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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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>
Edmond Rostand took much inspiration from Alexandre Dumas père's musketeer novels in writing his play. It takes place during the same historical period, the early 17th century, and involves come of the same characters. Dumas's hero, d'Artagnan, makes a brief appearance in the play, though he is frequently left out of film versions. Cyrano and d'Artagnan appear together in many stories published in the late 19th and early 20th century, and on film in Cyrano et d'Artagnan (1964), in which Jose Ferrer once again played Cyrano. The main antagonist of The Three Musketeers is Cardinal Richelieu. As portrayed in this film, the historical Comte de Guice, Antoine de Gramont III, was married to Richelieu's niece. His son, Armand de Gramont, succeeded him as Comte de Guiche, and is featured as a character in Dumas's latter Musketeer novels, Twenty Years After and The Viscount of Bragelonne (AKA The Man in the Iron Mask). He is portrayed as the closest friend of Raul, whose father is the Musketeer Athos. In the film The Fifth Musketeer (1979); based on The Viscount of Bragelonne, Athos is played by Jose Ferrer. 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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I first saw this movie in 1950 when it was first released. I was 15 and knew immediately that this was THE film for me. I saw it three times in 1950, and watch at least twice a year since I bought the video.
Jose Ferrer covers all the possible emotions an actor can in his role. He is comedic, brave, adventurous, romantic, self-sacrificing, elegant, pitiful, nimble-witted, gallant, prideful, humble, he fully recognizes his short-comings, and, most of all, he is true to his code of honor. This is the best job of acting that I have ever witnessed in the thousands of movies I have seen.
I must confess that although I give the supporting cast a B+ , I would have chosen different actors for most of the roles, including Roxanne. However, William Prince as Christian, rates an A-. (Perhaps, at the time, the producers didn't know what a classic they were creating and, therefore, didn't give as much thought to the casting as they might have otherwise.)
It is a shame that Ferrer never again approached the level of excellence he displayed in Cyrano. But this does not detract from the honor I pay this actor who gave a 15 year-old boy an example to follow: a REAL man.
The best scene in the film is when Cyrano is dying in the court-yard at the nunnery, and the best line in the film is when Cyrano challenges Death with his final words which sum up his life, ` and that is, my white plume.'
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