The only film record ever made of the original star of Rostand's famous play performing a scene from his most famous role. It is accompanied by a sound-on-cylinder recording of Coquelin's voice reciting one of Cyrano's speeches.
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The Royal Shakespeare Company's stage production of the story about the large-nosed swordsman/poet who writes love letters to Roxane, the woman he adores, to court her for the handsome ... See full summary »
Michael A. Simpson
France, 1640: Cyrano, the charismatic swordsman-poet with the absurd nose, hopelessly loves the beauteous Roxane; she, in turn, confesses to Cyrano her love for the handsome but tongue-tied Christian. The chivalrous Cyrano sets up with Christian an innocent deception, with tragic results. Much cut from the play, but dialogue not rewritten. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
There are fewer characters in the film than in the stage version or in other versions. This is not only because the play was cut for the film, but because four separate characters were combined into two. In the film, Cyrano's best friend Le Bret is a combination of Le Bret and Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, the Captain of the Gascony soldiers. And the cook Ragueneau in the film is a combination of himself and the alcoholic poet Ligniere, who, in the play, is the one who is threatened with an attack on him by a hundred men. See more »
In the film's opening scene, after Cyrano starts to leave the theatre along with the others, Roxane bids good night to DeGuiche and Valvert and seems to exit, but moments later she is seen watching Cyrano's duel in the theatre. We never see her re-enter. See more »
Thrice happy he who hides from pomp and power/ In sylvan shade or or solitary bower/ Where balmy zephyrs fan his burning cheeks...
Cyrano de Bergerac:
Clown! King of Clowns! Leave the stage at once!
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"Cyrano de Bergerac" is based on the play by Edmond Rostand about a swordsman and poet with a long nose who helps another man to win the woman he loves. The film's story is an abridged version of the play based on the famous English translation from Brian Hooker.
José Ferrer is excellent in the title role as Cyrano de Bergerac. He handles all aspects of the character well, from the sharp poetic dialogue to the reluctance in conveying his feelings to Roxane. The rest of the performances were respectable as well, though clearly the title role requires the most acting ability.
This film is criticized for its minimalist sets. Admittedly they never bothered me, but at times the film was excessively dark, especially during the combat scenes toward the end of the film.
The story is abridged, but for me the essential components of the story were there with clever verse of Hooker's translation and the tragedy and humor of Rostand's story. The swordplay scenes are believable, though not exceptional other than for Cyrano's ability to fight and compose poetry simultaneously. "Cyrano de Bergerac" is a solid adaptation of Rostand's play best known for a striking performance from José Ferrer.
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