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Beauty and the Beast (1978)

Panna a netvor (original title)
In this gothic rendition of the classic fairy tale, a merchant's youngest daughter is held prisoner by a mysterious winged beast.


Juraj Herz


Juraj Herz (screenplay), Ota Hofman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Zdena Studenková ... Julie
Vlastimil Harapes ... Netvor
Václav Voska ... Otec
Jana Brejchová ... Gábinka
Zuzana Kocúriková ... Málinka
Marta Hrachovinová Marta Hrachovinová ... Devecka
Vít Olmer ... Jezdec
Jan Preucil ... Jezdec
Frantisek Svacina Frantisek Svacina
Milan Hein ... Zenich
Karel Augusta ... Nápadník
Josef Laufer ... Zenych
Josef Langmiler ... Nápadník
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olga Fleischerová Olga Fleischerová
Miroslav Horácek Miroslav Horácek


A more horrific and gloomy version of The Beauty and the Beast. Julie is a bankrupt merchant's daughter who as the only one of the three daughters chooses to save her father's life by going to the Haunted Wood's Castle where she meets Netvor. He wants to kill her, but her beauty prevents him from that. Although she is forbidden to see him she starts to love him and the love rescues him from his curse. Written by Jiri Kacetl <kacetl@usa.net>

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Release Date:

October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauty and the Beast See more »

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Did You Know?


When the father is travelling with the painting, a crow flies out from behind a log. A crew member's hands can be seen throwing the bird upwards. See more »


Featured in Predcasná úmrtí: Bozský skeptik (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

A Dark, Foreboding and Beautiful Version
8 February 2014 | by bayardhilerSee all my reviews

We've all heard or seen the classic fairy tale of "Beauty and the Beast" but it's probably fair to say that you've never seen a version as beautifully done as this 1978's Czech adaptation. Absurd you say? Like most people who grew up in the 90's, I was long under the impression that the only film version of "Beauty and the Beast" that counted was Disney's 1991 animated classic. But then I came across this version. Directed by Juraj Herz, it sets the tale in a gloomy world where we met a well to do merchant who's expecting a large shipment of priceless jewels, diamonds, the whole works. But unfortunately for him, they are stolen in route by the dreadful beast that haunts the black forest. Desperate to provide for his three daughters, he sets out to the beast's decrypted mansion to sell a priceless painting of his late wife. At first, everything goes well until he makes the mistake of plucking a rose from the beast's garden. Through some creative camera work, we don't see the beast right away but from the father's reaction know that he is hideous and angry . The beast tells him that if he wants to live, one of his daughters must come on her own free will to be with him forever. Julie, his kindest and most caring daughter, volunteers to sacrifice herself for her father despite not knowing the grisly details. When she first meets the beast, she only knows his voice since he only talks to her from behind. Yet, Julie can't help but feel something tug at her heart and what follows is one of the most dark and surreal love stories ever put to screen.

Let me just state that this is probably not the best version to show little kids due to the fact that it may give them nightmares! The director here was clearly going for a creepy and atmospheric take on the legend with the dark lighting, eerie shooting locations, and winding camera angles from the beast's point of view. In other words, it's what a fairy tale is supposed to be before Hollywood waters it down for kids. Also the music score, with its foreboding organ chimes, goes a long way to establishing suspense and apprehension as well as beauty when that organ switches to piano. As for the beast himself, he manages to be both strange and ugly with his bird/beast hybrid look (Considering the time and country it was made in, the costume and make up is fairly realistic). Since this beast is capable of using magic, he has his own goblin servants, including one who sits in chandelier that moves up and down when it's time to serve drinks. But the movie is more than just a horror picture; it's also a love story, one that is told well by its writing and actors. The filmmakers are able to present the beast as a complicated being who is torn between his new found love for Julie and his inner animal, which is presented in the form of a malicious whisper. Despite being under a lot of make up, Vlastimil Harapes is able to shine through and make you care about his plight. As for Julie, she could not be any more lovelier than in the form of Zdena Studenkova, who cuts a fine figure but more importantly, a beautiful personality for her character. Unlike her materialistic sisters, she has an innocent heart and truly cares for her father's well being, not just his money. But can Julie overcome the beast's hideous face and can the beast repress his animal instinct once and for all so they can live happily ever after? It all leads up to heartfelt conclusion that teaches us it's not what's outside that counts, but what is inside. Sadly (Maybe because it was made behind the iron curtain) the movie does not seem to be all that available. The only place I can recommend would be you tube. As far as finding a DVD, it appears to only be available in Europe. But the you tube version does have English subtitles and is in fair viewing condition. With that said, I urge you to check it out this beautifully dark version of the tale while you still can and remember that a woman makes a man she loves beautiful.

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