Jean Cocteau's adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (originally released in France as La Belle et la Bête) stars Josette Day as Beauty and Jean Marais as the Beast. When a merchant (Marcel André) is told that he must die for picking a rose from the Beast's garden, his courageous daughter (Day) offers to go back to the Beast in her father's place. the Beast falls in love with her and proposes marriage on a nightly basis; she refuses, having pledged her troth to a handsome prince (also played by Marais). Eventually, however, she is drawn to the repellent but strangely fascinating Beast, who tests her fidelity by giving her a key, telling her that if she doesn't return it to him by a specific time, he will die of grief. The film features a musical score by Georges Auric.
by Hal Erickson synopsis