and overthrown by her new lover / victim (Susan Sarandon), a doctor whose life passion has been to study aging and sleep disorders and who understands something of blood disorders. She succeeds in seeing what is happening to her and reverses the victim / master roles by slashing herself, thus releasing Miram’s previous victims who rise against her and destroy her so that she too ages while they are at last released to die. Dr. Roberts, however, “recovers” and starts a new menage of the beautiful, while Miriam calls to her from her coffin, “Mama, mama.”]
Vamping. Directed by Frederick King Keller. 1984. 110 minutes.
Cast: Patrick Duffy, Catherine Hyland, Rod Arrants, Fred A Keller.
[“Struggling musician plans to burglarize a wealthy widow’s home. Once inside, he finds himself attracted to his proposed victim. Tedious going”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Transylvania 6-5000. Directed by Rudy DeLuca. 1985. 93 minutes.
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Joseph Bologna, Ed Begley, Jr., Carol Kane, Johyn Byner, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, Norman Fell.
[“An agreeably stupid horror spoof about two klutzy reporters who stumble into modern-day Transylvania and encounter an array of comedic creatures. Shot in Yugoslavia”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Vamp. Directed by Richard Wenk. 1986. 93 minutes. Music by Jonathan Elias. Cast: Grace Jones, Chris Makepeace, Robert Rusier, Gedde Watanabe.
[“Two college freshmen encounter a slew of weird, semi-vampiric people in a seamy red-light district nightclub. Starts cute but goes kinky. Jones is great as the stripping vampire”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Dracula’s Widow. Directed by Christopher Coppola. 1988. 86 minutes. Written by Kathryn Ann Thomas and Christopher Coppola. Music by James Campbell. De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.
Cast: Lenny Von Dohlen (Raymond, owner of the Hollywood Wax Museum), Rachel Jones (Jennie, his girlfriend and employee), Sylvia Kristel (Vanessa, Count Dracula’s widow), Joseph Sommer (Lannon, the Detective), Stefan Schnabel (Van Helsing).
[The story is narrated by Lannon, the Detective, who is attempting to deal with the rash of brutal murders. Raymond, a strange duck by any standard, has received six boxes from Romania to be part of his Dracula exhibit. He only ordered five. The sixth is Vanessa, who wishes to get Raymond to return her to Romania to be with her husband, who cannot, she insists, be dead. In her rage Vanessa turns in to various predatory animals and has great strength, destroying a gang of fifteen, at one party. The detective finally is convinced and dedicates himself to destroying the beautiful monster. Helsing helps, but is bitten by Vanessa, goes raving mad, and has to be destroyed by the inspector. Helsing did inform the Detective, however, and convinces him to carry wooden stakes with him at all times. But it is Raymond who destroys the monster to save Jenny from Vanessa.]
Vampire at Midnight. Directed by Gregory McClatchy. 1988. 93 minutes.
Cast: Jason Williams, Gustav Vintas, Jeanie Moore, Christina Whitaker, Leslie Milne.
[Fairly stupid homicide detective stalks a rampaging vampire in Los Angeles. Occasional moments of gratuitous sex thrown in for good measure”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
The Vampire’s Kiss. Directed by Robert Bierman. 1988. 103 minutes.
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Elizabeth Ashley, Jennifer Beals, Maria Conchita Alonso, Kasi Lemmons, Bob Lujan, Jennifer Lundy.
[Cage’s “twisted transformation from pretentious post-val dude to psychotic yuppie from hell is inspired. If his demented torment of his secretary (Alonso) doesn’t give you the creeps, his scene with the cockroach will. Cage fans will enjoy his facial aerobics; Beals fans will appreciate her extensive sucking scenes (she’s the vamp of his dreams). More for psych majors than horror buffs”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Transylvania Twist. Directed by Jim Wynorski. 1989. 90 minutes. Written by R. J. Robertson.
Cast: Robert Vaughn, Teri Copley, Steve Altman, Ace Mask, Angus Scrimm, Jay Robinson, Brinke Stevens.
[“Moronic comedy about vampires, teenage vampire hunters, and half-naked babes”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Vampire Raiders — Ninja Queen. Directed by Bruce Lambert. 1989. 90 minutes.
Cast: Agnes Chan, Chris Petersen.
[Evil black ninjas plot to infiltrate the hotel industry, but white ninjas come to the rescue.]
Vampire Cop. 1990. 89 minutes.
Cast: Melissa Moore, Ed Cannon, Terence Jenkins.
[“A vampire cop (not to be confused with zombie, maniac, midnight, psycho, future or Robo) teams up with a beautiful reporter to ‘collar’ a drug kingpin”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Dracula. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 1992. 128 minutes. Book by James V. Hart. Photography by Michael Balhaus.
Cast: Gary Oldman (Dracula). Winona Ryder (Wilhelmina Murray / Elizabeth), Sadie Frost (Lucy Western), Anthony Perkins (Professor Abraham Van Helsing), Keanu Reeves (Jonathan Harker), Richard Grant (Dr. Jack Seward), Cary Elwes (Lord Arthur Holmwood), Bill Campbell (Quincey Morris), Tom Waits (R.M. Renfield).
[Numerous B&B details not found in other Dracula movies, including an origin myth of how Dracula became a beast (a victim of love), bestiality and appetite motifs, his transforming love of Mina and hers of him (minne=love), her tears turned to diamonds, her bonding with him, her separation, then their return. The concluding shot of the two ascendant in the ceiling mural of the church after her supreme act of love echoes Cocteau’s shot of the transformed and ascending Beast and his Beauty.]
The Vampyr.. GB 1992. 115 minutes.
Cast: Omar Ebrahim, Willemijn Van Gent, Fiona O’Neill, Sally-Ann Shepherdson.
[“Uncut version of the BBC musical production about a lustful vampire. Text sets present-day lyrics to the 1827 opera by Heinrich Marschner. Vampire Ripley (Ebrahim) has just been set free in London after having been trapped in an underground tomb for 200 years. Unless he puts the bite on three lovely ladies within three days he will be condemned to eternal damnation. Everyone gets to sing in the nude. Surreally amusing”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. Directed by Neil Jordan. 1994. 123 minutes. Screenplay by Anne Rice based on her novel. Vampire makeup and effects by Stan Winston. Music by Elliot Goldenthal.
Cast: Brad Pitt (Louis), Christian Slater (Malley), Virginia McCollam (whore on the waterfront), John McConnell (Gambler), Tom Cruise (Lestat), Mike Seelig (pimp), Bellina Logan (tavern girl), Monte Montague (plague victim bearer), Kirsten Dunst (Claudia), Nathalie Bloch (maid), Jeanette Kontomitros (woman in square), Roger Lloyd Pack (piano teacher), Thondie Newton (Yvette), Lyla Hay Owen (widow St. Clair), Lee Emery (widow’s lover), Indra Ove (New Orleans whore), Helen McCrory (second whore), George Kelly (dollmaker), Nicole Dubois (Creole woman), Stephen Rea (Santiago), Antonio Banderas (Armand), Paris vampires: [Micha Bergese, Rory Edwards, Mareal Iures, Susan Lynch, Souise Salter, Matthew Sim, Francois Testory, Andrew Tiernan, Simon Tyrell, George Yiosoumi]; Sara Stockbridge (Estelle), Laure Marsac (mortal woman on stage), Katia Caballero (woman in audience), Louis Lewis Smith (mortal boy), Domiziana Giordano (Madeleine).
[The evil but handsome vampire Lestat victimizes the also beautifully handsome Louis, who remains a vampire of conscience and kindness, despite his undeath and need to feed. His love for Claudia, whom he and Lestat turned into a child vampire, and Madeleine whom he also victimizes but then would protect for Claudia’s sake, takes the audience into the complex ethics and expectations among vampires and their society as Louis and Claudia attempt revenge against Lestat, thus breaking vampire taboos and inviting retaliation from the whole Parisian Theatre des of Vampires. The story is told by Louis to the eager-to-know human Malley, whom Louis refuses to bite at the end, trying, instead, to scare him into his senses. But as Malley flees in his red mustang convertible playing the interview tape he recorded Lestat reappears in the back seat and does the deed after all, giving Malley the choice of dying or becoming one of the undead. Thus the interview we have seen must be in part Malley’s empathetic response to his own circumstance through Louis, the vampire with a human soul.]
Edward Scissorhands. Directed by Tim Burton, story by Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson. 1990. 100 minutes.
Cast: Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands), Winona Ryder (Kim Boggs), Dianne Wiest (Mrs. Peg Boggs), Alan Arkin (Mr. Bill Boggs), Robert Oliveri (Kevin Boggs), Anthony Michael Hall (Jim), Kathy Baker (Joyce), Conchata Ferrell (Helen), Caroline Aaron (Marge), O-lan Jones (Esmerelda), Dick Anthony Williams (Officer Allen), and Vincent Price (the Inventor).
[Love and snow come down at Christmas in memory of an encounter between the monster Edward who walked for a time with ordinary people, was betrayed and would be destroyed by them, but is, ultimately, saved by the beauty’s love for him; for which he responds annually with his snow displays.]
[Various Frankenstein movies have some bearing upon B&B topoi–issues of monstrosity, ugliness, single or male or no parent, failure in love. Mary Shelley’s book is most rich in relevant materials.]
Frankenstein. Directed by James Whale. 1931. 71 minutes. b/w.
Cast: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, Frederick Kerr.
[A stark, solid, impressively stylish film, overshadowed (a little unfairly) by the later explosion of Whale’s wit in the delirious Bride of Frankenstein. Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time as the monster whose mutation from candor to chill savagery is mirrored only through is limpid eyes. The film’s great imaginative coup is to show the monster ‘growing up’ in al too human terms. First he is the innocent baby, reaching up to grasp the sunlight that filters through the skylight. Then the joyous child, playing at throwing flowers into the lake with a little girl whom he delightedly imagines to be another flower. And finally, as he finds himself progressively misjudged by the society that created him, the savage killer as whom he has been typecast. The film is unique in Whale’s work in that the horror is played absolutely straight, and it has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made La Belle et la Bête”–Tom Milne, for Time Out. The monster suffers wretchedly from lack of love or attention from his creator.]
Bride of Frankenstein. Directed by James Whale. 1935. 80 minutes.
Cast: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Ernest Thesiger, Elsa Lanchester, Una O’Connor, Dwight Frye.
[Tremendous sequel to Whale’s own original with clever prologue between Byron and Mary Shelley setting the scene for the revival of both Frankenstein and his monster. Thereafter Thesiger’s loony Dr. Praetorius arrives on the scene, complete with miniaturized humans, and tries to persuade the good doctor to have another go at creating life, this time in the form of a female companion for Karloff. What distinguishes the film is less its horror content, which is admittedly low, than the macabre humour and sense of parody. Strong on atmosphere, Gothic sets and expressionist camerawork, it is–along with The Old Dark House–Whale’s most perfectly realised movie, a delight from start to finish”–Geoff Andrew, for Time Out.]
The Ghost of Frankenstein. Directed by Erle C. Kenton. US 68 minutes. 1942. b/w.
Cast: Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, Ralph Bellamy, Evelyn Ankers, Dwight Frye.
[“Picks up where Son of Frankenstein left off, with Lugosi’s Igor retrieving the monster (Chaney) from the sulphur pit. Relishable performances from Hardwicke and Atwill as scientists at cross-purposes, the former determined to endow the monster with a sane brain, the latter slyly playing along with Lugosi’s mad plan to have his transplanted so that he can dominate the world in the monster’s body”–Tom Milne, for Time Out.]
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Directed by Roy William Neill. 1943. 74 minutes. b/w.
Cast: Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Ilona Massey, Patric Knowles, Maria Ouspenskaya, Dwight Frye.
[The first of Universal’s frantic attempts to halt falling box-office receipts by doubling up on its monsters, with Chaney’s despairing Wolf Man coming to consult Dr. Frankenstein in the hope of finding cure or release. The good doctor is dead, but another overweening scientist (Knowles) is on hand to be tempted to revive the monster, found frozen in ice, for a last-reel showdown with the Wolf Man in which both are swept away when the villagers blow up a dam. Fast-paced and quite atmospheric in its tacky way, but definitively sabotaged by Lugosi as the monster; at last getting to play the role he missed out on in 1931, he gives a performance of excruciatingly embarrassing inadequacy”–Tom Milne, for Time Out.]
House of Frankenstein. Directed by Erle C. Kenton. US 74 minutes. 1944.
Cast: Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine, Glenn Strange, Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, J. Carrol Nash.
[Universal’s second horror stew, which tried to go one better than Frankenstein Meets Wolfman by featuring, in addition to those two luminaries, Dracula, a mad doctor, a psycho hunchback and a Chamber of Horrors. It’s absurdly indigestible but surprisingly watchable, thanks to classy camera-work from George Robinson, with Carradine making–all too briefly–a superb Dracula. Mad doctor Karloff and the Frankenstein monster (Strange) meet their end in quick-sands”–Tom Milne, forTime Out.]
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Directed by Charles T. Barton. 1948. 92 minutes. b/w.
Cast: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., Glenn Strange, Lenore Aubert.
[“First and possibly the best of the horror spoofs indulged by this comic duo. Not that it is particularly fun, but showing a surprising respect for Universal tradition in the matter of its monsters”–Tom Milne, for Time Out.]
Frankenstein Created Woman. Directed by Terence Fisher. GB 1966. 86 minutes.
Cast: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris, Duncan Lamont, Alan MacNaughtan.
[“Fisher’s third film in the Hammer Frankenstein series is a subtly decadent reworking of the Bride of Frankenstein theme (although it bears absolutely no relation to the Universal picture), about a Lamia-like seductress, who returns from the grave to seduce and slaughter her former tormentors. It’s full of cloying Keatsian imagery, which somehow transcends the more idiotic aspects of the plot”–David Pirie, for Time Out.]
Frankenstein General Hospital. Directed by Deborah Roberts. 1968. 90 minutes.
Cast: Mark Blankfield, Kathy Shower, Leslie Jordan, Irwin Keyes.
[“A completely laughless horror spoof wherein the twelfth grandson of the infamous scientist duplicates his experiments in the basement of a modern hospital. A must see for Frankenstein fans; considered by some the worst Frankenstein movie ever made”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
The Horror of Frankenstein. Directed by Jimmy Sangster. 1970. 93 minutes. Written by Jimmy Sangster.
Cast: Ralph Bates, Kate O’Mara, Dennis Price, David Prowse.
[“Spoof of the standard Frankenstein story features philandering ex-med student Baron Frankenstein, whose interest in a weird and esoteric branch of science provides a shocking and up-to-date rendition of the age old plot. Preceded by Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed and followed by Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. Directed by Terence Fisher. GB 1973. 99 minutes.
Cast: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith, John Stratton, Bernard Lee, Dave Prowse, Patrick Troughton.
[“Fisher’s last film is a disappointment. Using the already well-proven formula, it offers the Baron this time as a doctor in a criminal asylum for the insane, secretly working with his assistant towards creating yet another life. Things begin well, with Fisher adding some atmospheric touches and Cushing suggesting a man undermined by his excessive rationality. Unfortunately the script, which treads a wavering line between jerky comedy and seriousness, soon dissipates anyone else’s better intentions. Things are further weakened by a listless assistant, a monster that looks as if it has strayed from some never-realised Apes project, and a gratuitously unpleasant brain transplant”–Chris Petit, for Time Out.]
Frankenstein: The True Story. Directed by Jack Smight. GB 1973. 123 minutes. Script by Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy.
Cast: James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour, Nicola Paget, Michael Sarrazin, Michael Wilding, Agnes Moorehead, Margaret Leighton, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud.
[“Not exactly a faithful rendering of Mary Shelley’s novel, although it deserves full marks for using the magnificent Arctic ending so long ignored by the cinema. Difficult to assess properly, since the feature is a boil-down from the 200-minute version shown on American TV, although a misogynistic reading is clearly intended (with the two brides, Frankenstein’s and the monster’s, emerging as more treacherously villainous than either of their mates). For a while it comes on like bad Hammer, until the arrival of the monster–a handsome lad, but the process is reverting — perks things up considerably. Particularly memorable is a scene where the monster’s demurely virginal Bride sings ‘I Love Little Pussy, Her Coat Is So Warm,’ before gleefully attempting to strangle a sleepy Persian and lasciviously licking a drop of mauve blood from her scratched arm; and a glorious moment of delirium when the monster disrupts a society ball to collect his bride, ripping off her pearl choker to reveal the stitched neck, then annexing her head as his property. Whiting is a weak Frankenstein, but more than made up for by Sarrazin (the monster), Seymour (his bride), Richardson (the hermit), and Mason (first cousin to Fu Manchu as Polidori)” –Tom Milne, for Time Out.]
Young Frankenstein. Directed by Mel Brooks. 1974. 108 minutes. Written by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. Music by John Morris.
Cast: Peter Boyle, Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, Gene Hackman.
[“Young Dr. Frankenstein (Wilder), a brain surgeon, inherits the family castle back in Transylvania. He is skittish about the family business, but when he learns his grandfather’s secrets, he becomes obsessed with making his own monster. Wilder and monster Boyle make a memorable song-and-dance team to Irving Berlin’s ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz,’ and Hackman’s cameo as a blind man is inspired. Garr (‘What Knockers!’ ‘Oh, sank you!’) is adorable as a fraulein, and Leachman (‘He’s vass my–boyfriend!’) is wonderfully scary. Wilder saves the creature with a switcheroo, in which the doctor ends up with a certain monster-sized body part. Hilarious parody”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Frankenstein. Directed by James Ormerod. 1982. 81 minutes.
Cast: Robert Powell, Carrie Fisher, David Warner, John Gielgud.
[This version follows Shelley’s book more closely than most. The creature is intelligent, learns from the blind woodsman, would become a philosopher in his loneliness, and, as the doctor’s dark subconscious, pursues him seeking love. They die in an arctic confrontation.]
The Bride. Directed by Franc Roddam. 1985. 118 minutes. Music by Maurice Jarre.
Cast: Sting (Dr. Frankenstein), Jennifer Beals (Eva), Clancy Brown (Viktor), Anthony Higgins (Clerval), David Rappaport (Rinaldo), Geraldine Page (Mrs. Baumann), Alexei Seyle (Magar), Phil Daniels (Bela), Veruschka (Countess), Quentin Crisp (Dr. Zahlus), Cary Elwes (Joseph), Tim Spall (Paulus), Guy Rolfe (Count), Ken Campbell (Pedlar).
[Dr. Frankenstein builds the perfect woman (Eva), ostensibly as bride for the creature (Viktor). But an overdose of lightning at her birthing destroys the tower in which both were created and Frankenstein saves and raises his Eva to be an independent woman, equal in all ways to man. He thinks the first creature has perished in the fire. But he hasn’t; rather he is taken up in friendship by a dwarf named Rinaldo, who guides him to Budapest to join the circus. Rinaldo gives the monster a name–Viktor, assuring him that he will be victorious–and they have some success doing a trapeze routine with Viktor as the “baby’s” anxious mother. Viktor has strange mental bonding with Eva, and she with him. Eva starts growing up sexually to Frankenstein’s dismay and in a rage he shows her the journals of her creation and attempts to “marry” her, though she adamantly refuses to give herself to him. Meanwhile, a jealous circus master has Rinaldo murdered. Viktor takes revenge on the murderer and flees, seeking the affection of his heart. He meets Eva in a wood, gives her a medallion left him by Rinaldo, which she cherishes but which makes the Doctor jealous. Viktor is captured for murder and imprisoned. But he breaks out when vibes indicate that Eva is in distress, as indeed she is: the Doctor would consummate the “marriage” by force. Viktor bursts in on the scene. The Doctor tries to destroy Viktor, even as he was trying to destroy his other creation, but falls to his death. Viktor and Eva recognize their love for each other and head for Venice, Rinaldo’s dream city with its streets of water. The ghost of Rinaldo blesses and facilitates the newly created-ones’ love dreams even as a fairy godmother might do. There seems to be possible happiness for them in their new life in that Viktor can tell Eva of her origins, and she can instruct him in fitting social behavior.]
Frankenstein Unbound. Directed by Roger Corman. 1988. 86 minutes. Based on novel by Brian W. Aldiss. Music by Carl Davis.
Cast: John Hurt (Dr. Buchanan), Raul Julia (Dr. Frankenstein), Bridget Fonda (Mary Shelley), Michael Hutchence (Shelley), Nick Brimble (the monster).
[Joseph Buchanan is a brilliant scientist conducting implosion experiments in the year 2031. His goal is to develop a weapons system that will not destroy all life on Earth, but the results are catastrophic. The very core of time and space is fractured, and Buchanan finds himself in a time warp that thrusts him into 19th century Geneva. He meets fellow scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein, whose own monstrous experiment has gone haywire, killing his brother and threatening the entire village. The monster wants a wife, and Dr. Frankenstein attempts to comply by using Buchanan’s power source. More goes haywire, transporting the doctor and the monster into a desert of the distant future, after civilization has destroyed itself. The good doctor has some lovely moments with Mary Shelley, encouraging her to write the book he has already read.]
Frankenstein. Directed by David Wickes. 1993. 117 minutes. Written by David Wickes. Made for Turner National Television.
Cast: Patrick Bergin (Dr. Victor Frankenstein), Randy Quaid (the Creature), John Mills, Lambert Wilson, Fiona Gilles, Jacinta Mulcahy, Timothy Stark.
[Victor is rescued by an icebound arctic ship whose mad captain is trying to reach the North Pole. He tells his story of creating the monster who is ugly but intelligent and who haunts him as an alter ego, destroying his brother, demanding a bride, then destroying Elizabeth and the Baron. The doctor then pursues the creature who cunningly leads him toward the arctic wastes where he would find solitude. In the end the creature boards the ship, grabs the doctor and leaps into the sea. As they drown together the captain comes to his senses, the ship breaks free from the ice, and he returns home.]
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. 1994. 123 minutes. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, James V. Hart and John Veitch.
Cast: Robert De Niro (the creature), Kenneth Branagh (Victor Frankenstein), Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter (Elizabeth), Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, John Cleese, Patrick Doyle.
[At the death of his mother during the birthing of brother William, Victor vows to learn the secrets to life that will prevent such a senseless disaster. He makes his creature with the body of an angry peasant who stabs the learned doctor who is attempting to vaccinate him against the pox, and the brain of the learned doctor (Cleese), whose notes help Victor to gather the necessary materials (amniotic fluids from birthing mothers, electricity, etc.). At the birthing of his creature Victor is horrified at what he has made and, thinking the creature dead, declares the disaster in his journal and returns to Austria to wed Elizabeth. The creature survives, however, learns to read and play the recorder, and finds some happiness being good spirit of the forest to a blind woodsman and his kin. But when the tyrant landlord comes to collect money the family does not have, the creature kills the assailant but is driven from the house by the kinsmen who think he is the one who assailed grandpa. Wailing in anguish, lonely and thinking all hate him, he seeks out the Frankenstein household and kills young William. Justin, to whom the creature is lovingly drawn, is accused of the murder and lynched. In deepening outrage the creature confronts Victor and proposes that he will leave humankind alone if Victor will create a mate for him. Victor agrees, but when the creature brings the recently hung body of Justin to be the “material,” Victor refuses. He flees hoping to marry Elizabeth and escape the monster or have the monster destroyed by the police. But the creature gets to Elizabeth despite the precautions, and tears out her heart. Victor in desperation restores her to life using her head and Justin’s body. She is filled with horror at what she has been turned into and rather than choose between the doctor or the monster she incinerates herself and the Frankenstein estate. Victor pursues the creature toward the North Pole where he encounters Watkin’s polar expedition, tells his story, and dies. The creature comes to him weeping but the funeral is interrupted by the breaking of the ice. The creature, refusing passage on the ship, cremates himself along with his creator as the ship departs.]
The Frog Prince. Written, directed, and narrated by Eric Idle. 1982. 50 minutes. Made for TV: Faerie Tale Theatre. Executive Producer: Shelley Duvall. Producer: Jonathan Taplin. Mercury Pictures and Platypus Production.
Cast: Candy Clark (Queen Gwynneth, the Frog Prince’s mother), Michael Richards (King Geoffrey, his father), Robin Williams (the Frog Prince), Roberta Maxwell (Griselda the witch/Queen Beatrice, the Princess’ mother), Rene Auberjonois (King Ulrich, the Princess’ father), Teri Garr (the Princess), Donovan Scott (Hendrix and the French Chef), Charlie Dell (the Page), Nancy Lenehan (Lady-in-Waiting), Van Dyke Parks (the Musician), Harry Benson (the Grandfather Clock), Stanley Wilson and Will Parker (Guards), John Achorn, David McCharen, Ty Crowley, Lise Lang (Courtiers), Patrick De Santis, John Salazar (Kitchen Help).
[The witch helps Queen Gwynneth to have a baby on condition that she be invited to the christening. When she is passed over she turns the prince into a frog. Meanwhile the Princess grows up snooty and spoiled. King Ulrich and Queen Beatrice try to introduce her to men, namely Prince Hall, whose older brother has disappeared because of some unknown disaster (like being turned into a frog). Hal prefers hunting to girls and sends a golden ball to the Princess by way of his parents. The Princess loses the ball while talking to the irreverent frog. He retrieves the ball after getting her to agree to invite him to dinner, let him sleep on her silk pillow, and kiss him. He arrives for dinner and is almost prepared as main course by the chef. But after the King convinces the Princess that she must keep her word (or be beheaded by the common people for breaking her oaths) the frog puts on a splendid display of his talents, telling stories, jokes, dancing, flattering the queen, etc. The Princess takes him to her room and is won over to him when he gallantly slays a scorpion about to attack her. She kisses him, releasing him from the curse but leaving him naked in her bed. The king comes in, imprisons the Prince, and sends the Princess to a convent school. But the witch intervenes, explains the whole story, and the couple is reunited to their eager joy.]
Frog. Directed by David Grossman. 1987. 55 minutes. Shelley Duvall, Executive Producer. Written by David Arata and Mark Herder. Music by Ron Ramin. A Platypus Production.
Cast: Scott Grimes (Arlo Anderson), Shelley Duval (Mrs. Anderson), Elliott Gould (Mr. Anderson), Amy Lynne (Suzy), Paul Williams (Gus the Frog, really Prince Guiseppi Buono Duno), Hal Sparks (Jim), Elizabeth Berkley (Kathy), Conroy Gedeon (Mr. Fried, the science teacher), Bob Tzudiker (Dr. Harding), Gary Schwartz (Dr. Fritsky), Patricia Sherick (Officer 1), Don Oscar Smith (Officer 2).
[Arlo loves frogs and reptiles; Jim, his old friend, can’t believe he hasn’t outgrown them. He fixes Arlo up with a blind date with Suzy. But while waiting outside a pet store for her, Jim, and Kathy to arrive, he sees an exotic new frog from Italy and buys it with the $20.00 his dad had given him in hope that he would make it with his date. The frog gets out of his pocket in the movie theater (a 3-D horror film called The Swamp, lands in Kathy’s popcorn, causing mayhem. But the frog can talk. He is Guiseppi Buono Duno, an Italian prince who six hundred years ago was turned into a frog for refusing to kiss a witch. The frog, called Gus, for short, convinces Arlo that he should try again with Suzy, so he asks if she might be his partner for the science fair. She says yes, because if she fails science she can’t be a cheer leader. Their project demonstrates that frogs can communicate. One of the judges thinks the project is rigged and to prove him wrong Gus sings "It’s Amore" over the loud speaker, which female frogs for miles around understand as a mating call. The fair is over run with frogs. Arlo seems to have messed up everything and returns Gus to a swamp. Meanwhile Suzy seeks him out, convinced that he really is smart and liking him as well in her shy way. He tells her of the frog prince, and she agrees to kiss him. They go to the swamp and Suzy kisses many frogs but not the right one. The police see the two of them in the swamp and arrest them, just as Suzy kisses the right frog. In the police car Suzy wonders about her kissing ability, but Arlo proves that she is a fabulous kisser. Instead of taking them to jail the officers take them home to the Anderson residence, where the judges of the science fair, having been impressed by Gus’s ability to call so many frogs, have come to praise Arlo for his brilliant experiment. Meanwhile, the frog has turned into an Italian singer who sings "It’s Amore" to them as Arlo, Suzy, and the parents go out for a spaghetti dinner to celebrate. The two kids are amazed when they hear the song, realizing that Gus must have been kissed and transformed.]
The Princess and the Frog. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Music by Randy Newman. 2009.
[This item, although technically a Frog Prince variant, reflects many Cinderella elements. See the full annotation here].
KING KONG AND GORILLA FANTASIES:
Gorilla at Large. Directed by Harmon Jones. 1954. 84 minutes. Written by Leonard Praskins and Barney Slater. Produced by Robert L. Jacks.
Cast: Anne Bancroft (Mlle Laverne Miller, trapeze artist and femme fatale), Raymond Burr (Miller, owner and husband), Cameron Mitchell (Joey Matthews, barker & law student), Charlotte Austin (Audrey Baxter, Joey’s girl friend), Lee J. Cobb (Inspector Garrison), Peter Whitney (Kovacs, Laverne’s former husband and keeper of Goliath), Lee Marvin (Shaunessey, the cop), Warren Stevens (Owens the publicity man), John G. Kellogg (Morris, skirt chaser & victim).
[Beauty & Beast circus act turns deadly as Beauty, who is physically fit and knows judo, impersonates the Beast in a gorilla costume, to murder those who threaten her, thus putting the blame on the real gorilla, her partner Goliath (who is furious, but pleased to hold her), or someone like Kovacs or Miller or Joey, who, being male and strong, could impersonate a gorilla. When Laverne falls into the hands of Goliath, he carries her with admiration Kong-like to the top bend of the roller coaster before he’s shot.]
King Kong (The Eighth Wonder of the World). Directed by Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack. 1933. 100 minutes. Executive Producer, David O. Selznick. Screenplay by James A. Creelman & Ruth Rose. Based on a story by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper. Animation by Willis O’Brien. Music by Max Steiner.
Cast: Fay Wray (Ann Darrow), Robert Armstrong (Carl Denham), Bruce Cabot (Jack Driscoll), Noble Johnson (Native Chief), Frank Reicher (Captain Englehorn), James Flavin (Briggs, the Second Mate), Victor Long (Lumpy), Ethan Laidlaw (Mate) Steve Clemento (witch king), Sam Hardy (Charles Weston).
[“Beast could lick the world, but when Beauty got him he went soft and the little fellows licked him.” The gigantic god/king of Skull Island falls in love with blonde beauty, is captured, carted to New York, escapes, taking his beloved to the top of the Empire State Building, where he is destroyed by biplanes with machine guns. But “it was beauty killed the beast.” As the old Arabian Proverb puts it at the beginning of the movie: “And the prophet said: ‘And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty. And it stayed its hand from killing. And from that day, it was as one dead.’” Here poor, shabby Cinderella, who would pluck fruit denied her because of her poverty, progresses from breadline to stardom with a pair of princes, one bigger than the other, but both equally devoted.]
Son of Kong, starring Robert Armstrong. 1933. 69 minutes.
[Explorer Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) returns to Skull Island, thus fleeing various court summonses, and discovers the offspring of the fearsome beast. Denham saves the youthful beast from a dinosaur; baby beast saves the people in return, only to die in the holocaust of an earthquake that sends the whole island to the bottom of the sea. The first “son of …” movie. Made with many of the props of the parent movie.]
King Kong No Gyakushu (King Kong Escapes). Directed by Inoshiro Honda. 1967. Produced by Toho Film Company; American version by Rankin/Bass Productions. Producer, Tomoyuki Tanaka; American version, Arthur Rankin, Jr. Screenplay by Kaoru Mabuchi; American version by William J. Keenan. Music by Akira Ifukube. Toho Films.
Cast: Rhodes Reason (Commander Nelson), Mie Hama (Madame Piranha), Linda Miller (Susan), Akira Takarada (Lt. Jiro Nomura), Eisei Amamoto (Dr. Who).
King Kong. Directed by John Guillermin. 1976. 135 minutes. Screenplay, Lorenzo Semple, Jr. Based on a script by James Creelman and Ruth Rose, from a concept by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper. Music, John Thompson. A Dino De Laurentiis Production.
Cast: Jeff Bridges (Cack Prescott), Charles Grodin (Fred Wilson), Jessica Lange (Dawn), John Randolph (Captain Rose), Rene Auberjonois (Bagley), Julius Harris (Boan), Dennis Fimple (Sunfish), Jack O’Halloran (Joe Perko), Ed Lauter (Carnahan), Jorge Moreno (Garcia), Mario Gallo (Timmons), John Lone (Chinese Cook), Garry Walberg (Army General), John Agar (City Official), Keny Long (Ape Masked Man), Sid Conrad (Petrox Chairman), George Whiteman (Army Helicopter Pilot), Wayne Heffley (Air Force Colonel), and King Kong, The Eighth Wonder of the World.
[“With the ape’s human characteristics exaggerated, the new Kong lacks his predecessor’s noble, yet truly alien ferocity. Seemingly too human, his relationship with the nauseating Jessica Lange is pushed to mawkish and degrading lengths. But Lorenzo Semple’s script tries hard to build on its more interesting components. He is unreservedly on the side of Kong and the anthropologist (Bridges), against the oil/sexploitation company who are out to exhibit the ape (and Lange) as commercial objects. The film’s spirited climax is worthy of its ancestry, while a highly ambiguous ending allows the plot to reassert its old political strength and redeem the more grotesque and sexist moments of this resurrection”–David Price, for Time Out.]
King Kong Lives. Executive producer: Ronald Shusett. Producer: Martha Schumacher. Directed by John Guillermin. Screenplay by Steve Pressfield, based on characters created by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper. Music, John Scott. De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. 1986.
Cast: Linda Hamilton (Amy Franklin), Brian Kerwin (Hank Mitchell), John Ashton (Colonel Nevitt), Peter Michael Goetz (Dr. Ingersoll), Frank Maraden (Dr. Benson Hughes), Peter Elliot (King Kong), George Yrasomi (Lady Kong).
Ladyhawke. Directed by Richard Donner. Warner Brothers, 1985. 121 minutes. Story by Edward Khmara. Screenplay by Edward Khmara, Michael Thomas, and Tom Mankiewicz. Music by Andrew Powell.
Cast: Matthew Broderick (Phillipe “The Mouse” Gaston), Rutger Hauer (head of the palace guard and lover), Michelle Pfeiffer (the beloved lady), (Bishop of Aquila), (the hermit monk).
[The wicked Bishop of Aquila loves the lady and would have her. She loves the head of the guard and he her. A monk tells the Bishop of their love and he curses them to be “always together, eternally apart,” she as a hawk by day, he a wolf by night. A prisoner called “The Mouse” escapes the Bishop’s prison only to find himself caught up in the lovers’ weird lives. He helps them back into the Bishop’s palace where they succeed in breaking the curse by appearing both in human form before the Bishop at mass during a total eclipse foretold by the repentant and sympathetic Monk.]
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA:
[Gaston Leroux’s detective story Phantom of the Opera (1911) has been a favorite source for movie makers who continue to draw upon basic components of beauty and beast mythology, many of which are not found in Leroux, e.g., a handsome male transformed into hideous monster by acid or crushed by a record press. But as in Leroux, the grotesque’s painful love of the beauty is denied and is hidden behind masques as the deformed monster releases his emotions through art, voyeurism, and pathetic attempts to keep her as his own, usually at night and through violence.]
The Phantom of the Opera. Directed by Rupert Julian. US 8,460 feet. 1925. 79 minutes.
Cast: Lon Chaney (Phantom), Mary Philbin (Christine Daaé), Norman Kerry (Vicomte Raoul de Chagny), Sadie Edwards (Florine Papillon), Gibson Gowland (Senior Buquet), Arthur Edmund Carewe (Ledoux of the Secret Police, equivalent to The Persian in Leroux), John Sainpol (Comte Phillippe de Changny), Virginia Pearson (Carlotta).
[The plot follows Leroux rather closely, with a few exceptions: the Phantom is one of the criminally insane escaped from Paris Island to take up residence under the Opera; the Persian is converted into a member of the Paris Secret Police who has been investigating the Phantom for years; the mob routs the Phantom who flees with Christine in Raoul’s carriage but is captured by the mob after Christine falls off and is thrown into the Seine to drown. There is thus no sincere pledge of love from Christine. Leroux’s artist motif is thus muted. Ends with Raoul & Christine marrying. First use of color in a commercial movie in the masqued ball scene. “Hobbling exposition and pathetic scenes that separate its highpoints. But the highs are way up there with the best in the tradition of Gothic fantasy. Chaney’s best ever phantom … unmasked at the organ by the timorous heroine … is still unrivalled”–Tony Rayns for Time Out. Made use of left over sets from Hunchback of Notre Dame. In 1930 dialogue sequences were shot for Phantom with dialogue sequences by Mary Philbin and Norman Kerry, music and sound effects for whole film.]
A Night at the Opera. Directed by Sam Wood. 1935. 92 minutes. Script by Kaufman and Ryskind.
Cast: The Marx Brothers, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, Walter Woolf King.
[The Marx Brothers have their go at the Phantom and at opera.]
Phantom of the Opera. Directed by Arthur Lubin. US 93 minutes. 1943. Screen play by Eric Taylor and Samuel Hoffenstein, adaptation by John Jacoby.
Cast: Claude Rains Erique (Claudin/Phantom), Susanna Foster (Christine DuBois), Nelson Eddy (Anatole Garron), Edgar Barrier (Inspector Raoul D’aubert, Jane Farrar (Biancarolli), J. Edward Bromberg (Amiot), Hume Cronyn (Opera manager), Leo Carrillo (Signor Ferretti), Fritz Leiber (Franz Liszt), Miles Mander.
[Claudin, secret patron and admirer of young singer Christine, is forced into early retirement because of a lame hand. Now without income he tries to market his concerto, but the publisher would rather work on his etchings than listen to a nobody. Liszt likes the composition, however, plays through it in an adjoining room; Claudin thinks his piece has been stolen, murders the publisher, gets the etching acid thrown in his face by the publisher’s mistress, but escapes into the sewers through which he sets up residence under the Paris Opera. From there he “advances” the career of his beautiful beloved. “More musical extravagance than horror, with endless operatic snippets for Eddy and Foster to warble, making it all a somewhat tiresome waste of Rains’ performance”–Tom Milne, Time Out.]
El Fantasma de la Opereta. Directed by Fernando Cortes. Mexico. 1960.
[A parody with knock-about comedian Tin-Tan.]
The Phantom of the Opera. Directed by Terence Fisher. GB 84 minutes. 1962.
Cast: Edward de Souza (Raoul), Heather Sears (Christine), Herbert Lom (Phantom), Michael Gough, Thorley Walters, Ian Wilson, Martin Miller, Renee Houston, Miles Malleson.
[A Hammer production, low-key without the usual Hammer violence (not X rated). Adds a villainous dwarf for whose foul deeds the sympathetic Phantom is blamed. The Phantom dies rescuing Christine from the falling chandelier. “Because of its restraint and a fairly thin plot, the overall effect is curiously abstract, evolving into a series of nice sets and compositions”–David Pirie for Time Out.]
Phantom of the Opera. Directed by Dwight H. Little. 1989. 93 minutes. Produced by Harry Alan Towers. Screenplay by Duke Sandefur, based on a screen play by Gerry O’Hara. Music by Misha Segal. Make-up effects by Kevin Yagher. Art Director Tivader Bertalan. A Menahem Golan Production for 21st Century Productions.
Cast: Robert Englund (Phantom), Jill Schoblen (Christine), Alex Hyde-White (Richard), Bill Nighy (Barton), Stephanie Lawrence (Carlotta), Terence Harvey (Hawking), Nathan Lewis (Davies), Peter Clapham (Harrison), Molly Shannon (Meg–New York), Emma Rawson (Meg–London), Mark Ryan (Matt), Yehuda Efroni (Ratcatcher), Terrence Beesley (Joseph), Ray Jewers (Kline), Robin Hunter (Roland), Virginia Fiol (Sarah), Cathy Murphy (Esther), Andre Thornton Grimes (Bartender), Jaclyn Mendoza (Maddie), John Ghavan (dwarf), Mickey Epps and Laszlo Szili (Cardplayers), Patrick Burke, Jonathan Linsley, and Tommy Wright (Workmen), Lazlo Baranye (attendant), Ottilia Borbath (Housemother), Lajos Dobak (Maitre’D).
[Christine finds old copy of Eric’s music and auditions with it. A sandbag falls striking her unconscious. Flash back to London where she makes her debut as Carlotta’s substitute singing Marguerite. The Phantom “advances” her career expeditiously with numerous murders. He skins his victims and uses the skin to repair his own face which was destroyed when he made a pact with the devil whereby he might live through his music. Christine eventually kills him by fire, but not until he has slain many. Then she comes to–it was only a flashback–and is offered the part by the producer who wants to take her to dinner. He is, of course, the Phantom pursuing her even in New York City in the 1980s. She rips off his face and fearlessly stabs him in the belly, then takes his music and tears it up and dumps it into the sewer, at which moment the Phantom dies too (apparently).]
Phantom of the Paradise. Directed by Brian De Palma. 1974. US 91 minutes. Music mainly by Paul Williams.
Cast: Paul Williams (Swan), William Finley (Winslow Leach), Jessica Harper (Phoenix), George Memmoli (Swan’s strongman), Garrit Graham (Beef).
[Winslow, an unknown composer, composes a Faust rock opera which Swan steals for the opening of his new rock palace, the Paradise. He frames the protesting Winslow and who is sent to Sing Sing, escapes, breaks into Swan’s record factory to destroy it, gets his head caught in a disc-pressing machine, thereafter hiding his deformity behind a birdmask. Haunts the Paradise, but is persuaded by Swan to complete his opera on the Faust theme. He agrees providing Phoenix get the star part. Swan assigns the role to Beef, a gay muscleman, whom Winslow on opening night kills. Swan, who years earlier signed pact with Devil to possess eternal youth, plans to assassinate Phoenix at his wedding to her on national TV. Winslow intervenes and TV rock fans get a spectacular conclusion. Clever conjoining of Phantom of the Opera and Faust, along with bits of Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. A study, in part, of the economics of Beauty and the Beast. Youth is the monster Beauty is stuck on, along with fame through rockbiz. The poor author Winslow and his art are in the hands of the performer, who is perpetually under a fiendish contract with a monstrous producer, who would produce only himself.]
Phantom of Hollywood. Directed by Gene Levitt. 1974. TV movie.
Cast: Jack Cassidy (Phantom), Corinne Clavet (Christine), Broderick Crawford, Peter Lawford, Jackie Coogan, John Ireland.
[Old disfigured actor hides on movie studio lot for thirty years, but when bulldozers come to destroy his home he goes wild.]
The Phantom of the Opera. Directed by David Giles. Actors’ Company. June 1975.
Cast: Sharon Duce (Christine), Keith Drinkel (Raoul), Edward Petherbridge (Erik).
[A stage version somewhat faithful to Leroux.]
Phantom of the Opera. Directed by Robert Markowitz. January 1983. Screen play by Sherman Yellen. CBS TV movie.
Cast: Maximilian Schell (Phantom), Jane Seymour (victim), Michael York (her lover).
[Set in Hungary. So far removed from Leroux that no credit given. Filmed in the theater at Kecskemet. Conductor’s wife gets a bad review and kills herself. In struggle with the critic the husband knocks over a heater, catches fire, tries to douse the flames with what he thinks is water but is in fact is acid; years later he confuses a young singer with his dead wife & sets out to destroy his enemies to guarantee the girl the success his wife was denied.]
The Polar Bear King. Directed by Ola Solum. 1992. 87 minutes. Written and Produced by Erik Borge. Shooting Script by Ola Solum and Philip OGaard. Director of Photography Philip OGaard. Music by Geir Bohren and Bent Aserud. Costumes by Karl Juliusson. Animatronics by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Musicians from the Oslo Philharmonic, conducted by Christian Eggen and Kjell Seim. Norsk Film Studio. Northern Lights and Film and TV Production.
Cast: Jack Fjeldstad (King of Winterland), Maria Bonnevie (Princess), Tobias Hoesh (King Valemon), Monica Nordquist (King Mother), Anna-Lotta Larsson (Witch), Jon Laxdal (Helper), Helge Jordal (Devil), Merika Enstad (Oldest Princess), Kristin Mack (Middle Princess), Rudiger Kuhlbrodt & Ulrich Faulbaber (Merchants), Bengt Ellis (Stablemaster), Karen Randers-Pehrson (Midwife), Julie F. Langseth, Ruth Gury Tessand, and Mariann Gury Tessand (Little Princesses).
[The third daughter of the King of Winterland is given in marriage to Valemon, who has been turned into a Polar Bear by a wicked witch who wanted him in marriage. Valemon’s mother tries to protect him through invisible acts. The witch’s curse keeps Valemon in bear form only by day and will last for seven years after which he must marry her unless he is loved by another who does not doubt him. At night King Valemon comes to his wife in human form, but she cannot see him because of the dark. She bears him three daughters, which the Queen Mother steals away to keep them from the Witch. The princess visits her family and her two jealous sisters convince her that she must be married to a troll. They give her a candle to see who he is. She follows their advice, sees her beautiful husband, accidentally drips wax on him, and he, thus, is cursed to marry the witch. The Princess endures many hardships until finally she finds the witch’s castle. The witch turns people from the Winterland into her slaves. One of them helps the princess to find her husband. Unfortunately the witch keeps him drugged. But he gets wise, pours the drug out, and meets with his wife. They then plan the destruction of the witch together. The witch has been warned by the devil that too much evil will destroy evil. The Princess doubles the evil potion and serves it at the wedding feast. The witch, devil, and their crones are all consumed with the evil and Valemon and his bride return to the southland where they live. The Queen Mother returns to them their children, and they all visit the King of the Winterland, who proves to be a doting grandfather of the three princesses. It seems likely that the tale will repeat itself.]
The Secret of Roan Inish (Island of the Seals).Written for the Screen, directed, and edited by John Sayles. 1993. 102 minutes. Based on the book Secred of the Ron Mor Skerry, by Rosalie K Fry. Music by Mason Daring. Costume design by Consolata Boyle. Produced by Sarah Green and Maggie Renzi.
Cast: Jeni Courtney (Fiona), Mick Lally (grandfather Hugh Kinneally), Eileen Colgen (grandmother Tess Kinneally), Richard Sheridan (Eaman), John Lynch (Tadhg the dark one), Susan Lynch (Selkie), Suzanne Gallacher (Selkie’s Daughter), Cillian Byrne (Jamie), Linda Creek (Brigit, the mother), Dave Duffy (Jim), Fergal McElherron (Sean Michael), Brenden Conroy (Flynn), Frankie McCaherty (Tim), Pat Slowey (Priest), Declan Hannigan (Oldest Brother), Gerard Rooney (Liam).
[A Celtic Selkie girl story. Discouraged by his wife Brigit’s death and the loss of Jamie, their baby, Jim, Fiona’s father, takes to booze. The priest suggests that Fiona be sent to her grandparents, where she learns of the secrets of Roan Inish, the Island of the Seals, where her family lived until three years ago, when they moved to the mainland after Brigit’s death. During the move baby Jamie is lost at sea. Fiona meets Tadhg, one of the dark people, who tells the story of their ancestor Tim, who captured the Selkie girl when she was in human form, by stealing and hiding her seal skin. They have children. But when their daughter finds some old leather in the attic, Selkie knows it is her skin, puts it back on, and returns to the sea. Fiona suspects then that perhaps Jamie, her lost brother, is in fact not lost, but living on the island under the care of the seals. She returns to the island, sees Jamie, convinces her cousin Eaman to help her, and together they restore the houses on the island. Then, when she tells Tess that she has seen the lost child, they return to the island, despite a threatening storm, and find the child, whom they protect from the storm after he is given back to them by the seals.]
WOLFMAN AND WEREWOLF MOVIES:
Wolf Blood. Directed by George Cheseboro and George Mitchell. 1925. 68 minutes.
Cast: George Cheseboro, Marguerite Clayton, Ray Hanford, Roy Watson, Milburn Morante.
[When Dick (Cheseboro) is hurt in an accident, Dr. Horton uses wolf’s blood for a transfusion. Soon there are unexplained deaths and Dick fears he’s becoming a manbeast. An early precursor to the wolfman films.]
Werewolf of London. Directed by Stuart Walker. 1935. 75 minutes.
Cast: Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson, Lester Matthews, Spring Byington.
[A scientist searching for a rare Tibetan flower is attacked by a werewolf. He scoffs at the legend, but once he’s back in London, he goes on a murderous rampage every time the moon is full. The first of the werewolf movies.]
Wolf Man, The. Directed by George Waggner. 1941. 70 minutes.
Cast: Lon Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers, Claude Rains, Maria Ouspenskaya, Ralph Bellammy, Patric Knowles, Warren William, Bela Lugosi, Fay Helm.
[Chaney is bitten by werewolf Lugosi. Torn between his good nature and the tainted dark side, he dreads the full moon when he goes berserk slaying animals in the zoo and people who get in the way with no knowledge of having done it except for the telltale bloody signs the next day. An old gypsy helps him to understand the problem and at least saves him from destroying the one he loves.]
I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Directed by Gene Fowle. 1957. 70 minutes. Script by Ralph Thornton.
Cast: Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime, Whit Bissell, Tony Marshall, Dawn Richard, Barney Phillips, Ken Miller, Cindy Robbins, Michael Rougas, Robert Griffin, Joseph Mell, Malcolm Atterbury, Eddie Marr, Vladmir Sokoloff, Louis Lewis, S. John Launer, Guy Williams, Dorothy Crehan.
[“Rebel Without a Cause meets The Curse of the Werewolf in this drive-in rock’n’roll horror. A troubled young man (pre-Bonanza Landon, in his first feature film appearance) suffers from teen angst and low production values, and falls victim to shrink Bissel. The good doctor turns out to be a bad hypnotist, and Landon’s regression therapy takes him beyond childhood into his, gasp, primal past, where he sprouts a premature beard and knuckle hair. Misconstrued and full of terrible longings, the hairy highschooler is understood only by girlfriend Lime and misunderstood hair-sprouting teen viewers. Directorial debut of Fowler”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Curse of the Werewolf. Directed by Terence Fisher. GB 1961. 91 minutes.
Cast: Oliver Reed, Clifford Evans, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller, Anthony M. (Antonio Marghereti) Dawson, Michael Ripper.
[“Horror film about a 19th-century European werewolf that is renowned for its ferocious departure from the stereotypical portrait of the beast” –Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory. Directed by Richard Benson. 1961. 82 minutes. Also known as Lycanthropus and The Ghoul of School.
Cast: Barbara Marsac.
[Girls’ school headmaster becomes lycanthropic at night.]
The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman. Directed by Leon Klimovsky. 1970. 82 minutes.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Gaby Fuchs, Barbara Capell, Patty Shepard, Valerie Samarine, Julio Pena, Andres Resino.
[This Spanish wolfman teams up with two female students in search of a witch’s tomb where he hopes to be rid of his ailment. She turns out to be more than a witch. Also known as Blood Moon.]
Werewolf on Wheels. Directed by Michel Levesque. 1971. 85 minutes.
Cast: Stephen Oliver, Severn Darden, Donna Anderson, Duece Barry, Billy Gray, Barry McGuire.
[A group of bikers are turned into werewolves by means of a Satanic spell.]
Werewolf of Washington. Directed by Milton Moses Ginseberg. 1973. 90 minutes.
Cast: Dean Stockwell, Biff Maguire, Clifton James.
[“Stockwell is a White House press secretary with a problem — he turns into a werewolf. And bites the President, among others. Sub-plot involves a mad scientist who operates a secret monster-making lab in a White House bathroom. Occasionally engaging horror spoof and political satire made during Watergate era”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
An American Werewolf in London. Directed by and written by John Gray 1981. 97 minutes. Music by Elmer Bernstein.
Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Brian Glover, David Schofield.
[“Strange, darkly humorous version of the classic man-into-wolf horror tale became a cult hit. Two American college students (Naughton and Dunne) backpacking through England are viciously attacked by a werewolf one foggy night. Dunne is killed but keeps appearing (in progressively decomposed form) before the seriously wounded Naughton, warning him of impending werewolfdom when the moon is full. Dunne advises suicide. Seat-jumping horror and gore, highlighted by intensive metamorphosis sequences orchestrated by Rick Baker, are offset by the wry humor, though the shifts in tone don’t always work. Great moon songs permeate the soundtrack, including CCR’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
The Howling. Directed by Joe Dante. 1981. 91 minutes. Written by John Sayles and Terrence H. Winkless. Music by Pino Donaggio.
Cast: Dee Wallace Stone, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Balaski, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Slim Pickens, Elisabeth Brooks, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller.
[“A pretty television reporter takes a rest at a clinic and discovers slowly that its denizens are actually werewolves. Crammed with inside jokes, this horror comedy pioneered the use of the body-altering prosthetic make-up (by Rob Bottin) now essential for on-screen man-to-wolf transformations”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever. See five sequels below.]
The Wolfman. Directed by Worth Keeter. 1982. 91 minutes.
Cast: Earl Owensby, Kristina Reynolds.
[Set in 1910, a man learns he has inherited his family’s curse and goes on a rampage.]
The Company of Wolves. Directed by Neil Jordan. 1984. 95 minutes. Screenplay by Angela Carter and Neil Jordan.
Cast: Sarah Patterson (Rosaleen/Red Ridinghood), Angela Lansbury (Granny), David Warner (Father), Tesse Silberg (Mother), Georgia Slowe (sister Alice), Graham Crowden (Old Priest), Shane Johnstone (Amorous Boy), Brian Glover (Amorous Boy’s Father), Susan Porrett (Amorous Boy’s Mother), Kathryn Pogson (Young Bride), Stephen Rea (Young Groom), Micha Bergese (Huntsman), Dawn Archibald (Witch Woman), Richard Morant (Wealthy Groom), Danielle Dax (Wolf Girl), Vincent McClaren (Devil Boy), Ruby Buchanan (Dowager), Jimmy Gardner (Ancient), Roy Evens (Eyepatch), Edward Marksen (Lame Fiddler), Jimmy Brown (Blind Fiddler).
[“Once upon a time, young Rosaleen was dreaming of an Arcadian past when Granny would tell grim tales of once upon a time when little girls should beware of men whose eyebrows meet in the middle and who are hairy on the inside … And in those dark days, fear accompanied desire and beauty was wed with the beast … The characters in Jordan’s film of Angela Carter’s story inhabit a magical, mysterious world of cruelty and wonder, rarely seen in cinema. In tales within tales within tales, dream is reality, wolves are human, and vice-versa. Rarely has this Gothic landscape of the imagination been so perfectly conveyed by film; there is simply a precise, resonant portrayal of a young girl’s immersion in fantasies where sexuality is both fearful and seductive. Like all the best fairy-tales, the film is purely sensual, irrational, fuelled by an immense joy in story-telling, and totally lucid. It’s also a true original, with the most beautiful visual effects to emerge from Britain in years”–Geoff Andrew for Time Out. As in Angela Carter’s story Tiger’s Bride, Beauty ends up transformed into Beast’s form; she gets there through the understanding of her mother who counsels her in experience and wards off her father’s murderous shot. Beauty wounds Beast, as in Eros and Psyche’s story, but she has been wounded too; they come to a kind of understanding of terror and joy in each other through protective and aggressive stories after Granny has been dispensed with. Most of the insights are conducted through the adolescent girl’s dreams; even so, the awakening to sexual awareness is violently terrifying and, in the last shots of the movie, precariously ambiguous.]
Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf. 26 minutes. 1985.
Cast: Lanie Kazan and Melba Moore.
[Based on a book by Gene DeWeese. At age 13 Walt Cribbens has an unusual problem. Hair is beginning to grow on him and, though bullies, especially the Chief of Police’s kinsman, he feels stronger and more determined to stand up for himself. He is encouraged by his best friend Cindy. A series of burglaries seem about to be pinned on him when he discovers who is behind them all. Not only does he develop hair and courage, he is transformed into a wolf for two minutes, whereby he can terrify his enemies back. At the end he discovers that his parents are werewolves too, which helps to make it alright.]
The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf. Directed by Philippe Mora. 1985. 91 minutes.
Cast: Sybil Danning, Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Marsha Hunt, Reb Brown, Ferdinand “Ferdy” Mayne.
[A policeman whose brother had been victim of a werewolf in the first Howling (1981) decides to investigate the castle where the death occurred but gets mangled for his good intentions.]
The Howling 3: The Marsupials. Directed by Philippe Mora. 1987. 94 minutes.
[“Australians discover a pouch-laden form of lycanthrope. Third Howling (surprise), second from Mora and better than his first”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Curse of the Queerwolf. Directed by Mark Pirro. 1987. 90 minutes.
Cast: Michael Palazzolo, Kent Butler, Taylor Whitney.
[A man is bitten in the butt by a gay werewolf and turns into the title character.]
The Howling 4: The Original Nightmare. Directed by John Hough. 1988. 94 minutes.
Cast: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Weiss, Anthony Hamilton, Susanne Severeid, Lamya Derval.
[“A woman novelist hears the call of the wild while taking a rest cure in the country. This werewolf tale has nothing to do with the other sequels”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
My Mom’s a Werewolf. Directed by Michael Fischa. 1988. 90 minutes. Written by Mark Pirro. Music by Barry Fasman and Dana Walden.
Cast: Susan Blakely (Leslie Shaber), John Saxon (Harry Thropen), Katrina Caspery (Jennifer Shaber), John Schuck (Howard Shaber), Diana Burrows (Stacey Pubah), Ruth Buzzi (Madame Gypsy), Marcia Wallace (Peggy), Marilyn McCoo (Celia Celica, reporter), Geno Silva (Dr. Rod Rodriguez), Lucy Lee Flippen (Nurse Mammosa), Lou Cartell (Butcher, Marbo the Dog.
[Bored and ignored Mrs. Shaber stops to buy a flea collar and is approached by a hypnomaster werewolf seeking a mate. Jennifer, her daughter, and Stacey, Jennifer’s horror freak friend, witness what they take to be an affair. With advice from Mme Gypsy Jennifer manages to save mom from becoming permanently a werewolf, killing the family intrusive monster, but not without becoming a potential victim herself.]
The Howling 5: The Rebirth. Directed by Neal Sundstrom. 1989. 99 minutes.
Cast: Philip Davis, Victoria Catlin, Elizabeth She, Ben Cole, William Shockley.
[The lycanthropic malady recurs in several castles to diverse people scattered about Europe as the evil hunts people down.]
The Howling 6: The Freaks. Directed by Hope Perello. 1990. 102 minutes.
Cast: Brendan Hughes, Michelle Matheson, Sean Gregory Sullivan, Antonio Fargas, Carol Lynley, Jered Barclay, Bruce Martyn Payne.
[“Hideous werewolf suffers from multiple sequels, battles with vampire at freak show, and discovers that series won’t die. Next up: Howling 7: The Nightmare that Won’t Go Away”–Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever.]
Wolf. Directed by Mike Nichols. 1994. 125 minutes. Written by Wesley Strick and Jim Harrison. Music by Ennio Morricone.
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan, Christopher Plummer, Richard Jenkins, Eileen Atkins, David Hyde Pierce, Om Puri, Ron Rifkin, Prunella Scales.
[Journalist Will Marshall (Nicholson) is accidentally bitten by a werewolf when his car breaks down on a fishing trip. Will discovers that he has heightened powers and manages to thwart a power takeover of the newspaper. But, in a tussle with his wife’s lover, bites him. Meanwhile Will becomes attracted to Michelle Pfeiffer, an environmentally alert heiress (the Boss’s daughter) with a good Jungian understanding of animal nature, and she in turn is attracted to him. Will’s wife is killed by a werewolf, and Michelle is uncertain but that Will might have done it. But as she locks Will in a barn and goes to the police, she discovers at the station that the rival is the villain, and rushes back to warn Will who has vowed to beat this thing in his blood by means of an amulet he obtained from a wise old Indian. But when the villain tries to kill Michelle Will reverts and kills the villain to save his girl. Doomed now to permanent wolfdom Will flees to the woods. Michelle provides him with an alibi and, in her mind at least, heads for the woods to become a suitable mate for wolfy Will.]
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST OPERAS AND MUSICALS:
Beauty and the Beast. Script by Linda Woolverton. Music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashlin. Directed by Robert Jess Roth. Produced by Robert McTyre. Costume design by Ann Hould-Ward. Makeup for Beast by hair designer David H. Lawrence and prosthetics by John Dodds. James Falk, electromechanical effects. John Hennessey, computers. Natasha Katz, lighting designer. Jeremiah J. Harris, production supervisor. New York previews beginning March 9; opening at the Palace Theater, New York, 18 April 1994.
Cast: Tom Bosley (Maurice, Belle’s Father), Susan Egan (Belle), Terrence Mann (Beast), Burke Moses (Gaston), Kenny Raskin (Lefou), Gary Beach (Lumiere), Heath Lamberts (Cogsworth), Beth Fowler (Mrs. Potts), Sarah Soley Shannon (BeggarWomen/Enchantress).
[The Disney Corporation’s first attempt to convert one of their animated movies into a musical; as part of this major corporate move they have renovated the Palace Theater, with state and federal assistance, toward the reclaiming of derelict midtown. Trial run at Theater Under the Stars, Houston. New songs include “You’re All I’ve Got” (Maurice and Belle), Gaston’s Proposal Song (Gaston and Belle), “If I Can’t Love Her” (Beast), “Is This Home” (Belle), “Maison de Lune” (Gaston, Lefou, Monsieur Dark the asylum keeper), and “Human Again,” by Howard Ashlin (Beast). In “If I Can’t Love Her” Beast laments his twisted face, his tortured shape, his utter blindness within and his hopelessness and helplessness “as my dream dies, / as the time flies, / Love but a lost illusion.” Record setting marketing campaign prior to the opening. Although the reviews of the production in Time Magazine and Newsweek were mainly negative, ticket sales have been vigorous and the venture deemed a commercial success. For videotape on the making of the musical from the movie see Beauty and the Beast Goes To Broadway, underMovies and TV.]
Glass, Philip. La Belle et la Bête. Opera premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Conducted by Michael Riesman. December, 1994.
[An Opera that melds music, poetry, drama, dance, and stagecraft into a glorious spectacle. Using a seven-piece band of winds and synthesizers, along with the whole of Cocteau’s 1946 film, the opera unfolds beneath the screen with Alexandra Montano (la Belle), Hallie Neill, Gregory Purnhagen (la Bete), and Zheng Zhou, Michael Walsh, in his review (Time Dec. 19, 1994, p. 72), finds the opera to be “remarkable not only in conception but also in execution, brimming with freshets of melody and surging with Wagnerian power in conjuring up a magic kingdom …. Like Cinderella, la Belle dotes on her ineffectual father and is cordially loathed by her two homely sisters, Félice and Adélaide.”]
Hill, Ken. The Phantom of the Opera: A Musical Comedy. Music by Verdi, Gounod, Offenbach, Mozart, Weber, Donizetti, Boito. Originally produced in the West End in 1984; first produced in America at Theatre on the Square in San Francisco in 1988.
Cast: Jammes (a ballerina), Richard (new manager), Raoul (his son), Rémy (his assistant), Debienne (first to be killed), Mephistopheles, Stagehand, Faust, Madam Giry, Christine Daae, La Carlotta, Phantom, Groom, Grave Digger, Lisette, Old Man, The Persian, Dominique, Mauclair, Chorus Girl, Priest.
[Based on Leroux. Verges on burlesque with clever travesties from various operas, but especially Faust, which the company is trying to perform. Andrew Lloyd Webber helped with the original production, then was to collaborate on a remake, with more original music. But instead of collaborating he surprised Hill with an operatic musical of his own.]
Planché, J. R. Beauty and the Beast: A Grand, Comic, Romantic, Operatic, Melodramatic, Fairy Extravaganza in Two Acts. London: G. Berger, 1841.
Puccini, Giacomo. Turandot. 1924. Libretto by Adami and Simoni. N.b., three videotapes are available: (1) The Arena di Verona production (1983), with Maurizio Arena conducting, starring Ghena Dimitrova, Nicola Marinucci, Cecilia Gasdia, and Ivo Vinco; costume designer Nana Cecci, set designer Luciano Rucceri, producer Guiliano Montaldo. Chorus and Orchestra of the Arena di Verona. 116 minutes. (2) A Vienna State Opera production (1983), with Lauren Maazel conducting.
Cast: Eva Marton (Turandot), Jose Carreras (Calaf), and Katia Ricciareli (Liu). Vienna Boys Choir. (3) New York Metropolitan Opera production (1988), with James Levine conducting, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, choreography by Chiang Ching. Starring Eva Marton (Turandot), Placido Domingo (Calaf), Leona Mitchell (Liu), Paul Plishka (Timur), Hugues Cuenod (Altoum), Brian Schemayder (Ping), Allan Glassman (Pang), Anthony Lacuira (Pong).
[A beautiful woman made monstrous by hatred is transformed by love.]
Simon, Robert A. Beauty and the Beast: An Opera in One Act for the Music of Vittorio Giannini. New York: G. Ricordi and Co., 1951.
Webber, Andrew Lloyd. The Phantom of the Opera. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. 1986.
[Prologue: The stage of the Paris Opera, 1905 (an auction is in progress & Raoul bids on a strange music box; a great chandelier is auctioned off. Raoul thinks back to his youth then the chandelier hung in the Opera House — Auctioneer, Raoul & Company). Overture.
ACT ONE–Paris 1861. Scene 1: The dress rehearsal of ‘Hannibal’ (Think of Me — Carlotta, Christine & Raoul); Scene 2: After the Gala (Angel of Music–Christine & Meg); Scene 3: Christine’s dressing room (Little Lotte … The Mirror … Angel of Music–Raoul, Christine & Phantom); Scene 4: The labyrinth underground (The Phantom of the Opera–Phantom & Christine); Scene 5: Beyond the lake (The Music of the Night–Phantom); Scene 6: Beyond the lake, next morning (I Remember & Stranger Than You Dreamt It–Christine and Phantom); Scene 7: Backstage (Magical Lasso–Buquet, Meg, Mme Giry & Ballet Girls); Scene 8: The managers’ office (Notes & Prima Donna–Firmin, André, Raoul, Carlotta, Giry, Meg & Phantom); Scene 9: A performance of ‘Il Muto’ (Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh–Carlotta & Company); Scene 10: The roof of the opera house (Why Have You Brought Me Here & Roaul, I’ve Been There–Raoul & Christine; All I Ask of You–Raoul & Christine; All I Ask of You (Reprise)–Phantom).
ACT TWO–Six months later. Scene 1: The staircase of the opera house, New Year’s Eve (Masquerade & Why So Silent–Full company); Scene 2: Backstage (Raoul and Giry); Scene 3: The managers’ office (Notes & Twisted Every Way–André, Firmin, Carlotta, Piangi, Raoul, Christine, Giry, & Phantom; Scene 4: A rehearsal for ‘Don Juan Triumphant’ (Christine, Piangi, Reyer, Carlotta, Giry & Company); Scene 5: A graveyard in Perros (Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again–Christine; Wandering Child & Bravo, Monsieur–Phantom, Christine & Raoul); Scene 6: Before the première (Raoul, André, Firmin, Firemen & Phantom); Scene 7: ‘Don Juan Triumphant’ (Carlotta, Piangi, Passarino & Company; Point of No Return–Phantom & Christine); Scene 8: The labyrinth underground (Down Once More & Track Down This Murderer–Full company); Scene 9: Beyond the lake (Christine, Phantom, Raoul, & Company). [Ultimately, Beauty professes her love to Beast, and he disappears.] [Cast for the original Harold Prince production: Michael Crawford (Phantom), Sarah Brightman (Christine Daaé), Steve Barton (Raoul, Vicompt De Chagny), John Savident (Monsieur Firmin), David Firth (Monsieur Andre), Rosemary Ashe (Carlotta Guidicelli), Mary Millar (Madame Giry). For discussion of productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical see Perry, The Complete Phantom, under Criticism.]
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC:
Ravel, Maurice. “Beauty and the Beast.” From The Mother Goose Suite. 1920.
[First written for four hands, then for orchestra, with beast initially speaking through the contra bassoon but ultimately being transformed to the violin. Beauty is depicted in the opening waltz with a sort of music box motif under which beast rumbles Caliban-like. Then some interaction of motifs, rising tension, and finally a shimmering transformation as Beast’s motif is appropriated in the higher registers.]
[Based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale, above.]
Beauty and the Beast Ballet. An ABC Films release, 1966. Produced by Gordon Waldear. Featuring the San Francisco Ballet, music by Tchaikovsky, choreography by Lew Christensen, narration by Haley Mills. With Robert Gladstein, Lynda Meyer, David Anderson. Color. 50 minutes.
The Magic Rose: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast. Choreographed by Edward Henkel. New York Theatre Ballet. Music by Edward Elgar. Costumes and sets by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith. 60 minutes. Premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, February 1994. Performed in twenty cities in America in 1994.
Cast: Sylvia Nolan (Ariadne/Beauty), Jack Hansen (Prince Theseus), and Elmar Streeter (Beast).
[Henkel combines components of Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s story of Beauty and the Beast with the ancient Greek story of the Minotaur in the labyrinth. Beauty (Ariadne) comes to love the Prince trapped inside the Beast’s body and, through her love, succeeds in transforming the Minotaur into Theseus.]
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST PANTOMIME:
[The entries in this section are arranged chronologically. See Alvin H. Marill, More Theatre: Stage to Screen to Television, 2 vols. (Metuchen, N.J., & London, 1993), for listing of 19th and early 20th century Beauty and the Beast productions. An asterisk marks descriptions of play productions that are based on Marill’s notations.]
Beauty and the Beast: A Play, by James Robinson Planche. Covent Garden, London. Opened 4 March 1841.
Cast: Madame Vestris (Beauty) and Charles James Mathews (The Beast).
[Based on Mme. Leprince de Beaumont. Performed as an afterpiece to Dion Boucicault’s London Assurance (Marill, p. 157).]
Beauty and the Beast. Olympic Theatre, New York City. Opened 23 January 1843. Produced and directed by William Mitchell. Music and lyrics by H. C. Timm and W. Alpers.
Cast: Mrs. H. C. Timm (Beauty), Charles M. Walcot (The Beast/Prince Axor), Mary Taylor (Dressylinda), Mrs. Mossop (Marygolda), Jack Nickinson (Croton Pump, Esq.), William Mitchell (John Quill), Miss Clark (Queen of the Roses), Miss Singleton (Zephyr), Master Wood (Black Cupid).
[14 performances. The play reopened 15 September 1843, at the Olympic with Mary Taylor as Beauty, James C. Dunn as The Beast, and William Mitchell as John Quill.]
Beauty and the Beast. Bowery Theatre, New York City. Opened 28 January 1843. Produced and directed by James Wallack.
Cast: Mrs. Ellen Herbert (Beauty), James Wallack (The Beast), C. Hill (Sir Aldgate Pump), W. F. Gates (John Quill), Mrs. C. Hill (Queen of the Roses).
Beauty and the Beast. Broadway Theatre, New York City. Opened 10 December 1855. Produced and directed by George Washington Marsh.
Cast: Mary Guerineau Marsh (Beauty), Louise Marsh (The Beast), Carrie Marsh (Aldgate Pump), George Washington Marsh (John Quill), Georgina Marsh (Marygolda), Helen Brooks (Dressylinda), Miss Saome (Queen of the Roses), Cora Ames (Zephyr).
Beauty and the Beast: A Pantomime by Frank Green. Pavilion Theatre, London. Opened 26 December 1877. Produced by Morris Abrahams. Directed by Isaac Cohen.
Cast: Marion Webster (Beauty), Mr. Holdsworth (The Beast), J. F. Alexander (Harlequin), Rose Alexander (Columbine), Arthur Alexander (Pip), Johnny Alexander (Clown), Mr. Gibbs (Pantaloon), Gus Connolly (John Quill), H. Lynn, J. Wilton, G. English, J. Cifion, A. Wolff, Katie Cohn, Polly and Constance Alexander (Dancers).
Beauty and the Beast: A Pantomime by William Yardley and Augustus Harris. Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Opened 26 December 1890. Produced and directed by Augustus Harris. Scenery by Robert Caney, T. E. Ryan, Kautsky, William Perkins. Costumes by Edel and Russell, Auguste, Harrison, M. Landolf, Miss Palmer. Chorus master Stedman. Choreography by John d’Auban. Musical director P. Bucalossi. Stage manager, Arthur P. Collins.
Cast: Belle Bilton (Beauty), John d’Auban (The Beast), Harry Nicholls (Mary Anne), Jane Herbert Campbell (Sarah), Charles Wallace (Monmorency), George Temple (Old Bogie), Tom Pleon (McSkipper), Dan Leno (Lombarde Streete), Fred Walton (Private Block), J. Griffiths (Maxwelton), F. Griffiths (Sheepshead), Master Coleman (Lt. Gen. Shrimp), Terriss (Postman), Vesta Tilley (King Courage), Florence Paltzer (Fairy Rosebud), Retta Walton (Vivandiere), Emma d’Auban (Fairy Chamberlain), Ethel Salisbury (King’s Chamberlain), Baton Nicholls (Field Marshal), C. Mabel Coates (Major Key), Daisy Baldry (Lieutenant Wright), Cissy St. George (Field Marshalless Baton), Leopold Troupe (Envy/Hatred/Malice/ Slander/Lying), Sybil Grey (King of Diamonds), Violet Ellicott (Maj. Gen. Plume), Violet Granville (Captain Jinks), C. Benton (Lt. Col Filbert), A. Moore (Ensign Flagg), Whimsical Walker, Harry Leopold, Fred Leopold, Joseph Leopold, Georgina Cook (Harlequinade).
Beauty and the Beast. Theatre Royal, Glasgow. Christmas season 1902–1903. Directed by F. W. Wyndham. A Howard and Wyndhams Production.
Cast: Jessie Merrilees, Dorah Dichl, Zena Dare, Nelly Stratton, Wilkie Bard, Horace Mills, James Dixon, Heeley and Meeley, Harry Lupino, Lupino Lane.
Beauty and the Beast. King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. January 1909. Presented by Fred Granville. A Howard and Wyndhams Production.
Cast: Three Sisters Sprightly, Leslie Austin, Daleno and Stream, Hilda de Gray, Nora Kebble, Nellie Wood, Mademoiselle Benita, Sidney Milton, Sam Foster, Juan Wood.
Beauty and the Beast: A Pantomime by Walter and Frederick Melville. Lyceum Theatre, London. Opened 26 December 1928. Directed by Walter and Frederick Melville. Music by Charles J. Moore.
Cast: Jean Colin (Beauty), Dorothy Seacombe (The Beast/Prince Hal), Emie Mayne (Pickles), Fred Yule (Leander), Frank Attree (Hook o’Crook, A Witch), Gladys Hall (Florizel), Molly Vyvyan (Lord Ferdinand), Hermione Damborough (Spirit of the Rose), Albert Letine (Mignonette), Dick Tubb (Marigold), Archie McCraig (Sergeant Brown), J. Edwards-Martin (Sebastian), Lionel Scott (Captain of the Guard), Louis Gaye (Bundle), Olive Layton (Robbie), Eileen Dagmar (Silverstone), Joe Bogannay (Dr. Addlepate), Errol Addison (Sunray), Gertrude Mitrenga (The Butterfly), Marjorie Lancaster (Goodheart), Peggy Walton (Wormwood), Leslie Dale (Jack), Ivy Wensley (Jill), Austin and Scott (Felstead), Margie Noel (Jasmine), Lois Fuller (The Flame), Bogannay Troupe (The Collegiates), Zellini (The Witch’s Butler).
Beauty and the Beast: A Pantomime by Frederick Melville. Lyceum Theatre, London. Opened 27 December 1937. Directed by Frederick Melville. Music by Conrad Leonard.
Cast: Anne Leslie (Beauty), Jill Esmond (The Beast/Prince Hal), Albert Murdon (Pickles), Norman Greene (Leander), Noel Carey (Hook o’Crook, a Witch), Olive Green (Florizel), Molly Vyvyan (Lord Ferdinand), Hermione Damborough (Spirit of the Rose), Johnny Cavanaugh (Mignonette), Clarkson Rose (Marigold), Sydney Claydon (Mother Shipton), Betty Bucknell (Snowflake), Billy Purvis (Caesar), Newman and Wheeler with Yvonne (Saturn, Mars, and Venus), Wally Mark (Tiddles), Dick Edwards (Herr von Pumpernickle), Vivian Ashdown (Scout Trumpeter), William Norman (Lord Chief Constable), June Melville (Sunray), Dave and Joe O’Gorman (Eustace and Percy), Roberta Pelley (Spirit of Joy), Billy Raw (Fido), D’Amzel (Consomme), The Two Jays (Hoppem and Coppem).
[An adaptation of the 1928 production, with new music.]
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Nicholas Stuart Gray. Mercury Theatre, London. Opened 21 December 1949. Directed by Mary Morris.
Cast: Carol Marsh (Beauty), John Byron (The Beast/Prince), Hugh Pryce (Mr. Hodge), Barry McGregor (Mickey), Jill Reymond (Jessamine), June Rodney (Jonquiline), Donald Finlay (Mr. Clement).
[This play enjoyed great popularity, was printed commercially, and often was revived. See below.]
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Nicholas Stuart Gray. Westminster Theatre, London. Opened 19 December 1950. Directed by Charles Hickman.
Cast: Patricia Dainton (Beauty), Alan Badel (The Beast/Prince), John Byron (Mr. Hodge), Alaric Cotter (Mikey), Jill Raymond (Jessamine), Ann Summers (Jonquiline), Donald Finlay (Mr. Clement).
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Nicholas Gray. Mercury Theatre, London. Opened 22 December 1952. Directed by Nicholas Stuart Gray.
Cast: Jane Griffiths (beauty), Shaun O’Riordan (The Beast/Prince), Hugh Pryse (Mr. Hodge), Christine Finn (Mickey), Rosemary Wallace (Jessamine), Elizabeth Regan (Jonquiline), Donald Finlay (Mr. Clement).
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Nicholas Stuart Gray. Embassy Theatre, London. Opened 22 December 1953. Directed by Chloe Gibson.
Cast: Helena Hughes (Beauty), Kenneth Haigh (The Beast/Prince), Richard Goolden (Mr. Hodge), Leon Garcia (Mikey), Margaret Dale (Jessamine), Cora Bennett (Jonquiline), Nigel Arkwright (Mr. Clement).
Beauty and the Beast: A Fairy Extravaganza by J. R. Planche. Players’ Theatre, London. Opened 20 December 1955. Directed by Don Gemmell.
Cast: Sonia Graham (Beauty), Anthony Newlands (The Beast), Margaret Ashton (Queen of the Roses), Ormerod Greenwood (Sir Aldgate pump), John Harmer (Zephyr), Patricia Rowlands (Marygolda), Sally Miles (Dressalinda), Michael Darbyshire (John Quill), Beverley Richards, Yvonne Olena, Hazel Wiscombe, Barbara Viner (Rose Fairies); Harlinquinade: John Harmer (Harlequin), Barbara Viner (Columbine), Brian Tipping Gold (Clown), Ormerod Greenwood (Pantaloon), Michael Darbyshire (Toff), Beverley Richards (Page), Hazel Whitcombe (Dog), Yvonne Olena (Fairy).
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Nicholas Stuart Gray. Arts Theatre Club, London. Opened 23 December 1959. Directed by Ruth Atkinson and Nicholas Stuart Gray. Settings by Joan Jefferson Farjeon.
Cast: Lesley Nunnerley (Beauty), Michael Atkinson (the Beast/Prince), Jonathan Meddings (Mr. Hodge), Dudy Nimmo (Mikey), Julia Puccini (Jessamine), Gillian Muir (Jonquiline), Stanley Beard (Mr. Clement).
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Nicholas Stuart Gray. Hampstead Theatre Club, London. Opened 20 December 1965. Directed by Hywel Jones. Setting by Dawn Pavitt.
Cast: Maureen O’Brien (Beauty), David Andrews (The Beast/Prince), Robert Eddison (Mr. Hodge), Richard Howard (Mikey), Jane Bond (Jessamine), Lucinda Curtis (Jonquiline), John Frawley (Mr. Clement).
Beauty and the Beast, based on the story by Mme. Leprince de Beaumont. Sydney (Australia) Opera House. Opened 26 December 1980. Directed by Louis Nowra and Rex Cramphon. Produced by the Festival of Sydney and Sydney theatre Company.
Cast: Michele Fawdon (Beauty), Brandon Burke (The Beast), Vic Rooney (Father), Andrew Tighe (George), Kerry Walker (Felicity), Janice Finn (Adelaide), Tony Mack (Eric), Kim Deacon (Statue).
Beauty and the Beast: A Play by Louise Page, Based on Mme. de Villeneuve’s 1740 Story. Old Vic Theatre, London. Opened 19 December 1985. Directed by Jules Wright. Settings by Annie Smart. Choreography by Jacky Lansley.
Cast: Joely Richardson (Beauty), Jack Klaff (Hew the Beast), Natasha Parry (Finagle). Cathryn Harrison (Mielle), Veronica Quilligan (Aephyr), Mark Tandy (Bear/Nossail), Terence Harvey (Bearkeeper/Duke/Argent), Souad Faress (Lady/Jen/Fairy/Sophy/Monkey/Pomfret), Philip Bretherton (Courtier/Boye/Simon), Jack Ellis (Soldier/Earl/Kit/Monkey), Tricia Kelly (Lady/Ann/Mother of the Fairies/Governess/ Clarice/Monkey), Marty Cruickshank (Hortense/Monkey).
Beauty and the Beast. King George’s Hall, Blackburn. Christmas season 1993–1994. Script by Julian Ochyra. Directed by Julian Ochyra and Steve Chappelle.
Cast: Rachel Oliver (Belle), Ross Newton (Phillipe/the Beast), Kim Hartman (Morgana the almighty witch), Maurice Blake (the father), Lesley Heyward (jealous Claudette), Filipa Jeronimo (Clarissa, the middle sister), Paul Read (Dunt The Goblin), Clare Hutchinson (Woofles the Dog).
[Belle is a kind of Cinderella figure with Dunt the Goblin as a sort of fairy godmother, i.e., the Buttons figure from Cinderella pantomimes, steering the romantic storyline toward its happy ending.]
Beauty and the Beast. Woodville Halls, Gravesend. Christmas season 1993–1994. Script by John Spillers Pantomime Company. Directed by Bev Berridge.
Cast: Andrew Wightman (Jacko the Jester), Kathy Dooley (Beauty), Graham Cole (the Prince/Beast), Kinny Gardner (Dame Di), Bev Berridge (evil Count Clarence Casanova), Frankie Whittle (French Franc, his five foot accomplice–the take-off here is on Gaston and his sidekick LeFou in Disney’s BB, a sort of King Rat beating poor Funny Frank on the head throughout the pantomime), Jackie Barnes (Kind Fairy), and the Lisa Jayn Dancers.
Beauty and the Beast. Courtyard Theatre, Leeds. Christmas season 1993–1994. Script by Stuart Paterson. Director Michael Birch.
Cast: Melanie Birch (Harriet, called Beauty), Jane Lancaster and Maria Esposito (excruciatingly awful, ugly sisters), Gillian Goodman (the nasty witch), and Beast.
[A number of Cinderella components in the production; Malanie Birch played a very successful Cinderella the year before.]
Beauty and the Beast: A Fairy-tale Thriller. Young Vic, London. 14 November 1996 to 1 February 1997. Adapted from Mme de Villeneuve and Directed by Laurence Boswell. Composer and Musical Director: Mick Sands. Designed by Anthony MacIlwaine.
Cast: Jan Pearson (Mother/1st Horse/White Witch/Palace Chorus), Jonathan Hackett (Father/Palace Chorus), Liz May Brice (Beauty/Palace Chorus), Darren Tunstall (Brother 1/Palace Chorus), Gary Sefton (Frother 2/Beast’s Man/Palace Chorus), Simon Gregor (Brother 3/Warrior Prince/Beast/Palace Chorus), Vicki Pepperdine (Sister 1/Beauty’s Maid/Queen/Palace Chorus), Sherry Baines (Sister 2/Beast’s Horse/Palace Chorus).
Synopsis of Scenery: Sc. 1: Prosperity. Sc. 2: Ruin. Sc. 3: A New Home. Sc. 4: A New Hope. Sc. 5: The Father’s Journey. Sc. 6: The Palace I: Father Explores the Palace; The Room; Dreams of Wealth and Power; The Rose is Picked; Breakfast. Sc. 7: The Return Journey. Sc. 8: Home Again. Sc. 9: Father Takes Beauty to the Beast. Sc. 10: The Palace II: The First Dream; Palace Joys I; The Room of Mirrors; The Room of Portraits; Dream II: The Room of Clowns; The Room of Meditation; Dream III: The Big Dream. Sc. 11: Beauty’s Journey Home. Sc. 12: Fatherly Advice. Sc. 13:Beauty’s Dilemma. Sc. 14: Beauty’s Dream of Beast. Sc. 15: The Palace of the Beast III.
[Boswell follows Mme de Villeneuve, giving Beauty dreams of the fair Unknown and a good witch counselor. The servants in the Palace are automatons. A bad witch encourages her to scorn Beast. The fair Unknown and the White Witch advise her not to trust what she sees. At the end Beauty advises the dying beast to see with more than his eyes. After the transformation, the Prince’s mother tells him he cannot marry Beauty because she is a merchant’s daughter. The White Witch explains that the “Queen” is not really the Prince’s mother but the wicked witch who slew his mother. He stabs the “Queen”; she is transformed into her old self and flees with threats of more curses. Beauty and the Prince marry, with the blessing of the White Witch.]
Beauty and the Beast: Walt Disney’s World on Ice. On tour Spring 1997. A Kenneth Field Production. Theatrical and Music Director: Jerry Bilik. Skating Director and Choreographer: Bob Paul. Costume Designer: Arthur Boccia. Scenic Designer: Robert Little. Lighting Designer: Joe Schweickert. Sound Design: Roger Gans. Disney Character Choreographer: Roy Luthringer. Associate Choreographer: Jill Shipstad Thomas.
Cast: Irina Boitchouk (Belle), Victor Baryshevtsev (Gaston), Valerei Artioukhov and Yulia Borissova (Tavern Pair/Wolves), Joey Daysog (Le Fou), William Shanks (Maurice), Mark Walker (The Beast).
Synopsis of Scenery: Prelude: Fun with Music (Mickey and Disney Friends introduce cast for “tale as old as time”). Act I: Sc. 1: Dawn in the Village; Sc. 2: Lost in the Forest; Sc. 3: The Beast’s Castle; Sc. 4: “Be our Guest.” Act II: Sc. 1: The Village Tavern; Sc. 2: Romance in Bloom; Sc. 3: The Angry Mob; Sc. 4: Love Conquers All.
Beauty and the Beast. Kings Head Theatre. 13 December 2017 to 6 January 2018. Laura Elmes Productions and Fat Rascal Theatre. Marti Webb, Narrator.
["She's grotesque. A possessive beast of a woman, to be sure. But look on the bright side, Beau: she's got a lovely personalitiy. Somewhere. Under all the fur.
A fairytale land, far, far away. A handsome young bookworm who always dreamt of more. A hideous beast, in her cursed castle... It's a tale as old as time, as you've never heard it before. This Christmas ... comes a big hairy dollop of festive fun. With a cast of five and an onstage musician, brace yourself for 90 minutes of boundless energy and musical madness as Fat Rascal Theatre explores whether fairtales really can come true - even when the princess doesn't quite fit the slipper. Join us for our brand new, gender-swapped parody of Beauty and the Beast. (from their website)]
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST PANTOMIME AND PLAYSCRIPTS:
The Beauty and the Monster: A Comedy from the French of Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de Saint Aubin, the Countesse de Genlis. Extracted from the Theatre of Education. Printed at Worcester, Mass., by Isaiah Thomas and Sold at his Book-Store. Boston: Isaiah Thomas, 1785.
Cook, C. R. Beastie and the Beaut: A Potted Panto-Parody. London: Samuel French, 1959.
Characters in order of appearance: The Narrator, Cuthbert, Beaut, Gert, Sarah, Papa, Fairies of the White Rose Tree (Roots, Stems, Leaves, Blossom), Honest John, and the Beastie. The Guest, who is merely a dancing-partner at the very opening should be doubled by the Narrator or Honest John, or may be omitted entirely.
Synopsis of Scenes: I: A room in Beaut’s home; II: The same; III: The grounds of the Beastie’s castle; IV: The same; V: A room in the Beastie’s castle; VI: The same.
Corner, Julia, and Alfred Crowquill. Beauty and the Beast: An Entertainment for Young People, the First of the Series of Little Plays for Little People. London: Dean & Son, 1854.
Cregan, David. Beauty and the Beast: A Pantomime. Book and Lyrics by David Cregan. Music by Brian Protheroe. London: Samuel French, 1988.
Characters in order of appearance: Dolores (a wicked fairy), King Tom (later the Beast), Candy (a good fairy), Snowdrop (her apprentice), Mr. James Smith (a rich old man), Ivy and Jacintha (his older daughters), Beauty (his youngest daughter), Mrs. Buller (the housekeeper), Arnold (the footman), Sir Simon Prettyface and Sir Thomas Funnywit (suitors).
Synopsis of Scenes: Act I: Sc. 1: A Coronation in Belldrovia; Sc. 2: The Smiths’ drawing-room; Sc. 3: The Horrid Hammock; Sc. 4: The Smiths’ little place in the country; Sc. 5: A forest grove; Sc. 6:The Courtyard of the Beast’s Castle in the Doom Laden Woods; Sc. 7: Dolores makes her point; Sc. 8: An unhappy event in the Smiths’ little place in the country; Sc. 9: Snowdrop asks for help; Sc. 10:The Courtyard of the Beast’s Castle. Act II: Prologue: The Horrid Hammock; Sc. 1: A wedding in the Smiths’ house; Sc. 2: Mr. Smith’s socks are pulled up; Sc. 3: The Courtyard of the Beast’s Castle; Sc. 4: Beauty’s bed; Sc. 5: Beauty’s bedroom in the Smiths’ house; Sc. 6: Dolores’s experiment; Sc. 7: The Courtyard of the Beast’s Castle.
Graves, Warren. Beauty and the Beast. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1982. First produced by Theatre 3, Edmonton, Canada. 5 December to 5 January 1979. Directed by Keith Digby. Design by Jack Boschman. Costumes by Kathryn Burns. Sound by Paul Moulton. Lighting by Luciano Iogna.
Cast: Warren Graves (Blotti), Nicole Evans (Jonquil), Kyra Harper (Rougi), Michael Ray Cunningham (The Beast), Carol Sinclair (Beauty), Steven Hilton (Manello).
[Synopsis: Act I, Sc. 1: Blotti the merchant finds himself in a dark, mysterious place where a single rose is illuminated in the alcove. Music and strange sounds haunt the place. As he speaks it seems an echo, but then the voice becomes that of Beast, who, he says, exists in Blotti’s ears and head. Beast supplies Blotti with food, but insists that he is not good. Blotti exclaims on the superb quality of the wine and cheese, but Beast says that the place is magic. On the outside the cheese would be bitter, the wine like vinegar. Blotti explains his being lost in the wood after his failed business venture; he also mentions his promises to his daughters. Beast shows him his daughters through a mirror: Jonquil is haughty; Rougi is less scornful, but has pretenses too. Beauty does all the work. Manello, a common man who loves Rougi, brings water to Beauty. She is kind. Beast examines Beauty and finds her to be a generous person–the one who might free him from the curse. He then gives great wealth to Blotti and the Key of Journeys. As Blotti leaves he takes the rose as well. Beast then demands either his life or his daughter. He tells his story to Blotti — how he refused the witch and sought beauty instead, and was cursed to dwell in his magical prison, outside of which he would be hunted down and killed as an animal, until beauty would rescue him. Blotti at first refuses to comply with Beast’s demands, but, knowing that he may keep the wealth, sets out for home: “I must provide for my children.”
[Sc. 2: Beast sits, looking sadly into the mirror. He sees Beauty with the rose. She is sad, having heard in the fields of the storms at sea. There is something her father has not told them. Jonquil appears in splendid finery; so too Rougi. There was even a suit for Manello amidst the finery. It’s like magic, but Beauty asks at what price. Blotti explains the taking of the rose; he will return to live as servant in Beast’s castle. Beauty insists that she is the one who must go. Act One, Sc. 3: Beauty enters an empty stage and is suddenly confronted with Beast, who asks her to marry him. She refuses. They discuss the relativity of beauty. He will not let her go. She must love him or all will be destroyed, himself included.
[Act II: Beauty brings in flowers, looking princess-like, and invites Beast to dine with her. Beast doesn’t know how. She teaches him. She would then walk in the garden with him. He resists for he does not know how to be gentle. She would teach him. They hear hunters and dogs outside. He shows her her family in the mirror. Jonquil is even more aggressive; Rougi tries to calm her. Manello is searching for Beauty. Unless he returns, none can go to the ball. Her father is ill, dying of grief at having lost Beauty. She will return. Beast watches her through the mirror and learns that she loves him. Jonquil hears Beauty tell of Beast’s gentleness, his wealth, and power. She steals the Key of Journeys and goes to him, offering to be his bride. He talks her out of it, helping her to understand what it is that she really loves. She returns, now a more responsible person. Manello steals the key and goes to slay Beast. Beast talks the situation through with him: he is not monstrous in his behavior, he desires release from his prison, he would welcome death, except that he has seen that Beauty loves him. He duels with Manello, always disarming him but returning his sword. They stop to drink. Beauty arrives but is denied access. She follows a trail of blood to the alcove. There she finds Beast dying, an arrow in his back. She declares her love, but he dies as she cradles him in her arms. Then he appears transformed behind her declaring that the spell has been broken by her love. He asks her again to marry him and she agrees.]
Gray, Nicholas Stuart. Beauty and the Beast: A Play for Children. Illustrated by Joan Jefferson Jarjeon. London: Oxford University Press, 1951; rpt. 1956, 1960, 1962, 1962, 1970, 1975. 1981 by Dobson Books Ltd.
Cast: Hodge (the wizard), Mikey (his nephew), the Prince, Mr. Clement (a merchant), Jane (Beauty), and her sisters Jessamine and Jonquiline.
Hughes, Ted. Tiger’s Bones, and Other Plays for Children. Illustrated by Alan E. Cober. New York: Viking Press, 1974.
[Includes “The Tiger’s Bones,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Sean the Fool, the Devil, and the Cats,” “Orpheus,” and “The Coming of the Kings.”]
Nozière, Fernand. Three Galant Plays: A Byzantine Afternoon, Beauty and the Beast, The Slippers of Aphrodite, trans. Clarence Stratton. New York: William Rudge, 1909.
West, Trudy. Beauty and the Beast: A Basic Pantomime in Three Acts. London: Samuel French, 1953.
Cast: Beauty, Benjamin Bountiful (her father), Jemima and Joy (her sisters), Batty (a butler), Frou-Frou (a dancing mistress), Marmaduke, Prince Ferdinand (the Beast), Matthew (his valet), and a chorus of servants, guests, farm workers and fairies of the White Rose.