|Index||4 reviews in total|
This is the fabulous, and if memory serves, unabridged production of the
wonderful Brian Hooker translation of Cyrano. Even after all these years,
it stays in my memory. Gerard...Jose...great actors, but Peter Donat will
always and forever be Cyrano to me.
The production blends humor, romance, action, and drama in equal measure, and so many small moments that usually get missed in other productions of Cyrano stand out and shine.
The cast is legendary and all superb in their roles, and the physical production is faithful to its roots as a staged version produced by the A.C.T. in San Francisco while taking a satisfyingly minimal and non-intrusive approach to capturing the show on tape. And yet, it never feels like a taped play. Not to disagree with the gentleman who wrote a previous comment, but I do recall that the production is in full color.
Please...if there is anyone out there reading this with any influence...let this production be released on video so generation after generation will have the chance to see a Cyrano de Bergerac that can awaken the romantic in even the most jaded heart.
Marsha Mason's Roxanne is the most memorable of all that I have seen (seven so far). The character is usually played as a typical ingenue without any depth. Marsha breathes humanity into her - hers is the only Roxanne that has ever made sense. Why would such a complex man as Cyrano fall for Roxanne unless she were just as extraordinary, just as complex as he. Marsha has the intelligence to understand this - this is one production that deserves to be resurrected on video. Although in black and white, it is a beautiful production and Marsha radiates in what I believe is her best recorded performance.
I waited 25 years for this to be available on video. I was afraid that
the years had caused my remembrance of this production to be inflated,
but it was every bit as good as I remembered. Peter Donat was as good
as any Cyrano I've ever seen (WAY less "actorly" than Depardieu or
Ferer), and Marsha Mason leaves all other Roxannes in the dust. Why is
Roxanne always cast as a lightweight ingénue? Mason's Roxanne was a
woman of spirit and substance - a fitting match for Cyrano.
The previous comment that asks "...do they really help a viewer to feel emotion?" is way off base. When Marsha Mason as Roxanne laments "I have loved one man in my life, and I have lost him twice!" it breaks your heart.
I never miss a chance to see Cyrano performed, and I have seen a dozen productions of this great play, live and on film. This is the production against which all others should be measured.
After reading a play, almost any rendition does not satisfy the reader. This is because the actors in one's head do a nearly perfect job. However, most renditions at least make an attempt at being realistic. The 1972 Cyrano de Bergerac makes no such attempt. Instead it is fraught with overacting, leaving the viewer with an overall impression that the rendition is simply histrionic and nothing else. Granted, the actors make a very actor-y impression on the eye and the mind, but do they really help a viewer to feel emotion? Isn't that what acting is all about? Perhaps good for those who don't mind this sort of thing, but I didn't like it.
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