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Cyrano de Bergerac (1900)

 |  Drama, Short
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 105 users  
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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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Title: Cyrano de Bergerac (1900)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Benoit Constant Coquelin ...
Cyrano de Bergerac (as Coquelin ainé)
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Storyline

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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Drama | Short

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Trivia

Exhibited as part of a program of synchronized sound films at the Paris Exhibition of 1900. Despite the novelty of sound (and stencil color in some of the films), the program was not financially successful. See more »

Connections

Version of Cyrano de Bergerac (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wow--this one blew me away...
9 July 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film was included in the three DVD set "Saved From the Flames"--a collection of mostly ephemeral movies that have managed to avoid turning to powder, catching fire or melting--something that usually happened with the nitrate film stock used up through the 1950s.

Of all the very early films in this set, "Cyrano de Bergerac" is the most amazing to watch. That's because it consists of what seems impossible for the era--a color AND sound film! Despite popular belief that the first sound film was "The Jazz Singer", there were many earlier experiments using sound and moving pictures. However, like "Cyrano", the used a separate recording which created LOTS of problems. The most serious was actually synchronizing the sound and movement. The second was that the recording tended to wear out after just a few viewings. However, "Cyrano" was even more difficult, as it did not use a record but wax cylinders (records were not invented yet) and were even more prone to breaking. As for the color, well, it's not color like we know of it today. Instead, factories filled with women hand painted portions of each and every cel--sometimes a thousand or more! And, this needed to be done for each print! Sometimes the result was blotchy and gross and sometime, with "Cyrano", it looks marvelous. Frankly, this is the most technically amazing film I have seen of the era--and just goes to show you what a lot of ingenuity and skill could produce using relatively primitive technology. A must-see for historians and film buffs.


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