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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 1946 Broadway revival of "Cyrano de Bergerac", starring José Ferrer, opened at the Alvin Theater in New York on October 8, 1946 and ran for 193 performances. Cyrano became Ferrer's most famous role, and the one he most often revived. See more »
In the scene in which Cyrano fights off "a hundred men" to save Ragueneau, a stunt double can be seen in some shots doubling for José Ferrer. 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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Although this is not my favorite Cyrano, either performance-wise or production-wise (that is saved for Derek Jacobi and the complete three hour Royal Shakespeare production - sadly no longer available on video), this is for the time it was produced a fine version. It is a mere hour and fifty minutes but at least five or ten of those minutes involved two interpolated fight/battle scenes and a new scene between Richelieu and his nephew not in the play so we are probably getting only 100 minutes of the original as opposed to its full 180 minute running time. For Ferrer it was the role of a lifetime (as was the King for Yul Brynner). His eloquent speaking voice and his wonderful balance of poetry, drama and comedy came together here to give us a classic performance, deservedly winning the Oscar. The other production values are not up to par and the Christian and Roxanne are rather poorly conceived and acted (Marc Singer and Marsha Mason remain the best in these roles in the 2-1/2 hour teleplay starring Peter Donat), but when we have one of the great Cyranos, why quibble. This is a must-see for Ferrer alone.
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