The Beast (La bête) (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Beast (La bête)1975

The Beast (La bête) (1975)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Beast (La bête) Photos

Movie Info

In this story, a young nobleman with an unusually strong interest in horse-breeding is being prepared to marry the wealthy niece of an American Cardinal. (Noble families which are growing impoverished try to marry off their younger generations to the heirs of wealthy commoners.) When the girl arrives at the nobleman's family mansion the day before the wedding, she is shown around the house and its treasures and is told the story of an ancestor's legendary battle against a beast. That night, she dreams of an erotic encounter with a man/beast which culminates in the death of the beast. On awakening, she finds that she has been in bed with her fiancé, who is now dead. When mysterious bandages on his person are removed, he is seen to have a tail and one hand which has turned animal-like. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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Sirpa Lane
as Romilda
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Critic Reviews for The Beast (La bête)

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

It's ridiculous; it's tacky; it's pretentious - but it's touched with something comically sublime.

December 3, 2014 | Full Review…

Thankfully, the film's hateful social commentary can be overlooked during its beguiling gonzo sex scenes.

December 2, 2014 | Full Review…

Seen from its own amoral perspective, aided by Borowczyk's remarkable sense of framing and rhythm, La Bête is that rare achievement, a truly erotic film.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Mr. Borowczyk's handling of his actors and his themes is sledgehammer-heavy, painfully in keeping with his evident contempt for humanity.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

La Bête at its best resembles Renoir crossed with Bunuel. At its worst it's like any pay-on-demand porn video available to clients in their hotel rooms.

December 15, 2003 | Full Review…

At times the film is also undeniably offensive, pandering to male fantasy, as is the pseudo-rape fantasies the film attributes to its female characters.

January 16, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Beast (La bête)


I never except to see this arthouse film is very erotic while it finally released straight to DVD, not in the cinema in 1975 because it was banned for 30 years - it's true! This attempts to mix a fairy tale, a sort of comedy of manners and faked explicit bestiality. This genuinely erotic film is wonderfully photographed and tasteless. The women here are stunningly beautiful and they are naked most of the time. Overall La Bête is a visual feast. Whether it be from the fetishistic attention to detail, or the visual motifs pregnant with information, director Walerian Borowczyk's masterpiece should be watched with care and attention.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


I wanted to like this a lot more than I did, but as a whole it came across as amateurish and juvenile, a weak framework being used as an excuse to show sexually "shocking" imagery. Great, now I've seen horses mate. Oh wow, they're showing that guy's johnson. Sex and sexual imagery can have meaning and can be truly daring, but there needs to be an artistically perceivable point. I found no such thing in The Beast, which largely left me just bored despite all the supposedly lustful ongoings.

Steve K
Steve K

Super Reviewer

The Beast (La bête) Quotes

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