Cyrano, a Cadet from Gascony and a gifted poet, is unfortunately afflicted with a long ugly nose, which makes him everybody's laughing stock. His unprepossessing appearance does not prevent from having a heart though and he is madly in love with his beautiful cousin Roxane. But how could she love a man like him? Indeed, the one she is attracted to is a handsome young officer, Christian de Neuvillette. Ironically, being good-looking does not make Christian a man of letters, that's why he asks Cyrano to write love notes to Roxane for him. For want of anything better, Cyrano accepts. But the game is cruel since while the ugly one pours his heart and soul into the verses he writes,it is the nice-looking one that reaps all the benefits. The more hopelessly Cyrano loves his cousin, the more desperately Roxane loves Christian. And when Christian is killed during the siege of Arras, she is disconsolate. She will learn about who actually wrote the love letters she cherished only fourteen years... Written by
An extremely rare version of the all time most popular french play recently made available on DVD. Overall this is an average post-war french production with minimal settings are inexistent cinematography, except some fine and well taken cartoons accompanying Cyrano's description of his space travels. It nevertheless remains pleasant to watch thanks to the magic of the play and the outstanding performance of Claude Dauphin in Cyrano. The big problem is the rest of the cast - apart Pierre Bertin excellent as always as De Guiche - going from average (René Sarvil as Ragueneau)to atrocious (Roxane and Christian). As always in cinematographic adaptations of Cyrano (also alas sometimes on stage, even recently at the Comédie-Française), a number of lines are deleted to fit a 2-hour format. It is amusing that omissions differ between versions and to this point of view, I prefer this one to the dirty job made in Rappeneau's Cyrano with Depardieu. Barma's TV version of 1960 with Daniel Sorano in the leading role (also recently released on DVD) remains my favorite for the homogeneity of the cast but Claude Dauphin must be seen by connoisseurs.
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