Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast opens nationwide this weekend. The story of a woman who marries an animal who is then magically transformed into a man is a fairy tale with many roots going back to ancient folklore. You can say it's a "tale as old as time." The first English print version was published in 1757.
By November 1907, the phrase “beauty and the beast” was so well known that a headline in the Los Angeles Times used the phrase in jest. Rumormongers whispered the phrase in response to the scandalous trial of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle for the murder of Virginia Rappé, which ended in Arbuckle’s acquittal in 1922. And a play on the phrase appeared as the final line in the film King Kong (1933), when the showman Carl Denham observes, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast”—a line that was repeated word for word in the 2005 remake.