BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
aka Panna a netvor
Dir. Juraj Herz, 1978
Czechoslovakia, 87 min.
In Czech with English subtitles
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A merchant gets lost and takes refuge in a half-ruined chateau in the middle of a forest. When he plucks a rose, the lord of the chateau appears- a monster resembling a giant bird of prey. The monster spares the merchant’s life, but on the condition that the man himself returns or sends one of his daughters. Only Julie is willing to save her father. Love changes the monster’s claws into human hands. Julie catches a glimpse of his body and, in horror, rejects his declaration of love. However, when the girl realizes that the monster, whom she actually loves, is dying without her, she returns to the castle…
Best known for Czech New Wave classics like THE CREMATOR and MORGIANA, director Juraj Herz brings a haunted, gothic atmosphere to the source material, creating perhaps the darkest-ever interpretation of the classic fairy tale.